Written by: Ashley Bailey, Kevin Bloom and Rowena Figueroa
How Owned, Earned, Paid, and Shared Media Can Drive Visibility in a Zero-Click World
Improving your website’s search engine ranking has become more challenging than ever. Each time search engines update their algorithms, website traffic experiences a drop. Ads now dominate search engine results pages and offer higher click-through rates. Social media platforms have made it harder for individuals and businesses to ramp up their visibility. The marketplace of digital content is more crowded than ever.
As the world’s largest platforms strive to grow their dominance of the online user’s experience, marketers need to take a more comprehensive, multi-layered approach for their firms to survive and thrive. After all, these platforms are not only forums for engagement; they now compete for your audience’s attention and time.
This comprehensive approach is called integrated marketing communications.
This article will answer the most frequently asked questions about integrated marketing communications:
- What is integrated marketing communications?
- What is owned media?
- What are the top owned media best practices?
- What are the top owned media mistakes people make?
- What are the top tools practitioners need to get the most benefit from owned media?
- What is earned media?
- What are the top earned media best practices?
- What are the top earned media mistakes people make?
- What are the top tools practitioners need to get the most benefit from earned media?
- What is paid media?
- What are the top paid media best practices?
- What are the top paid media mistakes people make?
- What are the top tools practitioners need to get the most benefit from paid media?
- What is shared media?
- What are the top shared media best practices?
- What are the top shared media mistakes people make?
- What are the top tools practitioners need to get the most benefit from shared media?
- How do you combine owned, earned, paid, and shared media into an integrated marketing communications plan?
What is integrated marketing communications?
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) combines different marketing techniques and media channels into a single campaign. For this reason, IMC campaigns are sometimes referred to as cross-channel marketing campaigns. The components of these campaigns include:
- Owned media
- Earned media
- Paid media
- Shared media
By pushing messages through the different channels, campaigns are able to reach a target audience that consists of buyers and their influencers. Executed well, an integrated campaign can reach a broader audience, reinforce messages, improve efficiency, and lower costs.
WHAT IS OWNED MEDIA?
Owned media can be defined as anything that is controlled directly by a particular individual or organization. This includes, but is not limited to, websites and email communication. From a marketing perspective, website content (think product pages or thought leadership content) and email communications are critical pieces for success in IMC.
WHAT ARE THE TOP OWNED MEDIA BEST PRACTICES?
- Regularly produce and update content.
Owned media content should be produced AND updated regularly. Be sure to produce new content regularly, even if it’s just a blog post or two a month on your website. More content gives you a better chance to gain rankings and traffic, but many struggle just to get started and remain consistent.
- Continuously monitor the performance of content.
As your content gets older, it may become irrelevant or even inaccurate. Keeping tabs on content that drives regular visibility (e.g., a blog post that starts ranking in search results) is important to avoid presenting outdated information.
- Ensure you have bio pages to highlight your subject matter experts.
Ideally, your subject matter experts will author or be involved in content creation. Their expertise is vital to differentiate your content and provide value. Each of your experts should have a dedicated bio page that showcases their recent content. Press kits are also recommended and can be helpful in securing speaking engagements, podcast appearances, and guest contributions.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OWNED MEDIA MISTAKES AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS?
- Abandoning integrated marketing campaigns too soon.
Organizations often take the first step toward an integrated marketing strategy only to abandon their strategy just a few months into their efforts when the ROI fails to meet their expectations. Keep in mind these efforts take time. Most won’t yield search engine results for at least six months. At that point you can start relying on a regular cadence of traffic coming to your site. If you have premium content (gated long-form content such as executive guides), you can start to grow your email list.
- Forgetting to update content.
Another mistake we often see is failing to update existing content. As mentioned earlier, updating and republishing your blog content can be a very effective way to get quick wins. Identifying content that consistently drives organic traffic is the first step. Oftentimes, this content might be old and outdated. Updating and republishing this content sends positive signals to search engine algorithms and often results in higher rankings and increased traffic.
- Promoting only newly released content.
Also overlooked is repromoting older content to your email list. Some of your older content is likely still relevant. Do not hesitate to repromote this content no matter how old. Many wrongly believe the only time they can send out content to their list is the day they release it.
WHAT TOOLS CAN YOU USE TO ENSURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR INITIATIVES?
A website on a user-friendly CMS (content management system) such as WordPress is critical to any integrated marketing strategy. You must be able to add new content, update old content, and capture new email addresses to grow your list. If this requires a developer’s help, you will likely need to upgrade your website.
