By: Anne Haynes
Converging media is a common concept to building strong social media campaigns. As a community manager and marketing team of 1, I rely heavily on webinars and reading to continually improve my skill-set. I enjoy testing out what marketing journalists and consultants’ document as working to improve conversions and ROI. I started my career in SEO, continued by learning SEM in 2005 and I’ve been learning social media since 2008. It’s a good thing I like to learn, because all the social networks and AdWords network are updating their platforms right now.
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Last week I participated in the “The Call for Converged Media: How Brands Should Combine Paid, Owned, and Earned Media” webinar by Wildfire/Google. Wildfire is a social media promotion platform Google acquired in July of 2012.
While the webinar was mostly review for me, there was a certain clarity which hit me during the training. Converging media is a true dance of marketing tactics. Traditionally these marketing tactics resided in their own departments without the need to share information. The days of having web design/development department focus only on the website, social media department focus only on sharing and the search department only focus on website traffic are over. Its imperative these departments work together to implement successful social media marketing campaigns.
A small organization will easily implement converging media into workflow. Larger firms and agencies will struggle with redefining roles & responsibilities, processes & procedures, but with the right leadership it can be done.
Converging Media Defined
It’s when you pay for traffic to your Owned Media. Effective social media campaigns are not FREE. Paid Media is needed to grow and promote the brand. The goals of social Paid Media is to increase the amount of people your brand reaches and inspire those people to share or make noise i.e. Earned Media.
If your company owns it and manages it, this is considered Owned Media. Some examples of owned media; website(s), images, videos, forums, press releases, blog posts, social media properties posts and mentions on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube etc. Value is added to Owned Media when the content is optimized using search engine optimization.
Content curators will share your content and content creators will create content around your Paid Media or Owned Media post. Successful social media campaigns are measured by the amount of Earned Media generated.
Here is the slide from the webinar:
I agree with the presenter’s definition of converging media, but I want to add to it as well. After thinking more about this webinar, clarity cleared and logic took over. The presenter was a social media expert not an SEO expert therefore she missed an entire segment of converging media; Organic Media.
Organic (SEO) Media:
When you leverage your Paid Media content, optimize it organically for the search engines and market this content on a high traffic website. When I create landing pages for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, I also optimize organically (Organic Media). 9 times out of 10 any PPP campaign I manage has a primary incentive and a secondary incentive. For example, I want the customer to sign-up for a coupon (primary incentive), and if they share the the content they are entered to win something (secondary incentive). I’ve had success with iPad giveaways, Sign-up for 6 months FREE listing, Share to win a secret goodie bag. My audiences for these types of incentives are freebie, discount shoppers. There are tons of website where you can post giveaways (freebies) and coupons (discount shoppers) on the web.
Here is how I would update the slide:
Now for a converging media example, the fun stuff, I get to talk about myself, LOL. If you knew me in-real-life you would be laughing right now. I’m not an egocentric person.
Converging Media Example: Pegetables Video Contest
Owned Media > Organic Media> Paid Media> Earned Media> Owned Media:
I manage www.pegetables.com website. This is the lowest priority website I’m managing, but the most fun to manage because everyone loves dogs. When I took the website over a video contest had been going on without any video submissions! We were giving away a year supply of Pegetables ($500 value), something was really wrong. I analyzed the campaign processes and there was the problem, but that’s for a future usibility post. It was my job to make it successful. My goal was to generate more Owned Media! I just launched a YouTube channel and we needed something more than just Playlists.
While rebuilding the campaign, I ran across Authntk specilizing in user generated content video content! It was the perfect video solution. People could record or upload videos directly through the website! It was user friendly, affordable and easy to implement. I’m adding this to all of my websites this year!
We relaunched the campaign; created a landing page powered by Authntk (Owned Media), added a call-to-action on the home page (Owned Media), posted details about the contest on video contest websites (Organic Media) and sent an email blast to our database of customers (Paid Media). Video contests websites are websites with lists of video contests people can enter. For some reason, this tactic didn’t not get enough traction. Maybe it was the site I was using. If you have any suggestions for video contests websites, please leave me a comment.
It was a success! We received videos and selected an awesome winner: Noodles the Wonder Dog.
Even better, Pegetables now has cute dog videos on the Pegetables YouTube Channel (Owned Media). This is a great converging media example because shared or Earned Media turned into Owned Media.
I have more examples and I will continue sharing while I reach my 2013 New Year’s Resolution to blog more. Traditional media hasn’t even been mentioned in this post. The best converging media results I’ve seen are when all marketing mediums are utilized. It’s interesting when measuring performance.