In the world of B2B marketing, owned media has the potential to become a powerful tool for establishing industry authority, nurturing customer relationships, and driving business growth. This post takes a deeper dive into the benefits of the B2B-enabled owned media model.
- Benefits of building your own media hub
- Example Use Cases: The Kinds of Businesses that Benefit From Building Owned Media Hubs
- How to Get Started Building Your Own B2B Media Engine
The Benefits of Building a Media Hub for B2B
There are several benefits to building a media hub on your site. Let’s look at a few:
- Cost-Effective Content: Owned media essentially offers a free source of high-quality content for your audience. Unlike many consumer-focused media outlets that rely on subscription models or paywalls, B2B owned media can provide valuable information and insights at no cost to the audience. This not only attracts potential customers who are seeking industry expertise but also fosters goodwill and brand loyalty among existing customers.
- No Need for Ad Space: With owned media, there's no need to sell ad space or feel pressured to monetize the content immediately. This can be a significant advantage, as it eliminates the need to balance editorial independence with advertiser demands. Instead, the primary focus can be on creating content that truly resonates with your target audience, thereby strengthening your brand's reputation and credibility.
- Editorial Freedom: One of the greatest benefits of owned media is the editorial freedom it provides. Without the constraints often imposed by external sponsors or advertisers, businesses have the liberty to decide the tone, content, and direction of their media. This allows for genuine, authentic communication with your audience, which in turn builds trust and encourages engagement.
- Network Effect: Owned media can also generate a powerful network effect. As your content attracts and retains a dedicated audience, these readers or viewers are likely to share your content within their own networks, expanding your reach and influence. If you involve others in your content–people who fall squarely into your ICP, for example, all the better. This can lead to increased brand awareness, more leads, and ultimately, more conversions.
- Safeguard Against Algorithm Changes: Unlike shared media, where changes in algorithms can drastically affect content visibility and reach, owned media offers a safeguard. Your content's visibility isn't dependent on external platform algorithms, ensuring consistent and predictable access for your audience.
- Data Ownership: With owned media, you have complete access to and control over your audience data. This enables a deeper understanding of your audience’s preferences, behaviors, and needs, allowing you to tailor your content and marketing strategies accordingly.
Integrating owned media into your B2B marketing strategy can yield significant benefits. From fostering stronger customer relationships to enhancing brand credibility and beyond, the value of owned media in the B2B sphere is undeniable. You already have a website – why not build a media hub there?
Example Use Cases
The adoption of owned media strategies can vary widely based on industry and business needs. Let's delve into a few examples of how different sectors can effectively utilize owned media:
- Technology Managed Service Provider (MSP): In an industry where staying up-to-date is key, a Technology MSP can establish an online hub for learning. This hub could feature everything from the latest news and trends to in-depth articles on best practices. Additionally, subject matter expert (SME) interviews with co-op partners can provide diverse perspectives and valuable insights, further enhancing the credibility of the hub. This not only positions the MSP as a thought leader in a specific space but also creates a valuable resource for potential and existing clients.
- Business Law Firm: Legal regulations and business laws are continually evolving. A business law firm can leverage owned media by publishing blogs with policy updates, legal tips for business leaders, and interviews with partners who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge. This provides a platform for the firm to showcase its expertise and keep its audience informed about changes that could impact their businesses.
- Private Equity/Venture Capital (PE/VC): Private equity firms and venture capitalists can use owned media to publish blogs with insights on everything from fundraising to scaling a business. Podcasts featuring conversations with portfolio companies or interviews with seasoned investors can provide real-world examples and actionable advice. This not only serves as a valuable resource for companies in their portfolio but also helps attract new investment opportunities.
- HR SaaS Company: In the realm of human resources, keeping up with trends and best practices can be a daunting task. An HR SaaS company can leverage owned media to provide valuable resources to HR professionals. Blogs on topics like employee well-being, talent acquisition, and diversity and inclusion can resonate strongly with their target audience. Additionally, interviews with HR leaders at target companies can provide unique insights and foster a sense of community among HR professionals.
In each of these cases, the owned media strategy not only positions the company as a knowledgeable industry authority but also provides value to the target audience, helping to build strong relationships and brand loyalty.
How to Get Started Building Your Own B2B Media Engine
Embarking on an owned media journey requires thoughtful planning and commitment. Here's how to start:
1. Assess Readiness and Fit:
Before you dive in, it's crucial to determine whether your business is a good fit for owned media. Several factors play into this, including:
Annual Contract Value (ACV): If your ACV is high, you're likely dealing with a decision-making process that involves several stakeholders and takes time. In this case, owned media can provide valuable touchpoints throughout this process.
Content Richness: Ask yourself if you have enough valuable information to share. If you're in a rapidly changing industry or one with a lot of depth, you're more likely to have a wealth of content ideas that can sustain an owned media strategy over the long term. We have found that startup tech companies, while innovative and interesting, don’t always have the breadth of content topics to make an owned media play worthwhile.
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs): Do you have access to experts who can provide insights and thought leadership? These could be in-house experts, or partners and customers who can contribute.
2. Ideate Topics:
Put yourself in your customer's shoes. What information would be valuable to them? What questions are they asking that your content could answer? Consider industry trends, common challenges, and the unique insights your SMEs can provide. Think about the kind of thought leaders you would want to hear at an industry panel, and use this as a springboard for content ideas.
Starting an owned media platform is a significant investment, both in time and resources. You'll need people who can create content, distribute it, and analyze its performance. This might include writers, editors, social media managers, SEO experts, and data analysts. Do an inventory of your current resources and identify any gaps. Depending on your resources and skills, you might choose to build an in-house team, hire freelancers, or partner with a content marketing firm.
Remember, owned media is more of a marathon than a sprint. It takes time to build an audience and develop a robust content library. There may be challenges along the way, but the potential pay-off in brand loyalty, customer engagement, and ultimately, business growth, makes it worth the investment.