Understanding Marketing Strategies in the Digital Landscape
Marketing has evolved so much in the last generation that a time-traveling advertising executive from the late 20th century might not know where to start on a modern campaign. The good news is, the fundamentals of marketing are essentially unchanged. The challenge lies in understanding the various new platforms and channels available. To do this, and form a cohesive strategy, it’s important to differentiate the four main types of digital media.
Paid Media: The Most Traditional
As the name would suggest, paid media is anything you devote digital marketing dollars towards buying. This can be done through an agency, or directly through social media platforms, search engines, and various other developers. Paid digital usually takes the form of video, static banner graphics, or a combination of both in social posts.
Owned Media: Self-Promotion
Owned media is any digital marketing real estate that exists in the spaces your company owns, like your website or proprietary apps. You can place banners, photos, videos or blog posts anywhere you like in these areas without any hard costs other than the time of your staff to produce and upload them.
Earned Media: The Power of Audience
Perhaps the biggest innovation digital marketing has spurred is the evolution of earned media. Earned media has existed since commerce began, primarily in the form of word of mouth advertising. Satisfied customers will tell their friends and family how much they like your business and products, hopefully resulting in an expanded customer base.
Now, in the digital age, earned media has grown exponentially. Satisfied customers may now post praises on their social accounts or leave reviews on your website or other e-commerce channels. Some may either formally or informally become brand ambassadors, touting the virtues of new features or products. Businesses must beware, however, that earned media can be a double-edged sword. Unsatisfied customers can complain just as easily has happy ones can praise.
Social Media: Organic Reach
Social media is an incredibly powerful medium, but it is also incredibly misunderstood. Too many companies believe that posting on their free business accounts is an effective digital marketing strategy. Organic (unpaid) posts have certain value in that they can help with reach and awareness, but most platforms will limit your posts’ reach if they seem like ads; they won’t want to amplify your message for free.
Embracing digital is essential to successful marketing in the 21st century. Understanding these forms of media will help you build an effective strategy!