Digital 101: Digital Media Classifications

Digital Media Classifactions
Digital Media Classifications

Digital 101: Digital Media Classifications

A beginner’s guide to different types of digital media

Once you’ve located your target audience and determined how to reach them, it’s time for the fun part: the creative! The best ad formats for your campaign will largely depend on your messaging, but you should also consider the audience you’re targeting and the placements you’re purchasing.

When talking about digital advertising tactics, we use a matrix of targeting options (programmatic, contextual, social, and search intent) and ad formats (display, video, native, and audio) to create highly descriptive classifications like “programmatic video” and “endemic display” to optimize ads.

This cheat sheet (click to download) offers a quick definition of each classification. These encompass the most common digital ad formats at a high level, but can be adapted to classify other types of unique units.Digital Media Classifications

Programmatic

  • Programmatic Display – Static or animated ads targeted to the right audience across the web
  • Programmatic Video – Video ads targeted to the right audience across the web
  • Programmatic Native – Ads that look like a piece of content on the page (think: the advertorials of digital), targeted to the right audience across the web
  • Programmatic Native Video – Native video ads that match the format of video content on a page, targeted to the right audience across the web
  • Programmatic Audio – Audio ads targeted to the right audience across the web. They can run across streaming audio content, such as Spotify, Pandora, or sports broadcasts
  • OTT/Connected TV – Video ads targeted to the right audience across a variety of OTT streaming (without cable) services and devices

Contextual

  • Endemic Display – Static or animated display ads within category-specific sites
  • Endemic Video – Video or animated display ads within category-specific content
  • Endemic Social – Static or animated display ads promoted on category-specific social pages
  • Endemic Social Video – Video or animated display ads promoted on category-specific social pages
  • eNews – Ads within a publisher’s eNewsletter content, or a dedicated eBlast to their subscribers
  • Non-Endemic Display – Static or animated display ads within the content of a specific site. This is a contextual buy on a specific site that’s not related to the brand category
  • Non-Endemic Video – Video ads within the content of a specific site. This is a contextual buy on a specific site that’s not related to the brand category
  • Podcasts – These ads are usually a live read by the host and non-skippable, so more engaging than a regular audio ad. Sometimes they are accompanied by a display banner. They can be purchased via a network where you advertise in bulk with a group of podcasts on a particular topic or that hit a certain demographic

Social

  • Social Display – Static or animated display ads promoted by a brand’s page to a specific audience
  • Social Video – Video ads promoted by a brand’s page to a specific audience

Search Intent

  • Search – Advertising within the results of a search engine query based on the keyword
  • Google Display Network (GDN) – Display or video ads targeted to the right audience across Google’s network of sites​. They are similar to programmatic ads since Google’s network is so large, but they’re keyword and bid-based
  • YouTube – Video or display ads on YouTube promoted by a brand’s account to a specific audience

In our next post we’ll review how to track and engage with the audience using cookies.

R+K’s Maggie Mattheessen, Digital Supervisor, Paid Media, contributed to this post. If you would like to learn more about optimizing your creative media assets for different channels, contact our Business Development Director gtomaro@rkconnect.com.

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Digital 101: What is digital targeting?

Digital Targeting
Digital Targeting

Digital 101: What is digital targeting?

How to find the right digital audience for your ads

We’ve covered the privacy changes at Google and Apple extensively on this blog, including the impetus for phasing out 3rd-party cookies on Chrome, Apple requiring apps to obtain user permission before tracking IDFA, and what the changes mean for advertisers. But many of our readers who are not in the trenches of paid media may still be saying, “wait, what are cookies and how do they work?” or asking, “then what are my audience targeting options?” So, we decided to take a step back and get back to the basics.

In the next few posts, we’ll review types of data, digital media, and digital targeting, including 3rd party data alternatives that still allow for targeted advertising. We hope the information will be helpful as we adapt to the fast-changing digital world.

We’ll begin with the concept of digital targeting to find the audience most likely to engage with your brand. The following primary digital activation categories align with distinct targeting methods.

