How to Use Owned, Paid, and Earned Video Strategies to Cut Through the Cruft

Jedidiah Gant - March 27, 2018

Today, digital content and social media are exploding. Therefore, it is imperative to make best use of the classic marketing trio of owned, paid, and earned strategies to be sure your video is optimized for excellent online performance.

Consider these three strategies together, building off of each other to increase awareness for your video and brand. The goal of these strategies is to expand your reach – and your audience is a vital part of this expansion. Connect to them and they will engage with you. Inspire them and they will become ambassadors for the difference you are trying to make in the world. They will help amplify your story, leading to a symbiotic relationship of trust. This trust leads to a more open dialogue, and in turn, more opportunities to tell your story successfully.

Your goal is to reach them where they are most engaged. From mobile phones to social networks, the digital world is full of space for conversation. Place your story where your desired audience spends most of their time, and your chances for response greatly improve. Each of these three distribution strategies address different ways you can capture your audience’s attention online and get them to engage with your video and brand story.


Use Owned Media to Give Your Content a Solid Foundation

Our first priority is to identify all of your owned media and optimize the video for each platform. This includes your website, social media accounts, online video accounts, and any other brand marketing content in which you plan to use the video.

In many cases, starting with your online video accounts makes the most sense. For many brands, their YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia accounts are the central hub for storytelling. Once your videos are uploaded to your video channels, you are then able to embed them online, including your own website, blog posts, email newsletters, and social media networks. Therefore, uploading the highest quality video in the proper aspect ratio for each platform is key to your success each time the video is embedded on another site.

Most social media platforms prioritize video content uploaded directly to your account rather than links to other streaming platforms such as YouTube. Therefore, identifying the proper size and length of a video to upload to each network (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) will give your video the most views. Videos uploaded directly to social media perform much better than links to outside websites.

For each social media network, it may be necessary to create micromedia content to spread your video content over time. This content is short, 5-30 second clips that should have specified goals, such as teasing future content; expanding a longer videos into shorter, more social-friendly videos, or focusing on singular topics. As well, the use of video captions on social media are beneficial since many users do not have their sound on by default, and many social platforms – and websites, too – default to mute. These SRT caption files for subtitles must be created to accurately reflect the words on screen and uploaded to each platform.

Your owned media should be the basis of your video marketing plan. Once you have your video optimized and posted on these platforms, you’re ready to move to the next phase and focus on spreading the video as far as it can go.

Give Your Videos a Boost Through Paid Media

Your video has been posted on your website, on each of your social media channels, and all other owned media platforms. Now it’s time to give the video the boost it needs to reach your intended audience.

Many videos are posted online with a lot of hype, but fall flat once they hit the social media networks. That can happen for several reasons, including the lack of quality content, but in many cases, it is because social networks aren’t actually the free play zones many consider them to be. To make your video travel far, you will likely need to give it some financial backing​.

All social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) have their own proprietary ad networks, each set up to optimize how your video is delivered to the audience of your choice. You can distribute the video directly to this audience at the right times and on the platforms they most prefer. You are able to choose the demographics that best fit your intended audience, therefore being smart with your investment and making sure it gets to the right people with the least amount of money. This will enhance visibility, improve engagement, and return a high ROI for your video.

Another paid video marketing option is Google AdWords to directly target users who are looking for videos like yours through keyword searches. This is an easy way to put your video up, identify keywords that are relative to your video, and pay for those keywords in search results on both Google and the YouTube platform. We can help with this keyword research, making sure to find the best search result options for your videos on each platform. As well, you can advertise alongside competitors or other relevant videos. This will ensure that you are playing within your focused market and in front of an audience that is interested in the type of business offerings you provide.

Many social networks also allow for you to use retargeting for videos ads. These are ads that are served to users based on their previous interactions with your brand or products. They may have visited your YouTube channel, looked around on your website, or interacted with your brand on Facebook. In each case, you can them deliver a video directly to them with their interests in mind.

From keywords to retargeting to demographics, there are a variety of paid media options online to give your video the boost it needs to spring to life. This will allow it to get in front of your targeted audience and give them the content they are looking for. From there, they are empowered to help amplify your story by sharing the video.

Earned Media Shares Your Story Further

Now that you’ve placed your video content on all the proper owned channels and given it a paid boost, it’s time to sit back and watch as it takes on a life of its own.

Everyone wants their videos to go viral. If you’ve created a video that hits your brand goals, follows a strategic and creative framework, and authentically relates to your audience, the likelihood that you’ll create excitement and drive your audience to share will be very high. Ultimately, your audience wants to be a part of your story.

Earned media is the online equivalent of stories being shared by word of mouth, and you want your content to be shared around as many digital campfires as possible. Earned media drives traffic for your brand, but without the solid foundation of owned and paid, this is impossible. In many cases, the more you spend on paid media, the more likely an influencer or publication is going to see the content, share it, write about it, or tell someone else about it.

In a few cases, it’s possible that your video will be released online and become an organic hit. But in most situations, videos need a solid foundation and a financial boost​ to get off the ground so they can take flight. Therefore, unification across all platforms is key. Without this, a video campaign may seem fractured and lacking in direction.

Leveraging connections with online media publications is another great way for your video to gain traction. Using a PR firm that specializes in either online video or your industry would be a great way to start. They will be able to suggest publications that might be interested in showing and discussing your brand’s story. If any pitches to online publications are successful, they will share your video with their audience, which will continue to expand the reach of your story.

Earned is the culmination of a lot of the effort you’ve already done and therefore a bit of it relies on luck. That said, it also goes back to the core principles when creating a video. Without strategy, great creative, and an identified audience, no publication or influencer will be interested in sharing your brand’s story with their audience.

Strategy Unification to Increase Your Video’s Reach​

​Your brand’s story must not be told in seclusion. Instead, it should be put on display for everyone to experience.

Your story is bigger than you. In fact, it’s as big as you want it to be. You’re proud of your creation and want to share it with your audience. They will help amplify your story, leading to a symbiotic relationship of trust. This trust leads to a more open dialogue, and in turn, more opportunities to tell your story. Reactions and engagement will follow.

To get these desired results, it is important to utilize all three of these strategies (paid, owned, and earned) to ensure your video is properly placed on all channels and platforms. This will allow your intended audience to easily find your video, whether organically or through paid marketing efforts. Once the audience finds your video, they will be able to engage with your story and share it. This leads to better overall results and satisfaction for you, your brand, and your boss. You can get the return on investment that you need and make your audience believe in you.