A good email marketing platform will also be necessary. If you’re starting out, tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact will suffice. If you need a platform that can program campaigns, suppress lists, and score leads, Pardot, Eloqua, and Hubspot are good options.
Finally, you must know how your efforts are performing. Free tools like Google Analytics are essential. Google Analytics gives you the ability to identify your traffic sources (e.g., search engines, social media, email) and which content draws the most traffic and converts at higher rates.
WHAT IS EARNED MEDIA?
Earned media is public attention you obtain without paying for it. In the digital ecosystem, earned media are unpaid brand mentions on websites and platforms that you don’t own. Examples of earned media include speaking engagements, guest articles, podcast interviews, and mentions on strategic partner websites.
WHAT ARE THE TOP EARNED MEDIA BEST PRACTICES?
- Earned media starts with your own website.
You need to blog frequently and consistently on the topics you want to be known for. You can also repurpose your content as a video or webinar. Why? Because owned media will drive earned media. All event organizers and publishers will ask for your website URL to find proof you have the expertise to deliver a talk or write an article about the topics you’re pitching to them. Moreover, keyword-rich blog articles that explore the what’s, why’s, and how’s of a topic can draw traffic from bloggers, journalists, and editors looking for information and sources. To increase your chances of being found by them, you need to bolster your blog article with statistics and insights into trends.
- Find out what your target pubs and events are looking for.
Whether you’re pitching to publications or event organizers, you need to demonstrate you’re what they’re looking for. So what are they looking for?
First, an authority on a relevant, timely topic. A growing number are interested in topics that are making the headlines. The best topic is one that fills a gap. If your target publication has featured many articles on the reasons behind the Great Resignation, an article that explores, say, what has become of mid-career folks who quit their jobs to start their own business will provide a fresh perspective on a topic that has generated thousands of articles across many industries.
Second, an expert who offers added value to their audience. Readers and event attendees are hungry for proven methods and solutions to new and evolving challenges. And they want insights from recognized experts.
Third, an expert who has written and spoken about this topic before. This point underscores the importance of including educational videos and blogs on your website.
Fourth, you have a large following. Like you, event organizers and publishers are continually looking to expand their audience reach. Experts with a significant number of engaged followers on social media, for instance, have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.
- Share your insights with the media.
If you’ve never been externally published, serving as a source for insightful quotes is a great way to gain third-party credibility across different pubs and platforms. You can increase the likelihood that pubs pick up your quotes or comments by providing message supports, such as statistics, infographics, or soundbites. These supports will help your comment stand out from other quotes flooding journalists’ and bloggers’ inboxes.
If you’re a strong writer and have time to develop a full length article, try guest blogging, a favorite technique among high growth firms for its high impact. Like expert commentary, it helps to underscore your authority to your audience and signals to search engines that you’re a recognized authority on your topic. When external websites and platforms mention you or link back to your website, your search engine ranking receives a nice boost, leading to more site visitors, digital leads and conversions.
Before pitching any article ideas, do your homework. Publications with a solid domain authority (DA) are good targets. Research which publications with good DA address your audience’s needs. Find out their audience reach. And identify topics or angles of topics they haven’t covered. The key is to position yourself as an expert offering the publication’s audience a proven yet differentiated approach to their challenges.
- Speak at events, webinars, and podcasts.
When buyers of professional services look for experts who can help, they attend events—online and in person. What’s more, over the past two years podcast consumption has steadily grown not only in the number of listeners but the number of podcasts that regular listeners consume.
Whether you’re speaking at events or being interviewed, focus on topics that align with your expertise and your audiences’ needs. A growing number of events require speakers to center their presentations on case studies. Some require vendors to co-present with their clients.
Why are case studies becoming a requirement? Buyers who invest in attending events are looking for solutions that work and people they can work with. Case studies will show proof of your solution’s effectiveness and instill trust in your expertise.
The downside to case studies is the challenge of receiving a client’s approval. Clients often don’t want to give the appearance they’re in trouble or need help. Many clients have stringent policies that might restrict case studies altogether.
One way to overcome a client’s reluctance is to position the presentation as a way to tout their innovation or successful implementation of industry best practices. In short, avoid the use of the term “case study.”
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST EARNED MEDIA MISTAKES AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS?
- Thought leaders are celebrities.