Digital Targeting

  1. Programmatic: Runs anywhere the target audience is found. These are the ads that appear because they are purchased in an aggregated, automated way.
  2. Contextual: Runs on specific websites or content based on the topics that you know are important to the audience you’re trying to reach. When they’re category-specific (e.g. agriculture), we call them endemic, but they can also be other site-direct buys, like aligning with weather content.
  3. Social: Identified through sharing and dialogue, but also user-supplied information.
  4. Search or Intent: Targets hand-raisers based on biddable keywords.

This brings us to data – the valuable tool that makes targeting possible. While some of this data can be layered with other tactics, it is most largely applied in programmatic to purchase a highly specific audience.

  • Geo – IP address data makes geo-targeting possible, ensuring that your message runs only in a specific geography. Geo-targeting can be done broadly at a state level or narrowly by zip code. This is not the same as geo-fencing, which sets a tight perimeter around a defined location or set of locations and serves ads to users once they have entered the fence (and after) based on data derived from GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, or cellular data.
  • 1st party – Also called advertiser data, 1st party data is information that a brand collects directly from their customers or site visitors and activates on for the purpose of retargeting site visitors with personalized ads. 1st party data is considered the most valuable data because it comes directly from the source, so you know it’s accurate and, because it comes straight from your audience, you know it’s relevant to your business. Another benefit of 1st party data is that there are minimal privacy concerns because you know exactly what permissions were agreed to.
  • 2nd party – Also called publisher data, 2nd party data is someone else’s first party data. Similar to the data an advertiser might have, publishers have data about their own customers or subscribers and those who visit their website. That is the value exchange for accessing free content. Because 2nd party data is purchased directly from the company that owns it , there is quality transparency.
  • 3rd party – This data is information collected by a non-affiliated website or service that is then aggregated and sold. A large amount of 3rd party data is collected by ad tech vendors tracking users across websites via cookies and aggregating behavioral information to sell to advertisers. Other data may be based on surveys, purchases, or search keywords. The big downside with 3rd party data is that there is less transparency because you don’t always know how it was sourced or defined, it’s not exclusive, and the quality can be hit or miss. There is high quality data out there, but you have to be careful when selecting vendors to find out exactly what data they’re using as their sources.

An effective digital campaign will likely include a mix of multiple data types, depending on the objective. First-party data is best for customer retention and cross-selling, and 2nd and 3rd party data can identify prospects and increase reach. Meaningful impact requires a truly integrated approach, where a solid creative strategy inspires compelling messaging that anchors a campaign and resonates with the target audience.

In our next post we’ll review digital media classifications: the types of digital ads you can run once you’ve identified and located your audience.

R+K’s Maggie Mattheessen, Digital Supervisor, Paid Media, contributed to this post. If you would like to learn more about how Rhea + Kaiser can help put your brand in front of its target audience, contact our Business Development Director gtomaro@rkconnect.com.

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Remote Possibilities: What We’ve Learned in One Year of Working from Home

Working from Home

Remote Possibilities: What We’ve Learned in One Year of Working from Home

On our remote work anniversary, we review the surprising and valuable lessons we’ve gained

On April 28, 2020 we posted about what we had learned in six weeks of working from home. We couldn’t have imagined then the long haul ahead of us. Today, one year after the reality of COVID-19 set in and Rhea + Kaiser went fully remote, we look back on what has in some ways been a blur, and in other ways a defining moment in our lives.

From a professional standpoint, we all began our remote work experience with some skepticism and trepidation. Would we be able to maintain the same level of productivity without the ability to convene in person? How would we stay focused with all the distractions of home life? Could we find our creative energy in isolation? Would our relationships suffer when all communication relied on technology? Only time would tell.

Today we reflect on one year (and counting) operating as a fully virtual agency. Though we look forward to reuniting in the office, we also recognize what we gained when we were forced to adapt. Here are some of the unexpected bright spots that shone through the chaos.

Collaboration

We have always tried to view our clients and partners as an extension of our team, and strived to be considered an extension of theirs, but changing the way we work brought us closer than ever to that reality.

Our newfound proficiency with Microsoft Teams fueled new methods of collaboration. Chat messages with internal team members now live alongside those with external contacts. Seamless screen and file sharing make us feel like we’re sitting around a table together. And video calls promote a level of participation unmatched in typical phone conference calls.

