I am naturally a person that uses relational information to better understand (and explain) complex things. This is no different when it comes to SEO and online marketing in general.
One way that many use to remember things is through acronyms, the latest is POEM, Paid, Owned and Earned Media. I wanted to dig in a little and explain what it is and how it is related to your online marketing program.
Paid media consists of your paid marketing or anything that you are placing marketing budget against for delivery of visitors or display of your marketing message. This includes both paid search (PPC) and online display advertising (ODA). Basically, you pay to play in this channel.
Owned media includes all of the pieces that you own or have complete control over. This includes your website, and because of this, it is where search engine optimization (SEO) lives. The distinction with paid search (I know you own your marketing copy and control where your ads are placed) is that you can only indirectly influence to get visitors and display your marketing message. Basically, you have full control over the channel (mostly).
Earned media is your customers are the channel, traditionally this is referred to as word of mouth (WOM), now it is digital WOM. This includes social media because you don’t have to be present for your brand or website to be the topic of conversation. Basically, your customers, supporters and even opposition become the channel.
Ok, I understand this Steve… you aren’t presenting anything new.
The difference between the way we have typically presented is that it is all together as it should be, you can’t pull paid search out of POEM, nor SEO or Social Media. The online landscape continues to change, more rapidly than ever, the lines will continue to blur as time goes on.
This is awesome news for online marketing, you can either look at it as another cost or more things that you have to do to be able to compete online or you can look at this as another way to build really great experiences for your customers that span across channels. Don’t get me wrong, this will continue to make things harder, but I don’t know about you, I didn’t get into this business because it is easy. I love a challenge and this is yet another thing to push those not in it for improving the web out. This is good for all of us.
The only way it will work is if it is coordinated and playing together like a band and a marketing project should be like a great song, sometimes it might be a solo (PPC, SEO or social media) but typically, the best songs have depth and breathe.
So, I guess the only thing you might want to ask yourself is if your marketing efforts are playing together in tune are off playing their own tune?