There’s been much talk going on about Owned Media, Earned Media and Paid Media. The reliable factor has become too high, making these three media forms inevitable.
And on analyzing 223,480 businesses, I found that 72% of them use only Paid Media extensively while 24% of them use all the three forms of media. The remaining 4% don’t use any of this (and they’ll cease to exist soon).
Out of the 96% of businesses that invest in paid media, a massive 48% of them spend more than half of their total revenue. That made me wonder, why people invest so much, when there are other options that cost nothing.
And that’s what this blog is about – How to grow your website traffic without using paid media forms? Before that, I’ll take you on a stroll and explain what Owned Media, Earned Media and Paid Media is.
So, sit back and relax!
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Owned Media, Earned Media and Paid Media
Any business that wants to thrive and compete in this digital environment should harness the power of these three media forms.
Because quality web traffic, leads and better online presence does not come easy. It needs heavy orchestration and effective content marketing strategies pinned right onto your marketing dashboard.
Speaking of which, I’ve put in some efforts to help you understand what Owned, Earned and Paid Media are.
FYI: Paid Media, Owned Media, and Earned Media are together called as “POEM.”
What is Owned Media?
In simple terms, Owned Media is anything and everything you digitally own. It could be
- A Website
- Social Media Profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & more).
- A YouTube Channel
- A Blog
- A Podcast
- Newsletters & more
Your business should have everything by now (If not, it’s time you put some thought into it).
Why is Owned Media Important?
Owned Media represents everything about your business. It is an indirect way of letting your audience know what your business/brand is about and what you intend to do with it.
It’s like you get to watch the show while your Owned Media does the talking!
Super cool! The advantages part now!
Advantages of Owned Media
- Complete Control: You are solely responsible for your owned media stuff. Right from your content’s theme, to what’s being posted on your website, you are the deciding authority.
- Cost-Effective: Owned Media is extremely cost-effective. You need not worry about spending the big bucks.
- Long Term Relationship: Owned Media does not give you any short term benefits. But, everything that comes through this potent source is going to last forever. It could be a loyal audience base or better online visibility. Depends!
Growing your online presence using Owned Media is no big deal. It’s that, you have to be doing the right things at the right time.
What is Earned Media?
Earned Media is a by-product of your Owned Media. When something is too good, the world couldn’t resist itself from talking about it. And Earned Media is just that. It refers to the
- Word of Mouth
- Mentions and
- Shares that are being done by your audience.
Why is Earned Media Important?
Consumers play a significant role when it comes to brand marketing. And Earned Media is a powerful way to leverage your online presence. The more your audience speaks about your brand, the better your brand reputation and popularity will be, aka word of mouth marketing.
Think about how beneficial it could be for your business if a thousand people start sharing your social media feeds? The circle grows bigger than you could possibly imagine. That’s how earned media works – powerful, quick and no costs incurred.
But there’s a catch!
Earned Media is a double-edged sword. Even a tiny mistake could be extremely fatal to your brand’s reputation.
Advantages of Earned Media
- Extremely Rewarding: When people start talking about your brand, you never know how rewarding it can be. You get customers all of a sudden! This is because people trust what others say.
- Free of Cost: You need not have to spend money on Earned Media. It’s solid proof that you are in the good books. And you simply reap the benefits.
What is Paid Media?
As the name says, Paid Media is all about Online Ads, Traditional Media, Influencer Marketing and more. We won’t be looking at Paid Media because the precise point here is to promote the importance and possibilities of how you can bring traffic to your site without shelling out money.
The Controversial Theory – Why Say No to Paid Media?
What you are looking at is an image that explains how the three types of media collaborate and interrelate with each other.
It seems they are profoundly rigid! Ain’t they?
Now, what if you are being asked to choose any two out of the three. Which one would you say no to?
It’s kind of hard to decide, right? With each one of them intertwined with the other and projecting substantial benefits, it’s not that easy!
But to me, I don’t find it that difficult. I would straight away choose Earned Media and Owned Media (with no second thoughts, of course).
Allow me to explain (I’ve separated one media from the other two and explained it in three different combinations).
