Last week, we took a look at Shared Media. The next logical step would be to examine its sibling, Owned Media.
We’re not talking about Rupert Murdoch here, although he certainly does own media. Rather, Owned Media typically refers to content produced in a media-like manner by non-media companies.
Confusing? It doesn’t need to be. After all, you’re reading Owned Media right now. That’s right, Media Bullseye qualifies because at CustomScoop we’re not a media company. We produce this content because it hopefully provides real value to customers and potential customers.
It is important to understand that Owned Media isn’t canned marketing material. Instead, it is content that could stand alone as a legitimate media product. The major difference is that people who are not typically professional journalists produce the content.
In the new media world, blogs represent the most obvious form of Owned Media. Many, if not most, companies now create blog content to reach out to customers, prospects, and others. Twitter and Facebook content created by companies can also be Owned Media in some cases, as long as it isn’t just regurgitating press releases, company announcements, and special offers. Of course, these social outlets have greater value when they become full-fledged Shared Media and engage in conversation rather than just pushing out information.
Despite all the hype about social media, however, Owned Media isn’t a new concept. It has been around for a long time. Airlines, for example, have created in-flight magazines to appeal to the flying public. There’s content in there that adds value to the customer’s experience, but it also helps market the airline’s services indirectly. Ever read an in-flight magazine article about some exotic destination and dream about going there? Hmmm… guess which airline happens to fly there?
Membership organizations have also used Owned Media effectively to build relationships with their constituencies. AAA, AARP, USAA, and all sorts of other acronyms are well-known for the content they produce. Their publications look, feel, and read just like regular magazines and newspapers, but they serve the dual purpose of informing and marketing.
Technology has lowered the barrier to entry for companies to get involved in Owned Media. In fact, a whole industry is growing up around the idea of “content marketing.” My friends CC Chapman and Ann Handley have written a great book on the topic called, appropriately, Content Rules.
The best Owned Media cannot be distinguished from traditional media content. That’s a pretty good indicator that the information adds real value to the audience. When you have achieved that, you have officially become an Owned Media Mogul.