Advertising is definitely not one size fits all and there are many different ways your ad can be delivered. Today we talk about what qualifies as owned, earned or paid advertising. Each has advantages and disadvantages. But the trick is with these models is that you can’t always control the whole message. So what is a business to do when the advertising campaign takes on a life of its own. This is a great example of how Sharon and Stefanie are able to tie several old and new media ideas together. This is a great show to listen to before the holiday marketing season hits full swing.
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Stefanie LaHart: When we were talking that day we decided you know that would probably be a great, show, because there are so many different ways that the own earned paid model is not only similar but greatly different in both of our worlds because again, you are a traditional P.R. woman and I am the digital marketing, I don’t know, girl?
Sharon Noot: Maven
Stefanie LaHart: Woman.
Sharon Noot: Maven
Stefanie LaHart: Maven? Oh, I hate those words, guru oh anybody who uses guru anymore let’s get rid of that. But seriously I mean it is something that we talked about a lot, so you know, when I was down there like I said I sat in on these paid sessions but you know when you and I talked the other day, you were talking about this whole thing called the own and the actual earned which is you know it was stuff that I did in my business I just didn’t know that that was the proper word for it I think that’s always funny when I’m talking to you is that you’ll give me a term and I’ll say I don’t know what that is and then I’m like oh yeah I do that I didn’t know that there was a proper term for it.
Sharon Noot: Right.
Stefanie LaHart: So and we have our own, our earn and our paid marketing.
Sharon Noot: Right and I think from the traditional P.R. professional standpoint, the challenge is that a lot of these lines are getting very blurred and the whole digital marketing and digital media world have made public relations in a traditional sense very convoluted and I think in P.R. were happily remaining in that earned media space. That’s where pretty much all of your traditional public relations outreach will reside it’s not paid for, it’s not it’s not something you own, your own content like your website it is something that you work to earn by promoting your company to influencers whether they be journalists or online professionals or whatever so P.R. remains happily in that earned space whereas the digital media world that you live in and I think it touches on all of those areas.
Stefanie LaHart: Yes you’re exactly right like that so why don’t we go through each of these just so people know what we’re talking about, is like I said it was it was stuff that I was using just didn’t know there were proper terms for it so in our own P.R. in our own social media, tell me again what is owned P.R. mean?
Shoran: Well, owned content it is everything that you completely control. It would be your website, it would be your blog, it would be the messages you put on your own social media channels, and it’s everything that you have complete control over on a day by day basis.
Stefanie LaHart: Yes and that would be the same on the social media side as well and then you could even take it insofar if you had an actual product, your brand packaging would be something that you would own as well because I know you handle clients and have physical products too.
Sharon Noot: Right.
Stefanie LaHart: Yes, so anything that you will say quantifies or is there anything you have 100 percent control over that’s your own right there right? Your own media.
Sharon Noot: Exact.
Stefanie LaHart: Right. Okay, so that was the easy one I think and that’s the one that I think in some ways people don’t spend enough time actually developing, you know when back when I was a web developer, I was really amazed at how many times my clients would come to me they were really just interested in having a flashy website and when it would come down to the content which was the most important part lot of times they would allow myself or the developers to simply write the content for them, which was always amazing to me because I know and now that we see that content on your website is what Google uses for search engine results as well as the other search engines you know it’s becoming more and more than your own to media is really your touch point like your starting point for how you’re approaching the marketplace, wouldn’t you agree?
Sharon Noot: I totally would and it’s amazing to me how many companies are not really paying enough attention to all of the all of the own content that they have whether it be again it’s their website it’s their social media channels it’s their LinkedIn It’s everything that is about their company and exists online. They have to actually manage and maintain all of those things and make sure their messaging is all very consistent and to come to you and have you start doing digital outreach or to come to me and have them start doing public relations when I go online and I look at their website and there’s really not a whole lot there it’s like you have to tell them we need to step back and start at the beginning in the beginning is all of that content that exists. Completely in your control and you need to be making sure that it is it is shining on your behalf.
Stefanie LaHart: So what a new client comes to you is that a service that you offer where you will actually create the content for their website or further their blog and things like that do you put that into play.