In professional services, earned media has two objectives: to build your reputation as an authority in your areas of expertise and to improve your website’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT). More EAT means more website traffic and digital leads you can shepherd through the marketing funnel. Celebrity is about popularity. Thought leadership is about professional expertise and visibility. Celebrity can be gained by creating buzz. Thought leadership involves gaining recognition for your place in the sandbox of expert ideas and insights. We call thought leaders Visible Experts, known and sought after not only by their clients but other experts in their industry.
- Digital PR is a separate discipline from SEO.
When we think of SEO, the technical tactics for websites often come to mind. In fact, there are two sides to SEO: onsite and offsite strategies. Onsite strategies include keywords, meta descriptions, and more. These strategies establish your website’s relevance. But to improve your site’s search engine rankings, you need to establish authority and trustworthiness. You do this by building relationships with third parties who can influence your buyers’ decisions. These third parties are the publications your buyers read, the events they attend, and the podcasts they listen to, among others. By featuring you or your content on their platforms, and showing their willingness to lend you their audience, these third parties are vouching for your authority and trustworthiness.
A final word on SEO and earned media. Those coveted keywords you can’t score high enough through your website? You can pursue them through earned media from higher ranking sites and platforms.
- Earned media is all about backlink building.
On the contrary, earned media is all about initiating and strengthening relationships with pubs, writers, podcasters, and event producers. The nexus of those relationships is your high quality expert content. Backlink building will tarnish your reputation. These third parties know when that’s your main goal. In fact, top tier publications like The New York Times don’t provide backlinks—only mentions.
Moreover, search engines have become more sophisticated over the past decade. Positive brand mentions count. Google, for instance, has guidelines for their third party quality raters to look for factors such as whether an expert has presented in conferences.
- Earned media should focus on your corporate brand.
In today’s digital environment, your brand reflects what people discover about your business online. If you were to do a search on your business name, you’re likely to find information beyond what you do and who you are. You might also find what former and current employees say about what you’re like as an employer. This is your employer brand.
Why focus on both corporate and employer brand? In today’s tight labor market, you’re more likely to attract talent if you have a good reputation as an employer. Second, many buyers factor into their purchase decisions whether a vendor shares their values, especially those values linked to how companies treat employees and the communities they serve.
What tools can you use to ensure the effectiveness of your initiatives?
A good database of contacts is a must. Companies like Cision, Muckrack, and Meltwater provide the names and contact information of bloggers, journalists, and their editors. Each platform has its benefits and disadvantages and caters to specific users.
If these tools are outside of your budget’s reach, you can set up alerts on your topics to identify the bloggers, journalists, podcasters, events, and the publications that cover them. Once you have your list of contacts, read up on them. This will help you develop pitches tailored to their needs, interests, and requirements.
WHAT IS PAID MEDIA?
Paid media is any type of paid advertisement. The five main categories of paid media are offline ads, social media ads, PPC/SEM, audio ads, and display ads. Examples of paid media include a YouTube campaign, digital billboard, newspaper ad, online article exchange, or a link building opportunity.
- Paid media starts with your own website.
For paid media to function appropriately, the process should begin with optimizing your website. Your website should be set up for conversion tracking by taking these steps:
- identify a landing page that highlights a service/job posting your business offers
- make sure that landing page contains the content that will be highly correlated to the paid media advertisement you’re going to purchase
- ensure that tracking is set up to properly attribute marketing attribution back to your paid campaigns
- make sure that the landing page already has a suitable conversion rate
For paid media, your landing page should never be more than one click away from your conversion opportunity. A user should have multiple opportunities to click from your landing page to convertible content.
- Demographic profiling is your next critical step.
Start by taking a sample of your best clients. Next, create a demographic profile using your sample. Another approach is to identify a custom profile for a user you think might match the need for your services. Keep in mind you can create more than one demographic profile and run them alongside each other. No matter how many profiles you create, you must define what that client looks like on paper so you can best match the target user to the options your paid media opportunity provides.
You can identify different checkpoints throughout your campaign where you will monitor campaign performance. You can use this time to measure which demographics are responding the most or least to your campaign so you can make adjustments to your strategy. You can choose different time triggers to stop one profile/ad group from running if it doesn’t hit predefined benchmarks.
- Paid media should be highly measured.
It’s important to know if the key performance indicators (KPIs) involved in your paid campaign are based on impressions, engagement, candidates, or sales opportunities. If you’re participating in a paid campaign, you will need to report these KPIs to internal stakeholders. Of critical importance is knowing the correct terminology and which KPIs are important to which report. If you know the meaning of the KPIs you’re using, every single KPI should tell you a story.
