When putting a marketing effort together, it’s important to understand how various types of content contribute to the overall campaign. I’ve written previously about the PESO acronym for content types — Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned. This way of looking at content makes it easier to distinguish the different types and how they complement each other.
Using that categorization, what type of content is the contributed byline? For many of my clients it’s an important part of their content mix, combining the benefits of more than one category. I’d call it a hybrid form of content marketing. The contributed byline combines the assumed third party credibility of an earned media story with the message control of owned media. I tell the story from the client’s point of view, and it gets distributed to the readers with the publisher’s imprimatur.
Of course the publication has the right to edit the piece, and the content needs to be high quality. But my experience has been that as long as the theme of the piece matches the subject matter of the publication and contains no overt sales pitch, it will run as is.
Most trade publications are eager for quality content. The placement of client content is easier than in previous years, before print banner advertising started drying up as the main revenue stream for magazines. Some smaller publications are in such dire straits that any coverage is followed by a hard sell for the client to spend advertising dollars – for ads, webinars, sponsored research or email blasts.
My clients usually aren’t interested and don’t need to oblige such a “pay to play.” That type of placement does however perfectly exemplify the graphic above, since such content would contain elements of all three categories – earned, owned and paid media.
Some of my clients are so enamored of the placed story they hesitate to do media interviews. They’ve become too accustomed to controlling the story. Whether the placed byline is earned or owned media isn’t really important to them. They only care that it’s an effective part of their content marketing effort.
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