6 Tactics and Strategies for Building an Owned Media Empire
Take-aways from Jason Miller's Session at This Year's B2B Marketing Forum
October 26, 2016
If you haven’t already noticed by reading previous posts, last week the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team attended MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing Forum. With Jason Miller, Group Manager, Global Content and Social Media Marketing, making the trip out to Boston via London (his new home) it really felt like the band was back together.
Jason’s session, Building an Owned Media Empire with Epic Content Marketing, was nothing short of inspiring. Per usual. While there was still exploding pie charts and The Clash references, this one felt different. He has become a such a seasoned content marketer and thought leader that it came through in his session content. He’s moved beyond the Big Rock to speak to a bigger picture -- the owned media empire.
These are just some of the tactics and strategies he recommended for building an owned media empire.
Feed your audience the content they want
When you lead conversations that matter, you give your audiences a reason to follow.
When you marry the number one question on your prospect’s mind with the conversations you want to own, you’re giving your audience a reason to follow. It means that you're no longer interrupting what people are interested in, instead you're becoming what people are interested in.
One way marketers are aligning to what their audience cares about is building out personas -- talking to them, understanding what content they consume, or better yet, the content they share, asking them what channels they spend their time on, and so forth. But this is a process and can take time. If you’re a small team, you don’t necessarily have an abundance of time. For a jumpstart on understanding your audience is concerned about, Jason recommends heading to AnswerThePublic -- a free tool for consumer insights in the age of of Google. Enter a topic and out comes a visualisation of several dozen relateable trending queries. This list is what your audience cares about. And this, my friend, can very easily be translated into your editorial calendar and SEO strategy.
Explore New Formats
Every touch point out there for B2B is potential for that buyer’s journey to begin.
If anyone knows Jason, you know that he’s always on the cutting edge of marketing tools and tactics (oh and music, too). It’s how he continuosly inspires us.
Jason told the audience to break the mold of standard marketing tactics and explore new mediums of getting in front of your audience in innovative ways. Being creative in your approach could just be that touch point that ignites the buyer’s journey.
- The Audio Book: With the amount we’re on mobile, audio is most definitely a more efficient way to consume content rather than pinching and scrolling your mobile screen to get through a twenty page eBook. Jason just finished recording The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn and is excited to experiment distributing one of our highest performing piece of content on a new medium. Lesson there is that exploring new formats doesn’t require a high investment. Instead leverage existing, already remarkable content.
- The ePub: Late last year, we had the idea of taking an existing asset and cater it to an agency audience for the AdWeek New York conference, the Little Big Book of LinkedIn Advertising. We took it to the next level by converting it into an ePub, a digital promotion that was the ultimate mobile responsive experience. Our audience was able to avoid the mobile pinching and zooming and instead experienced a swipe that turned each page like a physical book. It was a beautiful thing. We watched as attendees were in awe of the delightful viewing experience.
Always be testing
Testing is the most critical tool for optimizing the ROI of your content strategy.
Some say if you aren’t testing, you’re losing money. We agree. Our team A/B test like a boss. Our LinkedIn teams test everything from headlines to creative to segmentation. And we’ve learned a ton, which means we’re optimizing for the ROI of our content at every chance. For instance, Jason's team learned that when their campaigns include both LinkedIn Sponsored Content and LinkedIn Sponsored Inmail in tandem they see a 25% increase in open rate 95% increase in click through rate. In fact, our teams have combined all the learnings from our A/B testing in a recent eBook, titled Spotlight on Best Practices: An Insider’s Guide to Effective LinkedIn Campaigns. If you're looking to become testing savvy, you should definitely get involved.
For every piece of content you create, ask yourself ‘Can this piece of content go around the world?'.
As a result of his recent transition from our corporate offices to the London office, this is a huge rally cry for Jason. Going global is the only way you can scale your content machine. It cannot be in afterthought, it must be core to your strategy which means communicating and collaborating with corporate and regional leads from the very inception of content creation. In fact, as a result of his own experience and lessons learned from our regionals leads, Jason and his EMEA team are launching the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Global Content Marketing which includes frameworks and tactics for streamlining how regional and corporate content marketers produce content at global scale. We’ll be announcing this highly anticipated guide on this blog next week, so stay tuned.
Don’t Dismiss Video
Video is the way forward.
We hear often that marketers are struggling to incorporate video at scale into their content strategy. It can be expensive and often un-gateable content -- so sometimes the ROI is not as immediate as we’d like. But we can’t brush video under the rug. Video can improve SEO, earn trust, position your brand as a thought leader and hook your visitors.
You don’t have to have a million dollar budget or hire a production crew. Jason says, “you just need to know a little bit about shooting, a little bit about composition and a little bit about editing.” Invest in your own equipment: a DLSR camera, tripod, lapel mic, shotgun mic, LED lights and editing software. That’s an approachable investment for companies of all sizes. In fact, see the Trading Eights video content Jason and our team created with that same list of equipment after attending last year’s B2B Marketing Forum. In the meantime, educate yourself online at at FroKnowsPhoto.
Podcasts are here to stay
It’s a constant source of amazement to me that I don’t see more people using podcasts for marketing – and in particular, for B2B marketing.
Jason was an early adopter of incorporating podcasts into his content strategy. No surprise. His Sophisticated Marketer series of podcasts has more than 30 episodes and counting. Not only is it listened to in more than 110 countries and gets close to 5,000 downloads a month, it’s also a critical piece to the Sophisticated Marketer empire. And today, guests are knocking on his door to be a part of the next episode.
“If you’re someone who’s assumed that busy and important people don’t make time for podcasts, then you’re in for a surprise,” Jason said.
He surveyed 2,700 LinkedIn members to understand who was listening to podcasts. Not only did he find that over a third of our members listen to podcasts globally; he also discovered that the level of engagement with podcasts increases significantly with seniority. Amongst department heads, VPs, owners and C-suites, 44% are listening.
You can see all the compelling stats that should inspire any marketer to start experimenting with podcasting in his infographic titled Do you listen to podcasts?.
Although Jason is now leading the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions EMEA content team out of London, he continues to be a regular contributor to this blog. To stay tuned to Jason's vision of where the world of content marketing is heading, subscibe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.