Media Convergence: A Path to Inbound Marketing Acceleration

By Lizette Louw - October 03, 2016

Have you ever found yourself backtracking through your online history searching for the source of that mind-blowing tech update you read about a week ago? Are you struggling to find inspiration to differentiate your tech company?

“That conductive pen that lets you draw electrical circuits directly on paper... was that a Kickstarter project in need of funding, or did I see a video on YouTube linking back to their online store?” you ask yourself.

If you traced your steps through your browser history, social media feeds, and email newsletters, you’d likely find a series of brief introductions that lead to the one breakthrough interaction.

There’s method behind this madness, and here it is: 

In an increasingly crowded online realm, B2B buyers’ attention is divided between everything from staying on top of daily admin to the upcoming IPO. Top B2B tech firms know, if you want your marketing message to compete with the noise, you have to keep your story at the top of their minds… wherever they go.

You’ve seen it implemented throughout your online wanderings, and you’ve experienced its effectivity. Today we’ll be talking about the theory that underlies this comprehensive content distribution program, the theory of Media Convergence, and how you can apply this strategy as a path to accelerating your inbound marketing.

Media Convergence within Inbound Marketing

The Objective: The inbound marketing methodology entails attracting your ideal buyers and nurturing your leads with content stories, which guide them as they search for solutions to their problems and means to realise their opportunities.

The Crisis: The digitally native modern B2B buyer is preoccupied with professional responsibilities. And when they step out into the media they are overwhelmed by a force of vendors vying for their attention. In the mayhem, there’s little time for buyers to go searching for information on your firm’s offering.

The Solution: Deliver your message to your buyers in the comfort of their favourite online channels. By distributing your content beyond the confines of your website, blog and social media accounts, you can generate more leads to nurture along their buyer’s journey, effectively enhancing your inbound marketing results.

The Parts that make up a Media Convergence Plan

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For the purpose of online content distribution, the media spectrum can be sub-divided into three distinct, yet overlapping spheres: Owned media, paid media and earned media.

Owned Media

Starting off with the distribution channel B2B companies are most familiar with, the category of owned media includes all publications where your firm calls the editorial shots. Digitally speaking it would include:

  • Your company’s official website
  • Your company blog
  • In-house publications such as newsletters, eBooks, and whitepapers
  • Your company’s social media pages
  • Email campaigns and workflows

The factor that characterises these channels beyond editorial control is the fact that its reach is limited to buyers who are already aware of your brand, or actively searching for a business such as yours.

Paid Media

Generally speaking, paid media refers to paying a website, influencer, channel or publication for the opportunity to display your content to their audience. In the digital realm this includes:

  • PPC ads on search engines (Google AdWords)
  • PPC ads on social networks (Facebook Advertising)
  • Display ads on industry related sites such as banner ads (Google’s display network)
  • Sponsored content such as a guest post or press release published within an external publication (PR Web, BuzzFeed)
  • Influencer shares or mentions (Twitter) 

While paid media tactics are more commonly utilised within an outbound, or push marketing approach, it can be repurposed within an inbound marketing methodology to extend your reach far beyond your owned media channels.

Earned Media

Earned media is the tip of the hat from your audience where they attribute enough value to your content to share it with their followers, on their media channels and beyond. Examples of earned media include:

  • Social media shares by consumers
  • Company and product reviews on external channels or their personal social media feed
  • Video tutorials and demos of your products, created and distributed by consumers
  • Discussions of your brand, products, and solutions in online communities

Earned media does not only grant you additional exposure, but also the highly prized credibility that only social proof can deliver.

A Media Convergence Strategy for Differentiating your B2B Tech Firm

If all of the above sounds a bit abstract to you, please stay put until our next blog, where we’ll be sharing a three-stage process for creating and implementing your own media convergence strategy.

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