What we lost in the inability to drop by a coworker’s office with a reminder or pass out a status sheet for a team, we gained in organization and project management skills that will continue to foster collaboration and efficiency when we’re back in the office.  

Humanity

Family members get sick. Children whine. Dogs bark. Furnaces fail. These realities of our private lives are not new, yet it took a pandemic for us to realize we don’t have to hide them. The backdrop of our personal lives is inescapable in remote work. Through this new perspective we gained a tolerance and understanding of natural disruptions, as well as a sense of being in this together.

One R+Ker put it perfectly when she said “this year brought humanity back to the workplace.” We have enjoyed getting a peek into each other’s lives, and the reminder that we are more than just our professional titles. We are all human. Whether it’s the needs of young children or day-to-day errands, we all realize and respect that the things that need attending to don’t have to come at the expense of our productivity or dedication to our jobs.

On the flip side, our professions are now more tangible to our families and roommates. Children see what we do every day when we’re not with them and have a better understanding of important concepts like the value of a job. Spouses and roommates see our workday firsthand and have more context around the stories we tell about our 9 to 5.

Communication

As we adapted to remote work life, “work from home” became “work from anywhere with a good internet connection.” We realized that effective communication is more about the channels and skills than the physical setting, and work from the lake house or a relative’s home can be just as efficient as work from a home office.

Though we appreciate this newfound flexibility, we also miss the human interactions we once took for granted. In the office, relationships naturally develop in the hallways before and after meetings or in the kitchen during afternoon coffee breaks. Without this luxury, we’ve become more mindful of purposefully connecting with one another. We’re more excited and motivated to reach out to colleagues, partners, vendors, journalists, and each other, and we realize the benefit of turning on our video to build relationships and comprehension.

Most importantly, the challenges of the last year have expanded what we communicate about. We have a renewed clarity that our professional work is not what makes the world spin, and each of us has unique struggles from time to time.

Rather than squeezing in a quick hello at the top of a call and diving into the task at hand, the pandemic has reminded us to ask each other how we’re doing and check in with intention. Our shared anxiety about global challenges has made it more natural to ask for help and ask how we can support each other.

Today, the return to “normal” is a glimmer on the horizon. Though it may not look like it did before, we will celebrate our eventual return to the workplace. And while we wouldn’t have wished for the hurdles of the past year, we celebrate the lessons in collaboration, humanity and communication that will enhance our work and private lives in the future.

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Five Things I Learned During Work from Home Country

Working remote from India
Working Remote from India

Five Things I Learned During Work from Home Country

When mandatory remote work is a blessing in disguise

Working remote from India

Of all the things that went viral in the year 2020 (pun intended, of course), “Work from Home” seemed to prompt innumerable notions and opinions, and many hashtags of course. At R+K, like many agencies, working from home was fairly uncommon prior to COVID, but was immediately adopted in March 2020. The challenges and isolation of the quick transition to remote work caused anxiety and stress at first, but eventually became the new normal.

Of course, we all miss meeting our colleagues for coffee breaks, but the flexibility of working from your own space can bring new and exciting experiences. With time we all figured out a way to make remote work productive. In my case, I made it work from another country. From November 4 to December 7, I worked remotely from my home country of India. Here are five things I learned through the experience.

1. Ask anyway.
With the growing panic over the pandemic around the world, I yearned to visit my family back home in India. I was hesitant to broach it with my supervisor who, like everybody else, was dealing with the casualties of balancing work and home life in this new environment. But to my surprise, she reacted positively and even encouraged me to go ahead with the decision. Had I not asked, I would have missed out on a great opportunity.

2. Settle in and trust the process.
In any new scenario, don’t rush to perfect everything at once. I took time planning my trip and schedule and always kept my supervisor informed on my travel dates and time zones. When I arrived in India I took a week off to settle down, recuperate, and put on my designer hat to design my temporary workspace. Then I was ready to go! A new work environment can be daunting at first, but it always becomes familiar quicker than you think. Having a favorite plant, pen stand, or a family portrait from your old workspace can go a long way toward making you feel comfortable.

