How to Use Paid & Owned Media to Extend the Life of Earned Media Coverage

You worked hard for weeks writing a compelling story, getting approvals, providing interviews and getting a story placed. After all of that hard work you get an outstanding hit in a top publication. Now what? You don’t want that article to just fade away.

Take the engagement data article from @NASA in 2017. In the graph below you can see that it the article reached 21 million people but was declared “dead” only about 6 hours after it went live.

This happens far too frequently for brands. With today’s pace of news, stories slip below the digital fold or off the homepage quickly. And many of these stories are incredibly valuable in driving awareness, generated leads, winning consideration and engaging with prospects and customers.

In SHIFT’s approach to integrated communications, we see stories and content asjust the beginning. We activate campaigns and bring narratives to life across paid, owned, earned and social channels with advanced targeting.

Listed below are some easy ways to amplify your brand’s earned content and extend the life of a PR hit.

Organic social

Once any earned media coverage hits or asset is published, a link to it should be shared on social media. According to PEW research, more and more people are turning to social media for their source of news.

This shouldn’t be a ‘one and down’ post – any valuable media coverage or content assets should be reshared continually while they’re fresh. And the evergreen, top-performing ones should continue to be recirculated down the line.

Bonus level: if you have an employee advocacy program in place where your employees can share thought leadership content within their personal and professional networks, your PR hit will go even farther.

Promoted social posts

Promoting a post is a great compliment to posting organically on a social channel. This option can be more cost effect than more robust paid advertising since you can boost a post for as little at $5. And because the content of the post is earned coverage from a third-party (media site), it’s even more credible than a brand’s own advertising.

The biggest different between a promoted post and a paid ad is the goal. By amplifying your content you’re hoping more people will click the link and read the article and become aware of it. With a paid ad, your goal is typically for someone to take action, like filling out a form or purchasing something.

Content syndication

This tactic is slightly different from promoted posts but has the same spirit of reaching a larger audience. Just like with promoted posts, the difference between a syndication campaign and a paid advertising campaign is the goal. Typically within an article you don’t have a call-to-action (CTA) but rather a link back to the client’s website. The goal of a syndication program is impressions, or people looking at the article to become aware of the client. The advantage of a syndication program is the targeting. Depending on the advertising platform you choose, you can pick the publications where you’d like your article to show up. Alternatively, similar to paid advertising, you can choose to target based on demographics and behavior.

If you’ve worked hard to get a great PR hit, you should also consider some tactics that will help you extend the life of the article. The more people that your article reaches are more opportunities for people to become interested in the brand and ultimately purchase something.

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