Sharon Noot: Well, yes. What we’ll do on the public relations side is 1st help them with their messaging and that is making sure that we know exactly what their mission statement is, what they really want their customers to know about them, what makes them different a lot of companies haven’t really thought that through and it’s the most important part of their business and for a lot of them they want to go right into the results they want to go right into… well I want to do a press release I want to I want to have a campaign well before you do that and you have everyone looking at your website and looking at what you’re doing you need to make sure that your content there is up to date it’s fresh it’s relevant it’s what your customers are going to be engaged by when they go to and they read it so yes what we do is we 1st start out by doing some of their communications messaging making sure that they’re there to find messages and they’re consistent across all of their platforms they really have to do that before they do any kind of outreach and attract people to their website. The last thing you want is a client that’s ready to do a press release or something about their company knowing that all it’s going to do is drive all these potential customers to their website which looks like complete crap. So what I do is I help them with the messaging and then I call you up and I say look we need to have a fantastic website that really is complementary to these messages that we want to put out there I mean I know you get people who come to you and they want to website but then they give… they know what it looks like but they don’t know they have no information regarding what to put on it. They like they say this is what my website is going to look like and they expect the content to kind of be developed after out of thin air, unless they come to you I guess with what like brochures or other information about their company and they give it to you kind of in a pile and go oh yeah make this into our website.
Stefanie LaHart: Yes, definitely I think that own space that owned media is something that is so overlook so if there’s one thing that you know we want to impress upon anyone listening to this right now that is a step that you want to make sure you’re spending the proper amount of time on you know it is not something that you can just say we’re all just fill in something or just have somebody write it for me you really do have to have that clear mission and Sharon Noot I think that’s where you excel at being the mission master helping people really figure out what their mission is and how they want to present to the world so you know owned I think, okay, so own then is your own social network accounts, it’s your website, it’s your blog, it might be your brand packaging it’s all the stuff you have control over.
Sharon Noot: I think it absolutely overwhelming to small businesses especially to realize that they have to have their website their social media channels everything has to be up and it has to be maintained and has to look fresh and when they come to you for example, maybe they have that information they’ve gone through someone like me they have their messaging but they go to you. Are you able to help them streamline, so like they don’t have to go I’m so overwhelmed I have to make a website I have to have a Facebook page I have to have an Instagram I mean just look at the social channels just everybody need Instagram, Twitter Snap Chat, Pinterest and like can you just use the same content across all those channels are they basically looking at just a mountain of things that they need to do because I think a lot of them are probably intimidated and they just rather do nothing then have to figure out how are they going to maintain manage all of these different channels and all these different elements at once.
Stefanie LaHart: Well yes so that comes with that’s where the social strategy comes into play where we really figure out what we want to say across any of these channels because you don’t use the exact same messaging and that really is where a lot of people go wrong, because they think well just I’ll just take this one post and I’ll just put it on every social media network out there and it’s going to get the same reaction and you know you can see just by people how people interact, differently with Facebook or Instagram or snapshot that that’s just not the reality, you know, you have to speak in the way that people are used to receiving messages on that specific platform. So you know within the own space set is something that you definitely have control over and something needs to be developed whereas you know what we were talking about earlier you and I was this whole earned space, this earned media, that’s really about what people are saying about you right?
Sharon Noot: Right and it’s I would say arguably, Of course, I’m biased I think it’s the most important piece the most powerful piece of the mix because there’s more credibility when someone else is talking about your company or product or service there’s more credibility if it’s an expert talking about your company, your product or service and you know kind of bounces back into your world when correcting me if I’m wrong it’s another outlet it’s talking about your company that’s much better for your S.E.O too isn’t it?
Stefanie LaHart: Oh yes, you definitely have a greater impact on a higher R.O.Y on any kind of earned social media. I imagine as well as earned media on your side and just to clarify what we’re talking about within this earn space is things like PR, word of mouth online reviews, viral content what else would be in that space that earns space? People mentioning your products obviously or your services within a social conversation. Right it’s all the stuff that’s that’s out of your control and I know companies are very very uncomfortable with this space and in back before digital media they had, even more, the sense of control over it because if you have a newspaper or magazine was going to talk about you… you usually wore aware of it. was there of course there were times when your company might have been mentioned and you were not aware of it but nowadays it can happen how many times a day is your company being brought in a conversation where you’re just an outsider whether it be a review or someone just talking about you on social media and you just find out because you’re looking up your mentions or your Google Alerts brings it to your attention it’s happening all the time now whereas in the past when you’re a limited to just traditional media outlets I think it was a much it was a much smaller situation but now, for a company to be able to react quickly to all of these things that are happening literally minute by minute it’s a completely different world.