Owned Media and Paid Media
Paid Media does the job here. With Paid Media and Owned Media combined, you gain more exposure to your owned media properties. And in return, you would be spending on display ads, PPC ads, retargeting and more.
What is Achieved – More Website Traffic and Leads.
Earned Media and Paid Media
When Paid Media and Earned Media come together, engagement and sharing increases. And this is done with the help of social media ads, paid influencers, promotions, paid content, etc, Again, you will have to spend some money here.
What is Achieved – More Visibility and Increased Sharing.
Earned Media and Owned Media
Take a look at this combination.
What do you infer?
With Search Engine Optimization and Brand Content, you drive more sharing, visibility, and website traffic. And, here’s the best part – there’s no need to spend any money here. It’s completely organic and there are no shortcuts. Which means the results are going to be permanent and last forever.
What is Achieved – More Website Traffic, Leads Increased Visibility and Sharing (with no marketing budget).
If you have read the above explanations carefully, you will know that what Paid Media achieves when combined with the other two media can be achieved by Owned Media and Earned Media itself.
What Does Paid Media Have to do Here?
I don’t know! Maybe you can tell me!
Take a minute. Ask yourself and calculate the total amount you have spent on paid media to date (yeah, I know that hurts).
What I am trying to tell you here is,
“You can achieve the same exact results as in Paid Media without shelling out even a penny!”
If you are still not convinced, let me explain to you how toxic paid Media is!
In the previous blog, I was telling about why one should not be advertising on Google Adwords (a powerful paid media tool). And here’s a quick recap:
- In the past five years, Google has increased the bid value of their top keywords up to a massive 500%.
- Software as a Service companies spend an estimated $100 – 1200$ to acquire a single customer.
- Google’s approximate revenue during the year 2017 was 95 Billion US Dollars.
This applies to every other paid media form you find highly rewarding now!
But what would happen if you stop using paid media channels (the one that’s giving you traffic and leads)?
Would you lose your traffic? Will be there a decrease in the number of leads?
Maybe yes, and that is what will happen the minute you stop using paid media!
So, are there any other organic ways via which you can grow your website traffic?
Sure there are!
There’s plenty you could do with Owned Media and Earned Media. Below, I’ve mentioned a few best practices (I’ve tried them out myself) that would help grow your website traffic and increase brand awareness.
6 Organic Growth Hacks to Grow Your Website Traffic and Online Presence
1. Write Blog Posts for Topics that Have Search Traffic
This is one ideal way to increase your website traffic. Your industry audience is eager and is looking forward for useful evergreen content. And if you could give them what they want, you’ll eventually get what you want.
But, you in the first place should know how to do this. Here’s a 4 step process guide:
- Do a complete research and find an industry-related topic.
- Find relevant keywords that would suit the topic and the theme.
- Find out if your competitor has written a blog post on the same. If yes, find out what keywords your competitor has used.
- Go a step ahead and think about how your reader would search. This could give you more ideas.
- Write a constructive long-form content (better than your competitors) and include stats, images and anything that adds value to your content.
And there you are, all set to drive (and steal) more organic traffic in no time.
It’s okay to focus on keywords that have a high traffic volume. But also, make sure that you do not miss the long-tail keywords with low traffic volume. These untapped keywords have so much juice in them that you’ll be extremely surprised by the results.
2. Write More Guest Posts
There’s been much speculation about guest posts. A few say guest posts are not the same once it was, while a few, heavily rely on guest posting. If you ask me, I would say that guest posts still perform well when it comes to driving traffic.
The entire idea here is to drive a new set of an audience from a different area. Find websites that accept guest posts (also make sure that the sites have good domain authority, other SEO Metrics). Read the editorial guidelines before you proceed further. On failing to do so, you’ll only be making the process more time-consuming. Writing useful, authoritative guest posts will eventually drive more traffic to your website. And as for the results, it’ll take some time, but they are definitive.
3. Increase Visibility by Promoting Content in Online Communities
Online communities are a free source of organic traffic. This is where most of your organic traffic keeps wandering, unsure where to end up. By making efficient use of online communities, you not only bring traffic to your website but also increase your online presence. I suggest you start off with Facebook, Reddit, relevant forums, etc.,
- 79% percent of Americans use Facebook on a day-to-day basis.
