The term “owned media” has made its way from the advertising fringes into everyday PR vocabulary. Mashable
classifies owned media as any brand asset that resides on an “owned URL and the brand has complete control over what’s posted.” That classification could encompass many different types of content.
says the role of owned media is to “build for longer-term relationships with existing and potential customers.” Harnessing owned media is critical to any performance-oriented brand. Search is a key way to connect customers, fans, and prospects to owned media assets, so it’s important to keep search guidelines in mind when developing owned media strategies.
In some of my recent articles, I talked about organically optimizing a few different types of owned assets including press releases
, YouTube channels
, and content
. Here are some tips that can help bring more views and popularity to other assets in the owned or controlled media category.
The company blog and news centers
Make sure your blog platform is leveraging any available plugins or add-ons for search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO. Many offer simple, free tools built into the platform that automatically take the technical aspects of SEO off your hands, leaving your only focus on making sure the right keywords are in the right places. If your content management system doesn’t offer an SEO plug-in, implement the steps you can find in Google’s Webmaster SEO Guidelines
. Also make sure your key search phrases are visible in key SEO areas such as the URL, metadata, and article titles.
For online news centers or media rooms, try to work with Google to make sure your releases get listed in Google news results
. Google allows “approved” news sources to have a direct feed into news results (that also get into regular search results), providing a big opportunity for your trending content to get into Google’s highly trafficked news results.
Though the core of SEO hasn’t significantly changed over the years, Google provides published guidelines and POVs
on how to create SEO friendly websites. Microsoft’s Bing also provides a lengthy POV on creating SEO friendly websites
for its engine. Both search engines offer website performance tracking tools that monitor key SEO metrics and the crawl-ability of your website. It’s a good idea to regularly review the latest guidelines and monitor your analytics for your site’s performance in search. Your brand site is perhaps your most important online asset and in many cases, more branded content lives there than anywhere else online. Be sure your primary hub is ranking as it should.
Images and infographics
With the popularity around image-based social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram, images or infographics can be a great owned-media asset. If the budget is there, consider creating brand relevant and rich images that explain valuable facts or offer a unique and creative view of information or something relevant to the brand. Consider placing them within blog entries, articles, products, or on social sites. From a search best practice point of view, make sure alt tags and the name of the image file (Chipotle-Burito.jpg) include your brand term and relevant non-brand term.
Social media profiles
Search ranking is not only important internally on social media channels (Twitter or Facebook search), but also it’s key to search engine results. Internal search is primarily driven by a user’s network, history, and the page’s popularity. The more popular a page, the better it will rank in internal search.
Ideally when someone searches for your brand, social media pages would rank on the first page of results. The number of links, how popular your page is, and its title affects rank. Additionally, there are some other important settings (see below) to consider. Make sure privacy settings aren’t preventing search engines from ranking your page and content.
Make sure your page is visible in the general search engine results when some one searches for your brand. If it’s not ranking high, brainstorm some ideas to promote it more. The more popular it is, the more links and followers it gets…The better it will rank in internal and external search results.
Performance Marketing Landing Pages
To drive popularity, use other communications efforts such as email newsletters, press releases, websites, or perhaps paid media to drive traffic and interest, promoting the popularity and awareness of your social presence.
Mobile sites and apps
Mobile experience with your brand and content can’t be ignored. For many companies, creating a utility-based mobile app is a great way to engage and retain users. In addition to email newsletters, social media updates, blog or releases, search engines can help promote awareness of these apps or other mobile experiences. Search engines need a piece of content to index, so consider creating a web page that’s SEO optimized to rank for brand searches, speaks to the features of the app, and provides a link to the download center or app store.
Studies and whitepapers can be a very effective way to promote your brand’s authority in both a business sense and with search engines. When it comes to rankings, trust is an important factor and makes a big difference in where your content falls within results. Promoting white papers socially and through search can be a great way to get them in front of your relevant audience. Make sure to promote a link to your white paper on your website or place the white paper content into the website via a summary landing page.
To promote the search exposure of the study, make sure to include brand name and the category of the study, for example, “ADP Wellness Program Study,” and in the name of the name the file. That means if it’s a PDF title it would read “adp-wellness-program-study.pdf.”
Webinars are not only a great B2B marketing tool, but they also serve as great content for SEO value. If the recording is a video or podcast, post the content on YouTube and embed the content or audio file onto your website via a dedicated, SEO optimized landing page. Make sure to include a relevant category search term in the tile along with your brand name.
e-magazines or e-books
Since many brands have moved to a content or publishing model, e-magazines or e-books are a great way to extend authority in a category and elevate owned media presence. A great example is clothing retailer Mr. Porter’s iPad Magazine app
As is the case with most owned media assets, make sure to have a dedicated search-friendly landing page that summarizes the magazine or book and provide a link to download the asset.
Though owned media is an expanding canvas that continues to grow, search continues to be a primary way to connect an audience with content. Make sure to use search engine exposure by adopting SEO principles to increase your owned media audience.
Nick Papagiannis is director of interactive/search at Cramer-Krasselt.