The Future of Social: Owned, Paid and Earned
If you work in digital marketing, it can be tough to predict what’s coming down the social media pipeline. After all, it seems like every day there’s a new tool, a new platform or a merger between two companies in order to deliver better services to businesses wanting to be more integrated in their marketing efforts.
Even though we can’t foresee what sort of technological innovations will happen in the future, one thing is clear: the company (or individual) that can create a solution that unites owned, paid and earned will be ummmm, popular.
Michoel Ogince summed it up best with a recent tweet: “From a technology perspective: OWNED is nailed. PAID has taken off. The future lies in EARNED. Whoever FUSES all three will be CROWNED.”
And to our way of thinking, Michoel’s theory makes perfect sense. After all, the owned social landscape is a lot more cohesive than it was just a year or two ago. A number of companies now offer social media management platforms that allow companies to better oversee and implement their digital marketing strategies across a number of sites. And because monitoring and listening is just as important as content marketing and brand building, marketers have the option to add social listening tools to their digital arsenal.
Paid social is hot on the heels of owned—Facebook advertising, anyone? Social giants like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continue to advance their APIs, giving marketers continually evolving tools with which to create ads and apps. If you’ve got any sort of social media marketing budget, it’s not at all hard to spend it—the challenge, as with any marketing spend, is really how to get the most bang for your buck.
It’s the earned space that remains fragmented—and represents the most opportunity. Consider this visual from SocialChorus that illustrates the earned media marketing process.
At this stage, each step in the chain still requires a different technology solution—there’s no multi-faceted option that can address a number of needs like relationship management, outreach and ROI.
That’s forcing marketers to use a variety of tools – one solution for email marketing, another for influencer identification and measurement, another for CRM and so on.
And that’s where the true potential for innovation awaits. This sort of functionality calls for an operating system that can deftly handle the various steps in the earned media marketing process. If you’re into developing tools and platforms, this is what you should be thinking about. And marketers, know that this is where the social landscape is headed. At least we sure think so. The more cohesive solutions that are available, the easier it will be to launch and manage digital strategies that are truly integrated. And therein lies the key to success. There may not ever be a single platform or operating system that does everything, but I’m confident we can get pretty darn close.
What say you?