All business owners are seeking the “secret recipe” for an education marketing campaign that grows their business. You want people to notice you at the top of the sales funnel, then purchase your product or service at the bottom. While the recipe may vary, there are always four ingredients in every successful strategy: earned media, paid media, owned media and shared media. Here’s how they work.
Earned media is a cornerstone of public relations. Education PR experts use earned media to generate publicity through news coverage, word-of-mouth campaigns and relationships with key influencers through personal business networks.
Earned media is powerful because of the credibility it represents. Consider the impact a positive news story about your business could have
on sales. Earned media requires a lot of “legwork,” but the payoff can be more significant than the three other media types because of the larger audiences who continue to rely on traditional media.
Any form of advertising in print, radio, TV, billboards, websites and Google AdWords is called paid media. You can also add in paid advertising on social media and sponsorship opportunities. If you’re paying to broadcast your message, or place it somewhere, it’s paid media and should be easily identified as such.
When you need to have your education marketing message seen quickly, paid media is the best route. When used in conjunction with earned, owned or shared media, your message will carry more weight. Because you are spending capital, measuring ROI for paid media is a must.
Owned media is your content. We’re talking blogs, white papers, webinars, podcasts, case studies, e-books and infographics. Marketing this content properly gets people to your website in the same way as earned and paid media.
When you offer your own content at the start of the sales funnel, you are encouraging prospective customers to give you personal information to receive the content. Having captured their contact information, you can then start nurturing the lead. But there’s a “catch” to using owned media successfully – the content must have value.
If you’re posting consistently on social media, you’re using shared media. Publishing information about yourself and your industry on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram encourages customers and evangelists to share your posts through their own social networks.
It’s important not to dismiss shared media as “playing on social networks.” When you combine paid media with shared media using the same message, you are reinforcing your brand to the audience. It also helps boost your search ranking, since Google takes into consideration how many people are sharing your content.
Integrated Education Marketing Strategy
While each of these four media types is valuable, combining them as part of a strategic, integrated education marketing strategy can deliver huge results. But there isn’t always time for marketers to figure out how to do that.
We already have refined the recipe for successful education marketing campaigns. See how we have helped other businesses grow using earned, paid, owned and shared media. Then, let’s chat and grow together.