Diversify Your Marketing Mix: Understanding Owned, Paid & Earned Content
Just like investing in the stock market, a strong diversity in your marketing mix is essential for consistent long-term growth of your business. As the financial plans you will recommend vary based on each client’s unique needs, a financial professional’s marketing mix will also vary based on region, market niche, budget and growth objectives. When designing your marketing mix, the main “sectors” to consider include owned, paid and earned content opportunities.
Owned Content: Owned content is any information controlled and produced by you, the business owner. This provides the benefit of complete control over your message and can be useful to communicate essential information about your firm or offerings to prospects as well as to current clients. The demand for owned content is on the rise in today’s information era as consumers are seeking quality information to research their purchasing decisions. In the financial industry specifically, advisors are developing owned content deliverables such as white papers, webinars, radio or podcast recordings, etc., as call to action items that provide value in exchange for contact information.
Paid Content: Paid content is the purchase of time / space / distribution to communicate your specific messaging to your target audience otherwise known as “advertising.” While paid content provides the least credibility of these three categories, it does provide immediacy and mass communication of your message to a large audience. Paid content is generally most effective when utilized in combination with either owned or earned content. For example, if you want to build your brand recognition and credibility, you may promote a recent award or media placement. If you are aiming for lead generation, having a specific, trackable call to action is essential, such as one of the valuable pieces of owned content just discussed (i.e. visit our website to download your copy of XYZ!) Having a clear, measurable objective is key to developing effective advertising and choosing the appropriate channels to send your message.
Earned Content: Earned content is the distribution of your message based on merit and expertise versus a paid placement. This is the narrowest and often most difficult type of content to secure, and while you have the least control over the end message, it is also the most credible as it comes from a third-party source. Examples of premium earned content in the financial industry may include being quoted in the Wall Street Journal for your specific expertise, featured in an industry publication as an innovator among your peers, or on your local news station providing timely financial tips to your community. While the benefits can be more difficult to quantify, effects of earned content often include reduced resistance during your sales process due to established credibility and organic search engine optimization for Internet searches.
To learn more about any of these methods of marketing or designing your own diverse marketing mix for the financial industry, give us a call today at (866) 888-5333.
Courtney Browning, vice president of marketing for AdvisorPR, is an experienced financial marketing professional having established integrated marketing communication plans and provided consulting on coordinated marketing and branding initiatives for hundreds of financial advisors over the past decade, as well as firsthand experience as an insurance and securities licensed advisor. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.