3. Smell the routine.
Following the same morning rituals and creating familiar smells can help get you mentally on track in a new environment. While I was in India, I didn’t do anything without my morning coffee, just like at home. Working between time zones, I even decided there is no right or wrong time for a coffee (not even 8 pm)! I recommend working out your time zones and setting reminders for the first few days to get accustomed to your new routine and what your colleagues might be experiencing on their end. During the process, ask questions and strive for updated feedback every day.

4. Never compare. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Tuck away your thoughts of self-doubt and give yourself a chance to grow. Performance pressure and comparisons can be frustrating, especially when everyone is adjusting to new work environments with varying hurdles to overcome. Remember you are doing just fine with what’s on your unique plate, and so is everybody else. Focus on your own situation and how you can make the best of it. Ask questions, maintain regular check-ins with your team and supervisor, and hey – a virtual party never hurts!

5. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Our scientists are striving every day to defeat the pandemic, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not over yet, but hope is on the horizon. In the meantime, cherish working from your cozy space and the other flexibilities remote work has allowed. You never know what you’ll miss when you’re back in the office.

working remote from India

With good communication, the possibilities for what may work for you are endless. I am thankful for my supervisor and teammates who always had my back and enabled me to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m grateful to have ended 2020 on such a high note with the fantastic R+K team and family by my side. This is my pandemic story, and I would not have it any other way.

My closing advice is to take a break, breathe, and amaze yourself with the possibilities of cans over cants. And don’t forget to mask up!

By Afsha Iqbal, Digital Traffic Coordinator

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Apple Picks a Fight for Fun and Profit

Apple Privacy
Apple Privacy

Apple Picks a Fight for Fun and Profit

Three ways technology giant Apple benefits from the privacy controversy

We recently wrote about the impending Apple iOS 14 privacy updates which, with the goal of providing more transparency and privacy control for iPhone users, will severely limit advertiser targeting. As we prepped the blog post to publish, a colleague questioned why Apple would do this in a way that caused so much uproar, creating conflict with advertisers, developers, and other influential companies like Facebook. My answer? Why wouldn’t they?!

A refresher: 

  • Companies like Facebook and Google make money by selling ads; their products are free.
  • Apple makes money by selling (expensive) products; they (mostly) don’t sell ads.

For Apple, a company deeply invested in the privacy controversy as a marketing strategy, the conflict is a “win” as it furthers their desired position in the minds of consumers and the marketplace. It was Apple’s Tim Cook who famously reminded us in a 2014 open letter “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

The concept isn’t new. It’s how the broadcast industry existed for years. Unlike in some regions (the United Kingdom for one), broadcast TV and Radio have always been completely free in the US.  Broadcasters made money by selling their audiences to advertisers.

Apple has tried advertising and it hasn’t worked out. But most analysts would agree they’re doing pretty well right now without it. When they do need to revisit the ad-supported model, they’ll try again, on their terms. But for now, Apple sells shiny expensive hardware and services.

Facebook and Google also sell hardware – I own some and love it, but the great waterfalls of cash that rain down on those companies come from selling all the data they have on you.

Because Apple is not terribly invested in mining your data, they can lean into the idea of privacy. They own enough of their ecosystem that building its walls a little higher can be spun into a customer-friendly innovation and market-defying differentiator. In this position, they win in three ways: 

  1. They can adjust iOS 14 and rightly say they are handing their customers more control over their data and privacy.
  2. They start shining a spotlight on the business practices of their big-tech competitors, which don’t often do well in the spotlight.
  3. Facebook understandably throws a tantrum, giving Apple’s new privacy initiative a ton of free publicity.

There are many other fascinating and revealing dynamics, many of which are well outside my wheelhouse. For instance, tech developers have mostly lined up with Facebook, who has volunteered to go to battle for them. That’s not a small thing. Apple depends on those developers for their customer experience. But the Facebook/developer alliance presents a natural contrast to an Apple/consumer alliance. That’s a publicity win for Apple as well.

