Those of us who have made marketing the focus of our career lives are no strangers to POEM, or Paid/Owned/Earned Media. Back in dinosaur times, these 3 things were tucked safely into their own buckets. Paid was your ad buys, owned was your newsletter, earned was your press coverage. Rarely did anything spill outside of the bucket. Along came digital, and now it’s a mashup.
Today, thanks to social and specifically thanks to the changes Facebook introduced in March at their Marketers Conference, much of the paid efforts surrounding a brand’s owned Facebook Page are going to be driven by the earned success of the brand’s posts. We’re looking forward to Altimeter Group’s upcoming research report on POEM. But analyst Jeremiah Owyang is already saying, “Brands that integrate paid, owned and earned media will benefit because they will reach customers in the most effective manner.” In other words, no marketing component can be an island.
Here’s what’s at stake. eMarketer says advertisers worldwide will spend $7.7 billion in 2012 on social ads, up nearly 50% from last year. They think it will be almost $12 billion by 2014. And we’re not just talking about enterprise clients. Borrell Associates says small and medium-sized businesses plan on doubling their social ad budgets this year, which are estimated at $2 billion just in the US. It’s probably a good idea to know what those buying decisions are going to be based on.
They’ll be based on what posted content is performing best for them and is worthy of more exposure. Put another way, the money will get put on the horse that looks most likely to win. About here, I would launch into my usual missionary zeal about how critical content is. But we know that. What we need to establish here is an effective and seamless way for brand community managers and media buyers to have access to post performance data so they can leverage the best content for their brands with paid support.
For Vitrue’s part, we put together the Media Partner Program (MPP) for marketers. Rather than buy or align with one ad partner and make that the only choice for our platform, we assembled an ecosystem of 7 best-of-breed ad management partners. Who knows, maybe we were inspired by the new Avengers movie. But now marketers can choose or keep their own ad partners so that they and the brands can benefit from the metrics the Vitrue platform provides.
Here’s how it works. Users log into our platform and see their brand’s Facebook post data and metrics. They’re also getting a workflow that facilitates real-time collaboration between the Community Manager and media buyers. CMs can flag posts that are getting high engagement and alert the buyers, who can leverage it asap with Facebook’s paid opportunities like Sponsored Story ads and Reach Generator.
With the platform approach, engagement metrics get integrated across paid, owned and earned content for a usable, comprehensive social snapshot. Without knowing how the content is performing, ad buys get made in the dark, or posts that could have been a lot more impactful for the brand get overlooked. Going forward, social ad purchases will be greatly informed and driven by post metrics. So make sure your ad buyers have instant access to the right data and an open communication channel to your Community Managers. Because great content earning paid ad support so it can enjoy increased exposure is a great example of poetic justice.