As you look at the year ahead, reaching and engaging with your target audience should be at the top of your priority list. While paid advertising and other external marketing efforts have their place, owned marketing channels offer a unique opportunity to establish direct connections with customers. Owning these channels gives businesses complete control over their messaging, data, and customer experiences, making them an essential component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. This concept is one of several tried-and-true strategies from my newest book, Bigger and Better: A Playbook for Quickly Scaling Your Small Company with Limited Resources.
As many great small business books note, this is important for companies running lean by necessity or choice. It is an approach that liberates an organization from dependence on paid channels and creates a marketing and lead-generation engine that is a corporate asset. Because it takes more doing than paid media, it becomes a competitive advantage, known as a protective “moat” because it is more complicated and presents a higher barrier to entry for competitors. For all of these reasons, owned channels ultimately raise the enterprise value of the company that owns them, delivering a higher valuation for the company and its shareholders.
Understanding Owned Marketing Channels
Owned marketing channels are assets businesses own, control, and use to interact and engage with their audiences. These channels provide extended reach, autonomy, and the ability to establish a consistent brand presence across various touchpoints.
Examples of owned marketing channels include websites, email lists, mobile apps, social media profiles, and physical stores. Unlike paid or earned channels, businesses have complete control over owned channels and can customize their content, design, and functionality to align with their brand image and goals.
How to Maximize the Potential of Owned Channels
Build a Captivating Website
A well-designed website serves as the cornerstone of owned marketing efforts. By creating a user-friendly interface, optimizing for search engines, and regularly updating content, businesses can attract and engage website visitors, driving conversions and sales.
Cultivate an Engaged Email List
Email marketing continues to be a highly effective owned channel. By building a permission-based email list and delivering value-driven content and personalized offers, businesses can nurture relationships, drive repeat purchases, and increase brand loyalty.
Leverage Social Media Profiles
Social media platforms allow businesses to amplify their reach, engage with customers, and foster brand advocacy. Businesses can cultivate a loyal and engaged community by crafting compelling content, participating in conversations, and actively responding to customer feedback.
Personalization and Customer Relationship Management
Owned channels provide businesses with valuable customer data. By leveraging this data through customer relationship management (CRM) tools, businesses can carry out targeted marketing campaigns, personalize interactions, and deliver tailor-made experiences that resonate with individual customers.
Develop a Comprehensive Content Strategy
Content can include videos, courses and master classes, podcasts, books and ebooks, infographics, case studies, white papers, and more. The key is to create a comprehensive content strategy that leverages all of your channels for the content. By reusing it, you can leverage the original investment in content development in many ways.
Integrate Owned Channels with Paid and Earned Media Efforts
While owned channels offer numerous benefits, integrating them with paid advertising can yield synergistic results. By aligning messaging, graphics, and targeting strategies across owned and paid media, businesses can create a seamless customer journey and reinforce brand presence. Cross-promotion between owned channels and paid campaigns also helps drive traffic, increase conversions, and maximize return on investment (ROI).
Integration with earned media also drives amplified results. Driving cobranded content through partnerships and boosting content via company-connected influencers and community creates a virtuous cycle.
Leverage Emerging Technologies
With the proliferation of smartphones, having a branded mobile app can enhance customer experiences, drive engagement, and provide personalized offers and notifications.
Chatbots and AI Assistants
These technologies allow businesses to provide real-time support, gather customer insights, and automate certain marketing tasks, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Voice Assistants and Smart Devices
As voice search and smart devices gain popularity, optimizing owned channels for voice-enabled interactions can enhance the overall customer experience and facilitate seamless engagement.
Make the Most of Your Resources with Owned Channels
Owned marketing channels offer businesses a unique opportunity to establish direct connections with their customers, providing control, customization, and the ability to create personalized experiences. Businesses can drive growth, build brand loyalty, and create long-term customer relationships by harnessing the potential of owned channels.
Because of the cost efficiency, independence of lead generation capabilities, and competitive high barrier to entry/“moat,” it significantly raises enterprise value and valuation. Integrating owned channels with paid and earned efforts, leveraging emerging technologies, and continuously evolving strategies based on customer insights are all essential for maximizing the impact of these valuable marketing assets.
This methodology is particularly meaningful for resource-constrained companies by necessity or choice. As businesses adapt to an ever-evolving digital landscape, owned marketing channels, as part of an overall strategy combined with other approaches, are becoming an ever more fundamental component for success.
Featured image provided by Visual Tag Mx; Pexels; Thanks!