Unlike many of our blog posts, this post is opinion-based, so I’ll close with one more. I believe Apple is making the right bet and time will reveal Facebook, Google, and other free internet services to be on the wrong side of many issues. In the near future, there will be no more convincing consumers to sacrifice their privacy. In the battle over protecting consumer privacy versus collecting more personal information, the eventual winner is clear. That’s a fourth “win” for Apple.

By Grant Cassiday, Executive Director, Paid Media

 

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Here’s Why Clients Should Love B2B Programmatic

B2B Programmatic
B2B Podcast

Here’s Why Clients Should Love B2B Programmatic

If your clients worry about tracking audiences to target their digital ads, here’s something to put their minds at ease.

Tracking is a fact of internet life. We may feel a little uncomfortable about it in theory, but in practice it doesn’t keep us from launching our browsers and visiting one site after another.

Nevertheless, for B2B advertisers, it’s natural to worry about what customers might think about being tracked. Customers expect to see business-related ads on industry websites, but as soon as those ads appear on ESPN.com or their local weather app, they know they’re being followed.

That client concern is, in fact, a positive sign, revealing their customer-first approach—which is as it should be. And while their worries are valid, the pluses of programmatic advertising may put their minds at ease.

What Makes an Ad Programmatic?

You can show your digital display ads to a B2B audience through direct buys on industry websites (endemic advertising), or you can target your audience programmatically. A programmatic buy reaches an industry’s audience regardless of the websites being viewed, and appears to the right people in an unrelated editorial environment.

Essentially, it’s an automated process of buying and selling digital ad inventory through an exchange connecting advertisers to publishers. It allows advertisers to target a specific audience based on geography, interests, behavior, web history, etc. and reach them wherever they are online.

Programmatic’s Three Big Pluses

Programmatic is an opportunity for B2B advertisers to expand their digital footprint far beyond the narrow reach of endemic industry websites (also known as vertical websites). Those sites are highly relevant to customers, but their reach is limited to small audiences made up of monthly unique visitors. Not only that, but many industry websites may not see engagement with monthly unique users on a consistent daily or weekly basis. Ad campaign messages limited to industry sites therefore can miss a sizable portion of the target audience.

So, aside from the limitations of endemic campaigns, what are the key benefits of programmatic advertising?  The easy answer is targeting, efficiency, and performance.

Real-time targeting
Campaigns reach a target on whatever site they choose to visit across the web, upping the chances of getting timely messages in front of current and potential customers.

Cost efficiency
Our 2020 programmatic display ad CPMs range from $2 – $12. Our 2020 CPMs for display ads on endemic sites range from $10- $250.

Marketing performance
For the B2B programmatic campaigns we managed in 2019, click-through-rate performance was 52% higher on average vs. endemic sites. Also, endemic cost-per-click was over 7x higher than programmatic.

How do Audiences Really Feel?

Despite the limitations of endemic advertising and the benefits of programmatic ads, the key issue remains: How does a B2B audience feel about seeing ads for their business on non-business sites? And how do they react when they’re using the web for their own entertainment on their own time, only to see your B2B ad?

Here at R+K, we’ve run years of programmatic campaigns for B2B clients investing in digital advertising, and honestly, we haven’t seen any customer backlash. For one client specifically, we’ve purchased hundreds of millions of programmatic impressions for dozens of different B2B brands over the past year, and not once has any agency, client, or publisher partner experienced customer complaints around ad targeting or customer tracking.

That said, internet users who strongly object to having their activity tracked for advertising purposes always have the option of updating their privacy settings to block tracking cookies. This, too, has its benefits, since advertisers can remove people from their audience pool who are least likely to engage with their ads.

B2B audiences are digitally savvy people. They understand they’re being targeted with digital advertising whenever they go online, open an app, or visit social media. In our experience, the vast majority of business professionals have grown to accept this practice and don’t find it overly intrusive. The fact that people click on programmatic B2B ads at a rate that’s 52% higher on average than endemic sites definitely supports that conclusion.

Visit Marketing to Farmers for more R+K knowledge about endemic vs. programmatic advertising. Have questions about how programmatic advertising could enhance your marketing program? Contact R+K Business Development Director Gino Tomaro at gtomaro@rkconnect.com.

