Options are a wonderful thing. They can give us multiple ways to get where we want to be. I love having options but sometimes, if you’re like me, it can feel like there are so many options that it’s overwhelming.
Should you write a blog? How about doing a podcast? Maybe do some geofencing? Social media is important but should you be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat…maybe all the above? What about the media. Every business needs media attention, right? And there are ads. How can the company survive if it’s not doing ads? And Google, people have got to find your business on Google.
Feel overwhelmed yet? Voice search, influencer relations, syndication, guest blogging, backlinks, SEO, SEM, PPC….it goes on and on.
Let’s take a step back. There is lots of advice on what a business should be doing and it all depends on who you talk with.
A marketer will tell you to do more marketing. An ad agency will tell you running ads is the way to go. A public relations person will tell you to build relationships and get in the media. A social media expert will tell you that social media is the key.
You get the idea, right? It’s not that any of this advice is wrong. Chances are it’s right. Well, sort of. Not every option is a good option but there are certain things you should be doing.
Better stated there are certain areas that you should be focusing on. But how you focus on them and what you do with them is dependent on what your goals are.
Working in a Silo
If you’re like me, you see a ton of ads in my Facebook feed. Ads are important as they have a specific function.
The purpose of an ad is to create awareness and interest. If there is enough interest there will be an action. More often than not, with a Facebook ad, it’s a click that takes one to a website. Our lead takes that action and clicks over to our website. Now what?
If your website isn’t set up to properly handle the leads a Facebook ad is sending, you won’t see conversions. The Facebook
Getting news coverage is cheap and it can generate awareness and interest. There is a myth that goes along with it which is media coverage will equal sales or donations but it doesn’t necessarily work that way.
For one, if media coverage was easy, everybody would be getting it. Think of your top five competitors. How many times have you seen them in the news recently? There is a reason that it’s called earned media. It’s not a gift, it has to be earned. But just getting coverage doesn’t mean results.
Like a Facebook ad, media coverage creates awareness and interest but there is a next step. Media coverage is the beginning point. What are the next steps? These are all things that need to be planned.
While these tactics, and others, are useful, they don’t have the same impact if they are conceived in a silo. For best results, it’s best to tie multiple tactics together that all aim for the same result. That’s why we use the PESO Model.
The PESO Model
I heard a saying once that if you have one stick it’s easy to break. But, take four sticks and tie them together in a bundle and that’s hard to break. It should be that way with your marketing communication efforts as well.
There are four areas to work in and they work in concert with each other to help you achieve your goals. The four areas are:
- Paid Media
- Earned Media
- Shared Media
- Owned Media
Everything I mentioned at the beginning of the article falls into one of these four areas and it’s called the PESO model. It was developed by Gini Dietrich and her team at Spin Sucks.
The wonderful thing about this model is it ties together all the pieces of digital marketing and public relations. I’ve talked about the PESO model before (I talk about it in more detail here), but let me explain the basics.
Paid media is ads. However, we aren’t talking about television or newspaper ads. We are talking about social media ads, like what you see in your Facebook newsfeed, and search engine ads which you have seen in your Google search results.
There are some great advantages digital ads have over a television ad or newspaper ad. Digital ads allow for specific targeting and they can be measured. In most cases, they are also cheaper than traditional ads.
Earned media is also known as media relations. This is what public relations is known for. It is media coverage and it can be in through television, newspapers, magazines, and even blogs or podcasts.
Share media is what is better known as social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest (this isn’t a complete list). If you have been on any of these platforms you will see all sorts of things being shared from articles to pictures to opinions.
Owned media is that in which you own the message and the platform. So while you can share a message on Facebook, it’s not considered owned because Facebook is rented land. Your website is a channel you own. Anything you post on your website is owned media.
Because you own the message and the channel, it becomes the area that paid, earned, and shared media revolve around.
It All Works Together
Much of the advice I see breaks the PESO model apart. It isn’t presented as a package but as an either/or option in which you can pick only one. It’s like being asked if you want toast or cereal for breakfast. When it’s presented in this way it sounds like we can only have one or the other but there is another option. You can have both.
I used to play drums and required all four limbs to be moving independently. Independence was in the spirit of a larger goal. My limbs weren’t doing their own thing because they simply could. The whole point of building independence between my hands and feet is so they would work better together. A drummer’s primary job is to keep time in a way that makes the song feel good and we are using all four limbs to do it. If my left foot can’t do its job, the song will suffer and it be will noticeable to the band and the people listening.
The PESO model is like that as well. They are different areas that do what they need but they work in concert towards a common goal. When it’s all working together, it becomes a powerful force that drives your messaging home in a way that will produce strong results.
You have many options. Don’t let this overwhelm you. There is no one right way to do things. And just because your competition is doing “x” doesn’t mean you should.
Think of your options in terms of the PESO model. What can you do in each of those areas? It could be one thing or even multiple things as long as it makes sense to your goals (and your budget).
Don’t work in a silo. One area alone won’t provide you the same results that all four will when they are working together. Think holistically and you will have the best