How to Create an Owned Media Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide
As we discussed throughout our six-part series, owned media has become a vital component of any successful destination marketing strategy. Owned media refers to the channels and content assets that a brand controls, like websites, blogs, podcasts and video series. Developing a strong owned media strategy allows destinations to build a loyal audience, drive the narrative and sense of place, as well as foster deeper connections with local stakeholders. This post will dive deeper into the six steps toward creating an owned media strategy.
Educate and Engage Stakeholders:
The first step in crafting an owned media strategy is to educate and engage all of the DMO’s stakeholders. This includes the executives, business owners, local residents and other relevant parties. Everyone should have a clear understanding of what owned media is and the benefits it can bring to the destination. Conduct workshops or presentations to share knowledge, explain the value of owned media, and address any concerns or questions. By building this foundation with your partners, you can build a cohesive strategy that aligns with the overall DMO objectives.
Set Long-Term Goals:
To create a successful owned media strategy, it’s crucial to set long-term goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.). Examples of long-term goals could be increasing social media engagement or improving brand awareness. By having clear objectives, you can align your owned media efforts and track progress effectively. Remember to review and adjust these goals as your strategy evolves.
Define the “Why”:
Before diving into tactics and execution, it’s essential to define the “why” behind your owned media strategy. What purpose does it serve for your brand? Understanding your motivation will help you shape your messaging, content and overall brand positioning. Identify the unique value proposition that your owned media channels will offer to your target audience. Whether it’s providing informational resources, entertaining content, or thought leadership, make sure your “why” resonates with your audience’s needs and interests.
Start Small and Work Your Way Up:
Building a robust owned media strategy takes time and resources. Instead of trying to tackle every channel at once, start small and focus on a few key platforms where your target audience is most active. As Stuart Butler said during part six of our owned media series, Visit Myrtle Beach began its owned media plan by allocating 4% of its budget to branded content and added more of its budget from there. By concentrating your efforts, you can deliver high-quality content and engage with your audience more effectively, without putting all your eggs in one basket. As you gain momentum and see positive results, you can expand your owned media presence strategically.
Build out a Full Audience Journey Strategy:
An effective owned media strategy should encompass the entire audience journey, from initial awareness to customer loyalty. Map out the different stages your target audience goes through and create content that caters to each stage. This could include blog posts, videos, webinars, case studies and more. Tailor your content to address pain points, provide solutions, and nurture relationships. Implement lead capture mechanisms, such as email sign-ups or gated content, to gather data and continue engaging with your audience.
Consistency is key to maintaining a successful owned media strategy. Develop an editorial calendar to plan and schedule content regularly. This ensures that you consistently deliver valuable and engaging content to your audience. Establish brand guidelines and tone of voice to maintain a consistent brand image across all owned media channels. Monitor and analyze metrics to assess the performance of your content and make data-driven improvements.
Creating an owned media strategy requires careful planning, alignment with organizational goals, and a deep understanding of your target audience. By educating stakeholders, setting long-term goals, defining your purpose, starting small, building a comprehensive audience journey strategy, and maintaining consistency, you can create a strong foundation for your owned media strategy.