- Reddit has a massive 330 million users, out of which the United States alone has 26.4 million monthly active users.
- America has the highest number of LinkedIn Users – 154 million people.
- An approximate 2 million articles, videos and posts are published on LinkedIn every day.
That’s the volume we are talking about. There’s one thing you should remember if you are going to do this – just because you need increased website traffic and online presence, you cannot share your content with every community you come across. You’ll have to do better than that.
First, you have to join industry-specific groups. Help people within communities by answering their questions. While answering, make sure that you are specific to the topic. Do not try to promote yourself or your website here. Doing this the right way can help build trust and cultivate relationships among the community.
When you do this regularly, you get a loyal followers base. And this is when you should start sharing your content.
Subsequently, you’ll be getting traffic as expected!
4. Revamp Content That’s Outdated
Who would want to read outdated content? No one would!
But what if the same content is being revamped? And what if the content is already generating considerable traffic? This could boost your website traffic to a huge extent.
What’s written new cannot always stay new. And if you want to maintain the consistent traffic you get, you have to make sure your content stays updated.
Look out for new stats, broken links, screenshots, years included and anything else that needs to be updated. And don’t forget to modify the published date. In fact, this is one idea that is being followed by most of the top bloggers, and they were able to see desired results.
Sometimes, you will just have to edit specific sections of the blog, whereas there’ll be times where you have to do an entire revamping. It does take time, but it’s definitely worth it.
5. Publish Videos On YouTube
If you ask why, this should make you understand,
- YouTube has an approximate of 2 billion monthly active users.
- 73% of adults in America use YouTube.
- By the end of the year 2018, there were 5 billion YouTube installations on Android devices.
- An approximate one billion hours of YouTube videos are watched per day.
YouTube is another potential source to drive high traffic and quality leads. All you have to do is, create attention-grabbing videos. And to do that, you’ll have to follow a simple process which is mentioned below
- Start off by doing keyword research. Make sure that your targeted keywords have high traffic.
- Discover what YouTube displays for your targeted keywords. Understand what the videos are about. This gives you an idea as to what kind of videos you should create.
- Have a well-drafted script. The storyline, the facts, the stats and everything else you are about to include, should be planned before you start creating your video.
- Once that’s done, the editing part comes. Make sure your video meets the purpose of its creation. And is also entertaining and informative.
- Do the necessary on-page optimization works and look into YouTube SEO (title, thumbnail, description, tags and more).
- The publishing part plays a significant role. Make sure you publish your video at the right time by checking it with your YouTube analytics. When done, promote it by all possible means (newsletters, video embeds, social media and more).
Reply to your YouTube video comments. This helps you become more authoritative and increases your visibility.
6. Quora Does Give Some Serious Benefits
You might think why I didn’t mention Quora earlier. Trust me, I did want to.
But I didn’t want you to consider Quora as “just another online community”.
Quora is a Q&A site where you can find answers for anything. Even the most complicated questions you have on your mind, chances are high that you’ll be able to find answers in Quora. Which is why
- Quora has an approximate of 300 million monthly users.
- The United States alone has 40 million active Quora users.
- Quora ranks 80th when it comes to global traffic.
If you know what I am talking about, fine!
If not, it’s time you know how Quora works and start using it for your business growth. Start answering questions that are related to your industry. Being active on Quora helps you build a loyal audience base who wants to hear you speak. And while writing answers, make sure that you provide value and at the same time, you keep your audience engaged. Eventually, you can add backlinks and start getting traffic to your website.
A Few Final Words…
Mentioned above are 6 organic growth hacks that can help increase organic website traffic and online presence. This is what we were talking about, the possibilities to grow your website traffic without spending a penny.
To be more specific, growing your website traffic only with Earned Media and Owned Media.
This doesn’t mean I am against Paid Media. I’ve personally seen websites boost their traffic and sales using paid media. Appreciative and certainly a bold move!
“Why Spend on Something That’s Going to Give You Only Temporary Results?”
There’s a whole lot of organic ways to grow your website traffic right in front of you.
Think about it deep!
And let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Happy Growth Marketing!