Sharon Noot: Yes it definitely is and on the social media side, the online side where I am at you know there’s a lot of different online solutions for these different listening programs, so you know going even beyond just having a Google alert in the social space and there are several different companies that actually provide like a listening board for you so any time your business is mentioned you get an actual you know notification of it and you can see where that conversation happened and how it happens and see the entire thread which is really awesome, because! You know when we talked the other day I love me some spin. We’ll get to that on a different podcast, but we also need to I think later on not this time but later on talk about all those tools that you’re mentioning because, some of them, I mean again for a small business is going all right how much of my going to be paying them for all of these quote-unquote listening tools like… all of a sudden it’s like they’re making a list okay so now I need a website, I Instagram, I need a LinkedIn, I need a Facebook and now I need a listening tool not to mention the person that’s going to manage all of these things and then again they might just go you know what I’m just going to leave this all alone and I’m going to focus on making my widget or providing my service and just doing that and relying on good old fashioned word of mouth but you really you can’t survive with that attitude this day and age I don’t think.
Stefanie LaHart: Well word of mouth happens online it’s still the same as it always was it’s just now it happens online which is why things like online reviews and sites like that really took off. I mean I know for myself, I had to buy something this morning, because you know my little dog had a huge actually there on the rug yesterday. So there I was this morning looking up carpet products and you could be sure I was reading online reviews before I bought anything because I’m like I got to see what’s actually going to work and you know that’s where that whole earn social media and earned media in itself is so powerful.
Sharon Noot: Well, I don’t want (crosstalk 13:37-13:39) I don’t too convoluted here and this is probably definitely something for another podcast but it gets really tricky and a little bit dark when you consider that a lot of paid media is out there that basically masquerading as earned and that would be things like quote unquote fake reviews where those do exist I mean there
Stefanie LaHart: No, they do but yes let’s get into that let’s talk about what is actually paid media at this point how can we detect it because you’re right it’s so convoluted.
Sharon Noot: When you are Googling and looking up at the solutions for your doggie mess I know that you as an experienced marketer were looking through and you read things and you go through in the back your mind you’re going OK Is this an authentic review you’re never going to trust a 5 star review across the board with one line reviews that you know or all like a little bit the same nor are you going to trust something well maybe depends on all of your different tools in your mind but if something’s got universally negative reviews how do you know that’s not a competitor that’s going on there because there’s a lot of nasty stuff going on in the world of you know reviews and 3rd parties talking about your company your products so I think most savvy consumers now look at things with. A very careful eye and they’re looking for that they want to know that they’re going to trust the source where they’re getting the information and an interesting side thought to all of this is that you’re also thinking about you know your audience whether it be their age range or their demographics or their psychographics you have to understand where they put their trust in other words if you take anyone under a certain age they’re probably 100% getting their information and feedback from the Internet and from probably peers whether that be influence or social media that they followed whereas anyone over a certain age like perhaps our parents are probably still getting that information from the newspaper, from television, from radio and the savvy ones will go online and they’ll combine those things together but you’re really looking at your audience and where they’re getting their information and who are the people that they trust when they’re making their decisions.
Stefanie LaHart: Right so in essence, they are paid media really is things that you would normally see like a paid banner, you know, ad banners on paid searches which we’re all aware of because you know the search engines will actually tag that they are sponsored. Things though that are not is as easy to see are when we do like boosted post and things like that on Facebook because they don’t have a tiny little copy at the bottom that will say sponsored which most people don’t even see, but it’s you know it is something that Facebook makes available to any advertiser and then there’s also the social ad campaigns where you’re just out and out buying ad space which you can do on any of them you know any of the platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap Chat and Twitter. Did I miss any? (crosstalk 17:00-17:02). And your favorite Twitch is also taking advertising, the paid advertising which they’re just killing it over there but that’s another story but, yes it’s kind of confusing to really be able to tell anymore what is actually paid advertisement and you know what it’s something that you really can see in use a lot still in print magazines, where they’ll have like the little advertise what they call them.
Sharon Noot: Advertorial.
Stefanie LaHart: Advertorial, you see them a lot still and it’s funny because seeing them in print it automatically makes me kind of just flip the page and be like well that’s an ad but I can’t tell you how many times online I’m reading something and even when I become aware it’s an ad, I still continue reading it. Isn’t that funny do you find yourself doing?
Sharon Noot: Yes, well it’s a different environment where you’re getting your reaction it’s important to kind of point out that a lot of the digital world is evolving so quickly that ethics are kind of having to catch up with that, for a good example would be, influencers and that’s again it’s your models and normal people online showing you how to put on your make up it’s it’s all those folks that have a tremendous amount of influence because they have hundreds of thousands or millions of viewers. Now they can take a product may be a makeup company or a hair product company has paid them a lot of money to promote their brand. Now, their work hard rules in place on this until recently it’s become more important for influencers to really make sure that their viewers are aware that they are accepting a compensation and it’s an actually a sponsored review versus hey this is my own opinion and not this company is not paying me I’m just going to tell you that I love it that’s what I use. Companies realize that influencers have a tremendous amount of impact over, especially younger audiences. They basically are as powerful as word of mouth from a friend, and they’re more powerful in most cases than celebrities so you know when you look at that you realize that there could be a lot of room for unscrupulous types of campaigns where you’re targeting an audience through influencers and you’re not being upfront that these influencers are being compensated I guess that is a whole nother can of worms really.