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Break the Cement Ceiling in Construction by Marketing to Women

Women in Construction
Women in Construction

Break the Cement Ceiling in Construction by Marketing to Women

Why male-dominated industries like construction should change the way they market to women.

In the United States, full-time professional women still battle to earn wages equal to their male counterparts. Though the gap has narrowed slightly in the last decade, women earn on average just over 80 percent of what men make.1 But there are some bright spots. Women in the construction industry earn 99.1 percent of what their male peers make.1

So why do so few women pursue construction jobs? The answer may lie in how they are marketed. At Rhea + Kaiser, we have a deep interest in construction – from our historical work with household names like Caterpillar, to current marketing strategy for PoreShield, a soy-based concrete durability enhancer used in construction and other projects. We wanted to learn more about the industry’s workforce and help explain this disparity.  

Laura Pager

Gale Construction Company President Laura Pager says the field is misrepresented. “I don’t think women realize there are good-paying, 40-hour per week jobs you can raise a family on in construction,” she explains.

Gale Construction is a SBA 8(a) Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) General Contractor. Pager founded the company with friend Mike Gale in 1996. Today, she is the sole owner. They made their intro into the industry through small residential projects and municipal work. Bid by bid, they learned how to go after larger projects. Today, they almost exclusively manage federal projects out of six states and the District of Columbia, through offices in Joliet, Illinois; Maryland; Florida and one soon to open in St. Louis. Their biggest job to date supports the Army Corps in Florida.

“If you can do an Army Corps job, you can do anything.” Pager says, explaining the daunting procedures and paperwork behind federal contracts. “I didn’t know I was as tenacious as I am. I couldn’t have imagined in 1996 that I would enjoy the construction industry this much.”

As of December 2018, less than 10 percent of construction employees were women.2 Pager says the field is misrepresented to women, who do not realize there are desirable job opportunities in construction – even out in the field. “If you are a laborer, the work is physically difficult. But I have found over the years that women are better equipment operators than men. They are good with the machines, they are good truck drivers. Women have a lot of qualities that would make them successful in the trades.”

Pager says there is much room for improvement in the way the construction industry markets to women, and her own experience as a woman has changed the way she markets her business to customers. “I always say that I am a woman-owned construction company; it’s part of my tagline,” she explains. “I’m small business certified and certified as a WOSB, so contracting officers get credit for working with me.”

When she first entered the construction industry in the late ‘90s, Pager was mistaken for the stenographer in business meetings. When she walks onto a job site today, people know she is the prime contractor. Her advice to women who work in or are considering entering traditionally male-dominated fields is to prioritize knowledge and confidence. “As long as you know your business and your capabilities, you’ll put everyone at ease.

Now that she has broken the “cement ceiling,” Pager aspires to increase gender and racial diversity at all levels and roles in her organization and the industry at large. She is the director of the Federation of Women Contractors and has worked with legislators and lobbyists in Springfield and Washington, D.C. to improve female participation in state and federal contracts.

Significant strides will require reframing the way all prospective employees view the industry. “The well is drying up for qualified people who even realize these jobs exist – we need to get the trades back in schools,” Pager warns. She hopes to see continued interest in the field that has brought her professional success and fulfillment.

Pager says construction is challenging, but there is variety that many professionals crave. Most importantly, she adds, the community imprint is tangible. “I love that I can go back to an old job that we physically built – I can see it, touch it, feel it and walk on it. It is a very prideful thing.”

For more information about Laura Pager and Gale Construction, visit http://www.galeconstructioncompany.com/.

Gale Construction Company

[1] https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-databook/2019/home.htm

[2] National Association of Women in Construction

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Earning a Place in the Public Conversation

Earned Media
Earned Media

Earning a Place in the Public Conversation

Earned media goes beyond public relations to include opportunities to increase mind share.

When we announced the new R+K agency structure last year – reorganized to focus on paid, owned, and earned media and how we interact with the customer – there were a few questions, a little bit of uncertainty, and a lot of excitement. Personally, I was excited about evolving the way we talk about what we offer, from “public relations” to a focus on what we really achieve, earned media.

