The other day in class Mark Staton was really pushing the importance of TED Talks for college students. So as any smart college student who is trying to get a good grade would do, I of course tried to suck up to him by searching for a TED talk on paid media to supplement my blog. Instead, I found this gem:
Yes, it’s from the Onion. So hopefully comments like “and remember, any teenager could have done what we did, for no money, and much faster”, or my favorite, “ideally real human users will leave social networking all together, and all that will be left will be thousands of robots talking to each other who we can then advertise to” gave away that this is a prime example of exactly what we should NOT be doing.
So how should we be using paid media in our marketing strategy today?
Marketing tactics keep evolving and it can be challenging to keep up or find the right balance of owned, paid, and earned media. I’ve been focusing a lot lately on earned and owned media since those are hot topics of late in the marketing world. But despite these trends, paid media still plays a big role in marketing, and you will see the best results when all three types of media work together.
In the past, paid media was over emphasized, which resulted in obnoxious and interruptive ads that consumers rightfully decided to tune out. Then social media came into existence, giving consumers a way to participate and interact with brands, which drastically changed the way that marketing is done. But earned media isn’t free – it takes a lot of time and effort to engage and build relationships with consumers, and once that relationship is created, you cant just sit back and rest easy – like a friendship, it takes continual growth and cultivation.
This is where paid media comes in – it can help creating and maintaining those relationships so much easier. Paid media can build awareness of your product or service. You may be creating some awesome content on your twitter feed, but if consumers don’t know your company exists, how are they ever going to start following you? By using advertisements on popular websites or even creating an ad on Facebook, you can create that initial awareness which will then lead to potential customers reaching out to interact with you. But just because its not dead, doesn’t mean paid media hasn’t evolved. According to Ad Age’s article, Native Advertising: Media Savior of Just the New Custom Campaign?, “web readers, viewers and social-network users are more likely to respond positively to marketing tactics that don’t look like advertising and instead take the form of the rest of the content on the website or platform.” So instead of creating flashy banners to compete for attention from all the other blinding banner ads, your paid media should instead integrate and work with your other areas of marketing, taking the form of sponsored Facebook stories or promoted tweets on Twitter.
Want to learn how to create a successful sponsored story on Facebook? Check out this nifty guide provided by HubSpot!