Stefanie LaHart: Yes I totally agree with that especially in the social space you see a ton influencer marketing now but I think it’s equally important to point out that when you’re working with these 3 different types of media that they’re all equally important and you really need to make sure that there are working together in order to achieve the best results so within the own, the earned and the paid space you want to make sure that the messaging like you said, in the beginning, is really consistent you know. So that we see that each of them supports what the common goal is.
Sharon Noot: Right exactly.
Stefanie LaHart: And I’m saying that you know what you said about the influencer marketing and then trusting them more than a celebrity that’s definitely true but there are still as you know, huge celebrity pull out there, so I think it’s just kind of the cross the board that you have to really decide for your brand or your business what’s going to make the most sense because honestly, with most of the companies I work for, they’re not interested in any kind of celebrity endorsement we’ve found way more traction within the influencer sphere, so, what you’re experiencing with that have you worked with a lot of celebrity?
Sharon Noot: Yes, I think celebrity influence has started to really fall by the wayside and you know I did work with a celebrity really the campaigns for quite a while, and like anything, in marketing and P.R. you really have to understand your audience. And the benefit you have with influencers you don’t necessarily have with celebrities. Well, one is their accessibility because obviously, for someone who brings value to your product or service an influencer is a much more cost-effective, depending on who they are, than a celebrity that might have a certain amount of weight for your audience. Influencers can be targeted much more specifically, you can do that by region, you can do it by product, you could do it by the demographics of the psychographic and again it’s so pinpointed compared to the way you used to be. You might have an influencer that only reaches $2000.00 an audience of 2000 but if it’s an audience of 2000 in gauged potential customers and you have a conversion rate that’s high that is way more valuable than $20000.00 eyeballs that cost you incrementally more money and yet you’re having a much lower conversion because those are not the exact customers that you want to reach, influencers now, are extremely specific because they’re reaching different audiences based on what it whatever it is that they’re promoting. So, you have that power that you have with influencers that you didn’t have with celebrities, in the past. Celebrities might have had a lot of cashe and a lot of recognition but you are necessarily reaching the people that you need to reach effectively.
Stefanie LaHart: That’s really true so again are celebrities or are in the paid section right?
Sharon Noot: Right. Unless…So again but taking a step back. If a celebrity or an influencer mentions your company or your product or service without you compensating them and it’s just a happy accident that is considered earned and that is extremely valuable and the way that companies need to capitalize on this is to go back to what you mentioned earlier is they’re listening tools. They need to know if a celebrity on the online world or a bonafide celebrity entertainment mentions their product, they need to be able to jump on that right away and thank that person and see if they can develop some sort of a connection and they wouldn’t get that if they weren’t listening.
Stefanie LaHart: You know what that’s very true and I think what’s important here what we should let our audience know about is you know what the earned space is something, that can really help you and give you everything that we just talked about it gives you the credibility it gives you the validation by having people actually talk about your product, without being paid, so one of the tips that I want to leave our listeners with is you know what up your whole review process. So no matter what kind of business you are, if you are brick and mortar if you selling a product or something online or like I was sharing with you earlier Sharon Noot you know one of the conventions that we’re supporting for their social media. We just did an outreach to all of their attendees from last year, asking them for reviews saying “Would you please share your experience of the conference online on our Facebook page.” And we didn’t give them any kind of outline or kind of like you know notes about what they should say, we honestly were looking for feedback both good and bad and the reason you want to do something like that is you know what? When we were talking earlier about the whole review process, people believe reviews when there is a negative aspect in them so if you’re talking about a product and you’re like I really like X. Y. And Z. about this product, but I kind of wish that A.B. and C. was also a part of the process. People will listen to that more than a 5 star Oh my God this is the best thing ever, so online getting reviews like for this conference it with amazing the response that we got.
Sharon Noot: Are still collecting responses are they still coming in or is it is a pretty much wrapped up now.
