19 June 2014
The essence of your brand should always remain the same, but today’s choice of media channels will either allow you more or less control over your message.
Owned media is the content that your high-end interior brand has complete control over such as the corporate website, blogs, communities, email newsletters as well social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Owned media initiatives typically target to your brand’s existing community and/or current customers. Many believe that owned media is free, specifically managing social media accounts. And while there is a sliver of truth to that, the time and labor investment is worth noting. Time is money.
Paid media is often considered to be “traditional advertising” usually targeting prospects in an effort to create brand awareness or new customer acquisition. One of the reasons paid advertising is still so seductive for marketers, is that it’s the only brand space that is completely, utterly controllable. Every detail of a paid ad or video can be lovingly crafted and meticulously examined. You own the message, the timing and the target. The other great thing about paid media is that scales really fast. If you have a message that you want to be seen by the mass market, paid media is the right channel to do that.
After that, marketers face a spectrum of options that erode your control, even while they multiply your audience.
Once you agree to editorial placement in a high-end interiors magazine for trade or consumer, you give up the first degree of control. If you know the editorial source, you can trust the overall content to be reasonably on message. But still, the details are now in someone else’s hands.
Once you agree to pay for product placement on TV or in a movie, you lose even more control. Perhaps there was a concept pitched and a script offered, but who knows what you’re really buying into until it’s on film? It could be a hit, a flop, likeable or shudder inducing. Either way, there’s your product for all to see.
Earned media is the natural result of public/media relation’s efforts, ad campaigns, events and the content that you create within your owned media channels. It is not really a revolutionary concept either. For the last several decades, brands have been hiring PR firms to reach out to the media in order to get them to write stories about the brand.
Today, that has expanded to influencers who have popular blogs as well. When someone not associated with your brand mentions you on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media channel, it’s earned media. Other types of earned media include consumers’ social media posts, tweets, product reviews, videos, photos, and open dialogue within online communities. Now it’s a dialogue with the general public and you have almost no control.
Smart high-end interior brands understand that social conversations require fast responses, a sensitive voice and as much corporate transparency as possible. Still, at best, social media is an unpredictable forum that requires sharing your brand message with thousands of other voices.
For most high-end interior brands, a mix of media is crucial. Paid media still matters to make the brand story clear and compelling. Editorial placement and endorsements give you third-party credibility. Product placements offer surprise and a certain cool factor. Finally, social media gives you a chance to make friends with your customers and admirers for life.
While each of these channels will play a critical role in your content strategy, the real power is when you can integrate two or more of the channels into one campaign or initiative. This is referred to as converged media, combining old and new media together, but it still depends on budget, brand awareness, the size of your target and how passionate your products make them feel. That’s meant that some smart brand owners have stopped budgeting by media and marketing discipline and started allocating their marketing money by business challenges. However, the more you can surround your consumer with synergistic brand messages in every media, the more your high-end interior brand will matter.