By building up your website, blog, and gated content, you can establish a unique brand voice and drive engaged users to your business. 

Owned media is an essential concept for any company looking to succeed in the digital space. Yet many businesses don’t understand the importance of building and controlling their own library of content. 

To fully grasp the potential of owned media, it’s first necessary to understand the roles paid and earned media play in digital marketing. Paid media includes what you might describe as conventional advertising — Google or Facebook ads, for instance — that companies pay to deliver to an audience. Earned media, on the other hand, is press coverage, public relations, and word-of-mouth exposure.

Owned media is distinct because it describes content that a company directly controls. This generally includes websites, newsletters, blogs, and white papers. These channels are valuable because they are not mediated by a third party, and allow you to oversee the content you share, as well as the data you collect.

Below are six reasons it’s crucial for brands in all industries to build owned content — and engage the community of loyal customers that goes along with it.

1. You have access to all relevant data.

When you own your content, you can tap into highly specific data and insights. This data can be used to target messages and speak more directly to your audience’s needs. For instance, Google Search Console enables brands to view the keyword searches for which they already rank as well as the terms they might be missing out on. These insights allow you to optimize your website or blog for both new and tested keywords in order to drive more relevant traffic. 

2. You control the narrative.

When your content appears on someone else’s platform, such as Forbes or an industry-specific publication, you have to comply with the site’s editorial standards and modify your content to meet their expectations. With owned media, however, your brand has full control of the message and tone. Your white papers, blog posts, and case studies serve to create a cohesive brand narrative that impacts how customers view your business.

3. Owned media defines your brand voice.

Your website, blog, and other owned media assets establish a unique “voice” for your brand: how you speak about your products or services and what value you offer. This enables companies to build long-term relationships with their customers that extend beyond a single think piece or individual transaction.

4. You can connect with untapped audiences.

Decades ago, television was dominated by a handful of channels and entertainment was expected to resonate with a broad, general audience. While this facilitated the creation of many high-quality, successful shows, it didn’t allow for much variety or targeting.

In today’s more diverse landscape, there are thousands of platforms to deliver content, from standard networks to premium channels to streaming services. This has allowed shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime, for instance, to take more risks and appeal to increasingly specific audiences — often to great success and critical acclaim. 

These same principles hold true for content creation. Owned media allows you to reach potentially untapped audiences with content that may not yet have a prominent platform. The audiences you find may be smaller than those connected to larger publications, but they tend to be more engaged, loyal, and ready to act.

5. Owned media builds organic traffic.

Regularly publishing content on your site is the best way to generate increasing, stackable traffic while keeping investment stable. Paid media can be useful in directing customers to your blog or website, but on its own it generally delivers static or declining results unless you increase spending. With owned media, however, you can use tools like SEMRush Keyword Magic to find terms that resonate with your audience and even expand your brand’s reach.

6. It’s the only way to reach the long-tail.

The “long-tail” is a term used to describe an area of low-competition and high specificity that occurs in many markets, from retail to online search. To understand this concept, it’s important to first discuss the Pareto Distribution

This term describes the phenomenon that occurs when a large amount of resources are distributed in a small number of spaces. Pareto’s Law explains why there are very few large cities, but a massive number of small towns, or why a small number of people control most of society’s wealth.  

This mathematical concept applies to website traffic as well. In this sense, high-frequency search terms tend to be the most general, while the less popular keywords are usually more specific and complex. Because competition is less fierce for these “long-tail” keywords, they are easier for websites to rank for. 

Owned media allows brands to focus on more accessible keywords in order to reach of pool of relevant users. As you tap into these specific terms, you’ll likely see your traffic grow into a customer base whose needs align with your unique services.

Author Oliver Cox

Having originally joined the company as a writer in 2013, Oliver currently works as a full-time member of L&T's sales team to prospect, nurture and help close sales leads in the US and UK markets. Oliver is a graduate of the University of Liverpool and is a prolific musician and author.

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