WHAT ARE THE TOP PAID MEDIA BEST PRACTICES?
- Set a budget for expense/ROI purposes.
Decide how much you’ve allocated for your integrated marketing campaign. Define the amount you’re willing to spend to achieve the results you want. Make sure to more than double your marketing expenditure as a benchmark revenue goal for the integrated marketing campaign.
If I know that our professional services/B2B service line needs to stay flat this year against a prior year’s revenue goals, as a marketer I know that I need to at least replicate the campaign strategy that was performed in previous years. If I want to grow the business, I know that I have to level up the campaign strategy in order to meet that objective. Integrated marketing campaigns are an excellent way to achieve financial growth in a challenging economic market and a great way to produce a measurable ROI.
- Automate how you use paid media to interact with potential clients
Once you have built a campaign that works or performs well, you can scale up to meet higher revenue goals or scale down if you surpass your internal goals for specific silos or segments of your business. The point is this: Once you can capitalize on something that works, you essentially have a “dial” or “control” built that can impact the bottom line of your business at will. Some marketers might even refer to this as gamifying and personalizing your marketing strategies.
- Tell your business’ stories about what you do and why and how you’ve overcome failures.
Our favorite thing to do with any company or brand we engage with is to tell a story online for them and for their clients to engage with. We do this so that they can impact their potential customers with relevant messages they can follow and consume in bite size chunks. We keep an eye on the content we are promoting online to ensure that our campaign strategy is reaching all the segments of their business that we would like to impact.
Social media requires frequent posting in order to stay engaged with your audiences. You can stretch these marketing stories as far out as you can to take full advantage of the content you create.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST PAID MEDIA MISTAKES AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS?
- Testing more than one variable at a time.
A/B testing is a crucial step in placing a digital media buy. However, remember to test only one variable at a time; otherwise you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. If you’re concerned that your ad copy isn’t resonating with your audience, it will be impossible to identify that as the breakdown if you’re also testing the media changes simultaneously.
- Delivering exactly the same message across multiple channels.
One of the biggest mistakes we see brands make when it comes to paid media is not giving each individual channel a unique message. Your customers should have the opportunity to follow you on each paid channel for a unique reason. For instance, you might post relevant service-related marketing research on Instagram, but on LinkedIn you might post company culture messaging if your firm would like to reach potential job candidates. Segmenting your messaging into separate communication silos is very helpful when you’re trying to fine tune your messaging strategy.
- Forgetting to share and celebrate their successes.
We often remind clients to measure their results. Why? Because no matter how small the success, the results will give you (as the marketer) good reason to reach out and win over your internal stakeholders. If your ad has produced even moderate success, report it to upper management and stakeholders.
Keeping stakeholders up to date gives more weight to your marketing efforts and engages you in a dialogue that could spark new ideas or alert you to information you didn’t know existed. It might also give you the opportunity to explain a nuance of your campaign strategy in a more detailed fashion. We have found that upper management has a lot of history and knowledge when it comes to company operations. But when it comes to tactical application of new ideas and concepts, upper management might not know every nuance of your strategy. If you’re able to articulate your strategy to upper management, they can offer assistance to help you fill in gaps you may encounter along the way.
WHAT IS SHARED MEDIA?
Shared media is any type of promotional content that is shared to a group of people in order to reach new or existing customers or audiences that may be interested in your business’ services or products.
WHAT ARE THE TOP SHARED MEDIA BEST PRACTICES?
- Solve your audience’s problem—help them!
Do you know the main business challenges of your target audiences? If you don’t, you may need to take a step back and perform market research in order to find out the answer to that question. If you do know the answer, making sure that your content is relevant to your audience’s needs and problems is the first step in getting proper engagement on shared social media platforms. It’s also the first step in making sure you win over your website visitors and convert them into clients or employees.
- A visual story is always better.
Whether that visual is painted in your mind with good story telling or it’s based on a graphic or video you saw, people consume concepts and understand them when they are accompanied by pictures/images/video. They become sticky to our minds and that is precisely where you want your marketing message to resonate. Taking the time to create that image for your buyer is important.
- Use relevant hashtags.
Some people argue that using too many hashtags negatively affects what you’re sharing. That’s not always true. By including hashtags, you’re giving the consumer a way to follow your content by topic. It’s ok if your content crosses over and is relevant to various topics. Making sure to include the hashtags that place your content in these topics is important.
