PESO: A Valuable Marcom Currency

PESO (paid, earned, shared, and owned) media has been a best practice for years. However, most people don’t realize how valuable this well-rounded approach is. When it comes to marcom, it’s important to include all four channels in your strategy because relying on one or two can leave you vulnerable. It’s equally important to understand what makes each channel unique and how it can be measured.


What is paid media?

cell-phone-searchPaid media is the simplest of the four channels to understand. It includes any television, radio, print, and online advertising that you pay for. It’s worth noting that online advertising has a few subcategories.

Pay Per Click (PPC) is a popular form of paid media. Search engine advertising is one of the most common forms of PPC. You can bid on keywords that will be displayed above the organic search results. As the name suggests, you pay every time someone clicks on your ad and is directed to your website.

Banner advertising, though decreasing in popularity and effectiveness, in part due to ad-blocking software, falls into the paid media category. This also includes retargeting, where customers who have bounced off your site are presented with your advertising elsewhere on the web.



Finally, there are sponsored social media posts. Algorithm changes introduced by many social networks have resulted in reduced organic reach, so paying to boost the number of people exposed to ads has increased accordingly.







How to measure paid media

How you measure paid media depends on the platform you advertise on. For PPC, Google AdWords offers analysis of your Google paid campaigns, while Bing Ads covers Yahoo! and Bing. In Google Analytics, paid search, paid social, and display are all separate channels, so you can track which paid campaigns drove traffic to your website and resulted in sales or new leads. For promoted social media posts, analytics is offered by Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.


What is owned media?




Owned media is the content you create and publish on your own channels. This includes social media, websites, blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc. Providing valuable content that is not too heavily self-promotional is the mainstay of owned media for many organizations. Promoting this content on social media is key to distributing it widely.







How to measure owned media

Using all major social network platforms, you can identify which types of content are performing best, and apply those learnings to future campaigns. You can grow your community and drive brand advocacy by discovering the most influential and active fans and nurturing them.

The ultimate goal behind your content and social marketing strategies is not likes and retweets but to move consumers along the buyer journey. You will want to dive into your web analytics software, such as Google Analytics, to understand if your strategy is driving new customers. You can create goals in Google Analytics to understand the channels that are contributing to downloads, sign-ups, demo requests and so on.


What is earned media?

blue-scorpionEarned media consists of all the content and conversation around your brand or product that has been created by somebody else and published somewhere other than your owned channels. It is gained as a result of your efforts in paid and owned. Think of it as the amplification of your activity, as news sites and social media users pick up on your campaigns and help spread the word. Earned media can include press coverage, social media mentions, shares and retweets, product or company reviews, and blog posts authored outside your company. Increasing the visibility and reach of your content through social media engagement will increase your earned media. Earned media is valuable as it tends to be more trusted and credible.


How to measure earned media

Measuring earned media, based on impressions, can give you a sense of how aware your target audience is about your product or service. However, impression analysis does not take into account other behavior, and it counts all media impressions equal. It assumes peoples’ actions are linear from message to purchase. In fact, things like social media, online product reviews, and word of mouth all influence buyer decisions. What’s important is not so much the total impressions, but that they are targeted to the media channel and vehicle favored by your target audience.


What is shared media?

social-mediaUnlike the Field of Dreams: If you build it, they most likely will not come. Google ranks you on whether or not people share your content across social networks. The search engine wants to see that you are consistently creating new content and that people are sharing it among their networks. Three gold stars if people share it on Google+ and if you use video and house it on YouTube. The first step is to make sure the social media share buttons are on your site so it’s easy for visitors to share your content, but you also have to spend time building networks of your own. Don’t go out and try to do that on all of the social networks. Facebook is the most effective for consumer-facing businesses and LinkedIn is for those working business-to-business. Choose the one (or two) networks that best fits your audience and start there.

How to measure shared media

The best KPIs for shared content are network specific metrics like Likes (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), Retweets (Twitter) and Reposts (Facebook) or aggregate metrics like Share of Voice. To calculate share of voice for a keyword set, multiply your CTR with the average monthly search volume (taken from Google Analytics) for each keyword. This will give you an estimate of how much traffic your brand can expect in the month for that keyword. If you then total the estimated search traffic for your entire keyword set, you can use these two numbers to calculate your organic search share of voice: Brand Traffic / Total Market Traffic = Share of Voice

Key Takeaways

PESO is the best strategy for marcom success but every campaign is distinct. How you implement it for a product launch is different than how you will use it for a brand awareness or social responsibility campaign. Evaluate each tactic carefully and decide where it makes the most sense to use it.

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