After all – explaining Earned Media is a lot easier than the often-nebulous idea of Public Relations. Earned media is what we do to develop relationships and influence opinions toward the goal of greater awareness and positive perception – it’s how we earn the content and coverage that moves the needle in favor of our clients.  

Since I started in this industry more than 20 years ago, I’ve heard many non-PR clients and colleagues ask, “Can we do some PR for this project?” when what they really mean is “Can we do some media relations for this project?” Media relations has traditionally been the foundation of many PR programs. But as communications channels expand and opportunities grow, PR encompasses more and more practices.

Earning a Place in the Conversation

By looking at our department through the lens of Earned Media, we ensure plans are comprehensive and strategic – not just a bunch of independent tactics that are called a plan because they’re strewn together in a single presentation.

When we think about earned media, we expand the goal from where we can get media coverage to where we can earn mindshare. Some of the same channels are used by our colleagues in paid media. The difference is in how they are accessed. Earned media is achieved through one of the tenets of media relations – relationship building, rather than through paid promotion or a media buy.

Earned Media Can Be….

  • Social Media – When consumers are inspired to post about your brand on their channels.
  • SEO – When organic web content boosts your brand’s search ranking
  • Influencer Relations – When the positive perception of your brand entices influencers and bloggers to communicate about it
  • Customer Reviews – When customers advocate for your brand at no cost to the brand
  • Word of Mouth – When customers advocate for your brand to each other
  • Media Relations – When journalists write about your brand at no cost to the brand

Understanding Shared Media

During our restructure, a few people asked where Shared Media lives within our agency Paid-Owned-Earned model. At R+K, we believe Shared shouldn’t live on its own. It’s an aspiration of the earned, owned and even paid channels. In earned media, you earn trust so your target audience will share information about your brand on their channels. With owned media, you share information about your brand your way – on your channels. In paid media, you pay to promote your brand on channels. At R+K, we believe that shared media is content produced from either of these three categories that is then organically shared online.

As communications practices continue to advance and diversify, these definitions will undoubtedly change. The discussion around this evolution helps us continue to grow as practitioners and make us better marketers.  Do you have a different view of earned, owned, paid and shared media? We would love to hear from you on one of our social channels below.

By Amy McEvoy – Head of Earned Media

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Customer-centric Creative Fuels P-O-E Executions

Owned Media
Owned Media

Customer-centric Creative Fuels P-O-E Executions

Crash course in customer-driven owned media philosophy

Great creative is powerful. A well-made ad can make you laugh, or cry or get out your wallet and hand over your hard earned cash. But before that can happen there has to be an idea. And that idea must stem from an insight, rooted in a truth experienced by the customer – that’s where the tension and the interest lie.

When we realigned our departments by Paid, Owned and Earned channels (P-O-E), it was with the goal of putting the customer first. So, what does that mean exactly? It’s simple. Everything we do from planning to concepting to creative execution, is with our client’s customers in mind.

Last month we explained how this focus comes to life through paid media planning. Today, we’re giving you a crash course in how our Owned philosophy reflects our customer-first approach. At R+K, Owned comprises owned channels – such as blogs, social media, and branded materials, but also the creative concepts the fuel them.

P-O-E helps us to uncover insights and truths by encouraging cross-function collaboration throughout the entire process. Our creatives are included from the beginning so we can utilize their most valuable skill – solving problems with engaging solutions. After all, to reach our client’s customers we have to first grab their attention. Otherwise, the strategy, no matter how spot-on, won’t have a chance to make an impact.  

It’s why we strive to develop big ideas born from insights that work in service of the client’s customers and business goals. Then we go to work making sure those ideas can be executed across a variety of channels. This transforms ideas into deliverables such as a video, website or print ad our clients’ customers can engage with.

When each deliverable – no matter how small – is executed with the customer insight in mind, we’re able to reach the customer with relevant messages that capture their attention wherever we meet them. Creative campaigns have greater impact and resonance, and we’re able to make the most of every customer engagement.  

Stay tuned for our fourth and final post about this P-O-E approach. This time, we will walk you through how it is reflected in our Earned Media department.

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