It’s also important to be consistent with your hashtag usage. Save the ones that you use most frequently so that you can reuse them time and time again. All of the social media platforms have sections of their platform where they aggregate content for their users to peruse. These areas are:
- TikTok: ForYou Page
- Instagram: Explore Page
- Facebook: Newsfeed
- LinkedIn: Newsfeed
- Twitter: Explore
- YouTube: New To You (dated 7/21)
Using hashtags helps your firm’s shared content show up in your target audience’s preferred social media placement.
When using email, TV commercials, billboard advertisements, or other forms of shared media, it’s important to include hashtags so that offline conversations can be pulled together online by the hashtag’s usage.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST SHARED MEDIA MISTAKES AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS?
- Budgeting little to no time for creating collateral
Rushing too close to the finish line when creating promotional content is the biggest mistake with shared media. We are all guilty of it. However, sometimes it’s better to miss the opportunity than to misstep the opportunity. When you’re producing shared media such as videos, emails, written messages and graphics, it’s important to allow yourself as the marketer to think through how all those pieces work together. If you don’t have time to map them onto a promotional calendar, you have not given yourself enough time.
- Sharing too much too quickly. Break your messages into smaller, bite-sized chunks
Particularly on social media, but even on your website and in your customers’ inboxes, people are busy. They do not have time to scroll through an endless litany that shows how knowledgeable you’re. You need to boil your message down to sound bites. Sound bites are quick, insightful, and memorable. They need to be associated with imagery, audio and/or video so that they stick in your audience’s mind.
- Not breaking the shared media portion of your integrated campaign into launch phases
What is a launch date and why would you use one? A launch date is a date you have pinpointed on your calendar that you, as a marketer, will begin to market your idea, service line or product. To begin breaking up your campaign into launch phases, identify your launch date. Now go backwards from that date two months. This period will be considered your pre-launch period. Going forward from that date is considered your post-launch period. All three launch phases, as we like to call them, are part of your shared media campaign. This shared media portion of your integrated campaign will last at least four months.
From there, identify how much content you would like to share weekly. What would you like your cadence/frequency to be? Take into account how long it might take a website visitor to convert into an MQL (marketing qualified lead). If you’re selling a service line that is expensive or complex, perhaps your audience will need more time to acclimate to the idea of engaging with your professional services firm and this service line.
WHAT TOOLS CAN YOU USE TO ENSURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR INITIATIVES?
TRACKING & ATTRIBUTION TOOLS
Google Analytics: Having proper tracking and attribution methods in place before the campaigns begin is critical. This is so that you can properly track the effectiveness of each arm of your integrated marketing campaign and make adjustments while the campaigns are running. For instance, you may see that an email subject line is underperforming and need to run an A/B test to improve email open rates. Or you may see that your paid media ads on one social platform are not improving and as such, you need to cut some of them or make adjustments to the bidding strategy to improve their performance. Without proper tracking and attribution, you would never know that any of these marketing problems existed and you would not be able to remedy them.
Putting it all together: the High Growth Study Integrated Marcoms Campaign
EARNED MEDIA CAMPAIGN
The earned marketing campaign has two objectives:
- Generate interest in the study itself
- Obtain placements for Hinge visible experts
To obtain earned media, we executed the following tactics.
First, we developed an educational press release that focused on the four main competitive advantages of the fastest growing firms: expert talent, business process automation, advanced marketing techniques, and data-driven strategies. The press release read like a news article on the study’s most fascinating findings, rather than a plug for either the study or Hinge Research Institute. Moreover, we built in soundbites throughout the release to offer journalists and bloggers material they could readily use.
INTERVIEWS AND GUEST ARTICLES
Second, we reached out to bloggers, journalists, podcasters, and publications with tailored messages describing how the study linked to trends and why the story was a good fit for their audience. This effort resulted in interviews and guest articles, each one differentiated in content from the rest by drawing on different data from the study.
Herein lies the many benefits of using research as content. One, it offers rich, unique data that can form the basis of articles. Two, it offers industry insights you and your audience can use. In the B2B world, people keep an eye out for data they can use to make the right calls. Research studies demonstrate you have insights they need and help build your authority and visibility as an expert.
Third, we reached out to industry associations whose members we knew wanted—and needed—lessons from their industry’s fast growing firms about how to lead through an uncertain marketplace where the only constant was disruption. These associations offered speaking opportunities at in-person and online events.
Fourth, we used speaking engagements as opportunities to generate interest in next year’s annual survey. Larger participant numbers convey the research report’s credibility, leading to more interest in accessing the study, as well as in participating in future studies.