Stefanie LaHart: You are still able to. We do a push every couple of months where we’ll mention it in our e-mail actively saying to people you know we would love to hear your experience at the conference it’s not something that we’re asking for on a continual basis because again you know with any messaging if it gets repeated too much it gets ignored, so like every 3 months
Sharon Noot: Yes, what was the… if I can ask and you might not have the information in front of you but I’m just curious what like what percent what percentage was your response rate on that like I’m just if you know I mean how many how many people actually responded and gave a review? Or are you satisfied with that?
Stefanie LaHart: It is one of those things that you do a certain amount of asking to get anyone to respond but what we found is when we did in e-mail, we got about a 30 percent response from people just then taking action and doing a review the interesting thing was, when we did a pinpointed, one to one ask where there were certain people that we had access to their e-mail we already had like some kind of personal connection too, where we emailed them directly and asked them for review 100 percent of the time they gave us a review.
Sharon Noot: That’s great.
Stefanie LaHart: So and the way that you could use that online is that you can still direct a comment to any you know anybody on like say we’re on Twitter, you can direct a to comment directly to someone on Twitter that you know attend your conference or somehow interact and say “We would love to hear your experience.” So, you know there’s a way of doing that outreach too. Then you know what would you… what would be your tip then for getting some good earned media on the P.R. side?
Sharon Noot: Making sure of course that they first have those elements in place that we talked about in the beginning and they have their website and everything else kind of is built and ready to go and they know their messaging. I would recommend, that any small business take a look at their local business journal and familiarize themselves with whatever reporters covering their space, whether it be technology or retail or manufacturing or health care. Just take some time to review their reporter the journalist that’s covering that space, and after you’ve done some research go ahead and send them a very brief e-mail about your company and what I say brief, I mean, spend most of your time working on the subject line of the email and the 1st 2 lines of the actual body of the email and be prepared to only really provide the information that you know it’s going to be highly relevant to them and highly relevant to the audience of the Business Journal. Things like a trend that you’re observing that you’ve got expertise in or a growth moment for your company maybe it’s a hiring milestone or you’re opening a new facility something that is extremely newsworthy and timely. If you send a little note off like that via e-mail to a reporter that covers your space, there are very interested in what small businesses are doing inside their community and they like to hear from the trenches. So if you put together an effective outreach like that and you really know again what it is you want to accomplish you have the opportunity to build a relationship with that journalist in and hopefully it will lead to them writing an article about your company or including you in an interview. You can get a lot more sophisticated about it and that’s why you hire a P.R. person or a P.R. agency to help you with that process but that definitely doesn’t mean that a small business can’t go ahead on their own and do this work and this outreach and it could actually, results of the income by a company and that again adds to the earned media mix and something that you can remerchandise across all of it marking channels.
Stefanie LaHart: Yes, that’s great you know that’s a great bit of advice and something that actually also counseled some of my clients on reaching out to that local media because you’re right! They are interested in what’s going on in the local sphere and they’re usually looking for content so that’s a great tip, thank you so much.
Sharon Noot: You’re welcome.
Stefanie LaHart: Well, awesome! You know what Sharon Noot? Believe it or not, we managed to actually get to 3minutes just about
Sharon Noot: Time flies.
Stefanie LaHart: I know and then some pretty good, so here’s the thing. We want to get feedback from our audience so if you’re listening to this and you have a question about anything we’ve talked about, we invite you to send us an e-mail just use the e-mail address right at the bottom of the show and then we’ll get back to you and we might if we get enough question Sharon Noot we can actually do an e-mail response show and just answer questions which would be fun. And of course, if you’re listening here and you like what you’re hearing you want to hear more, please subscribe to our podcast there’s a little button somewhere on the screen I can’t even tell you where it is now because I’m not sure a platform you’re on. But you know how to do it just subscribe to our show give us a little review if you like what you’re hearing and let us know your thoughts on how you are used earned, owned and paid media because we want to know if there’s any tricks or tips out there that maybe we could use, right Sharon Noot?
Sharon Noot: Absolutely I want to know that everything is changing every single day so I’m sure there are people out there who are far more knowledgeable than we are, who can give us some information that we need because I think we all need a little bit of help we’re business owners too, so any information you can get that’s going to help us we would appreciate it.
Stefanie LaHart: And that was one of the reasons that we have inside to start doing this podcast this because we thought you know what? There are so many things that we learned, we know that other people are looking for the same information so if we happen to just fall into your vortex and you find us along the way we hope that you’ve found some value in this podcast and we hope you join us for the next one. Which I don’t even know what’s our topic for the next one holdout so we meant oh I don’t know I have to think about that one we don’t, even so, thank you so much. Sharon Noot, let’s get out of here and think about that topic for the next podcast and see what kind of reviews we get on this one.