OWNED MARKETING CAMPAIGN
THE LANDING PAGE
We created a landing page for users that highlights everything included in the study. We included an overview, a “what the user will learn,” and a breakdown of the sample. To access the premium research quickly, users only had to provide their name and email address.
Tip: Only ask for what is necessary at this stage. Asking for too much information will lead to lower conversion rates. We recommend no more than Name, Email, and Industry.
We created a series of blog posts explaining the highlights and insights from the data in the study. Each article focused on keyword targets that may be picked up by search engines for enhanced reach.
Tip: Look for keywords with higher search volumes and lower difficulty levels, but do not force irrelevant keywords into your blog title.
We produced and scheduled a series of live webinars with at least two of our subject-matter experts, each one taking a deep dive into the data. The webinars allowed, if not encouraged, participants to comment and pose questions throughout. They also helped participants not only make sense of the study’s results but also demonstrated how participants could use the insights to make informed business decisions.
Tip: Be sure to record the webinar so you can turn the live webinar into an on-demand recording also available for download on your website after the live event.
All of these pieces of owned media can then be shared with your email list in the upcoming months of the original study release. Email has been shown to be the most effective way to drive engagement and consumption of research. Email will also be effective to drive registrations to your free webinars.
PAID MARKETING CAMPAIGN
The objectives of the paid marketing campaign were to:
- Drive professional services industry leaders (through web traffic) to complete the marketing research survey.
- Produce more visibility and product awareness around the upcoming Hinge 2022 High Growth Research Study.
- Increase news organization awareness of the Hinge 2022 High Growth Research Study.
- We wanted marketing professionals in the professional services industry to see and be made aware of our report. We wanted marketers to know how they could use the findings of the research report for marketing content for their firms.
The results of the first objective were that we were able to produce a number of professional services respondents to the marketing survey. 1150 firms were represented in the marketing research study. They represented $216 billion in combined B2B revenue dollars.
The results of the second objective were that our web traffic to the specific pages we were advertising and elevating received 33.56% more traffic the previous year when we were marketing the 2021 High Growth Study.
This rise in web traffic impacted email subscribers as well. By placing numerous offers throughout our website to encourage downloads of the report, we were able to gain 790 unique new email subscribers. Offers were placed on our homepage, main blog page, featured in our library, and within relevant blog posts.
(Homepage offer example above)
The results of the third objective were that the educational press release went to the wire and we had over 300 pickups by news organizations. Although many marketers balk at the idea of press releases, when written in a style that’s non-promotional and more educational, press releases can drive traffic to a firm’s website and lead to earned media.
The results of the fourth objective were that we were able to drive traffic to the individual landing page of the market research report. The screenshot below shows one social media channel, LinkedIn, that placed ads to advertise the market research study. The results show that we were well over benchmark for many of the KPIs we were tracking—specifically, click through rate.
SHARED MARKETING CAMPAIGN
The objectives of the shared marketing campaign were similar to those of the paid marketing campaign. We essentially “share”, pun intended, the same objectives. To recap, those were:
- Entice professional services industry leaders to complete the marketing research survey.
- Produce more visibility and product awareness around the upcoming Hinge 2022 High Growth Research Study.
- Increase news organization awareness of the study
- We wanted people in the professional services industry to see and be made aware of our report. We wanted them to know what they could do with the findings.
The important thing to note for the shared media campaign is that we received a lift in our engagement rate on our social profiles. This created “engaged” audience members and email subscribers. It also caused website traffic to spike during the promotion. Last, we received a record number of 110 button clicks on our LinkedIn profile, a 23.6% lift over the previous period.
Here you can see that our target demographic of marketing professionals were the largest chunk of the visitors to our LinkedIn page for the two months we were running our integrated marketing campaign. Typically, business development is the largest industry segment that visits our LinkedIn profile.
We also are starting to receive more activity through short form video content on TikTok stories, YouTube shorts, and Instagram reels.
A Final Thought
The challenges of gaining online visibility are mounting. The world’s most widely used search engines and social media platforms continue to adjust their algorithms in ways that keep users on their sites.
Strategies that once worked wonders will likely prove less effective against the algorithm changes. What does work is an integrated marketing communications strategy centered on distributing key messages and meeting users where they are, combining owned, earned, paid, and shared media.
But to get integrated marketing communications campaigns right, firms will need access to skilled, seasoned talent that knows what success looks like and how to achieve it.