Key Takeaways 📈 📊
- Shared Media Transforms Brand Engagement: Shared media has revolutionized how brands interact with audiences, offering direct access to consumers on their preferred platforms. This shift allows companies to build communities, foster engagement, and establish meaningful connections, moving beyond traditional one-way marketing communications.
- Consistent Messaging Amplifies Brand Identity: Effective use of shared media involves repeating core brand messages across platforms. By consistently reinforcing brand pillars, value propositions, and calls to action, companies can cut through the noise and solidify their brand identity in the consumer’s mind.
- Authenticity Drives Consumer Trust: In shared media, brands don’t control the narrative; users do. This user-generated content, rooted in genuine experiences and interests, offers a highly authentic and trustworthy source of information, enhancing brand credibility.
- Diverse Platforms, Diverse Strategies: Shared media encompasses various formats and platforms, each with unique cultures and user expectations. Brands must tailor their content and approach to each platform, understanding the nuances of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok to effectively engage different audiences.
- Viral Potential of User-Generated Content: The decentralized nature of shared media gives it a vast reach and resonance, with the potential for rapid viral spread. Brands can leverage this by creating content that resonates with users, encouraging them to share, comment, and remix, thus amplifying the brand’s reach organically.
- Strategic Engagement Fosters Community: Brands can foster a sense of community and drive engagement by actively responding to comments, sharing user-generated content, and running interactive campaigns. This approach not only increases reach but also strengthens the relationship between the brand and its audience.
- Data-Driven Optimization is Key: To maximize the impact of shared media, continuous tracking of metrics and testing of different content approaches is essential. Brands need to pivot their strategies based on data, optimizing content to resonate with their target audience and achieve desired engagement levels.
Shared media has become integral to modern marketing, providing brands with direct access to target audiences across various platforms. With the ability to reach consumers where they spend their time online, shared media presents a massive opportunity for companies to build communities, foster engagement, and establish meaningful connections with customers. However, utilizing these channels effectively requires careful strategy and execution.
Utilizing Shared Media: Leverage the interactive nature of shared media to spark ongoing conversations with your audience.
Brands must leverage the interactive nature of shared media to spark ongoing conversations with their audience. They can position themselves as trusted authorities and enrich the customer experience through relevant, thoughtful messaging delivered consistently across selected platforms. The key is striking the right balance between promoting products and services and providing valuable content.
One effective technique is to use shared media for consistent message repetition. Thoughtful repetition of core brand pillars, value propositions, and calls to action allows companies to cut through the noise and effectively reach their target market. Combining this approach with engaging content formats like videos, infographics, and polls can capture audience attention across channels and reinforce brand identity. The result is an immersive brand experience and community enriched by shared values.
Message Repetition: Use shared media for consistent repetition of core brand pillars, value propositions, and calls to action.
Defining Shared Media
Shared media refers to user-generated content distributed across social platforms and other online communities. Unlike traditional media, which specific providers create, shared media allows anyone to create and share content easily. This has revolutionized marketing and given brands new ways to reach and engage consumers.
The critical characteristic of shared media is that brands do not directly control it. Instead, users create it organically based on their interests, experiences, and desire to connect with others. This makes it a highly authentic, trustworthy source of information for consumers. Brands can encourage engagement on shared media by providing value and sparking discussion, but they cannot dictate the conversation.
Shared media encompasses a wide variety of formats and platforms. Users share thoughts, experiences, images, and videos on social networks like Facebook and Twitter that shape perceptions of brands, products, or issues. Review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor feature user-generated reviews that influence purchase decisions. Blogs, forums, and communities allow discussions around niche topics, while platforms like YouTube and TikTok are filled with user-created content.
The decentralized nature of shared media gives it incredible reach and resonance. A message can spread rapidly as users engage with content by sharing, commenting, or remixing it. This viral potential makes shared media highly strategic for brands looking to build awareness and connect with target audiences. It provides a way to start conversations and relationships that expand organically through networks and communities.
While brands must relinquish a degree of control with shared media, they can also benefit tremendously if they embrace the authenticity and power of user-generated content. By providing value upfront and encouraging advocacy, companies can earn trust and lasting affinity across platforms.
The Power of Shared Media
Shared media offers significant strategic advantages for brands looking to expand their reach, engagement, and impact in the digital landscape. By harnessing user-generated content, companies can build meaningful mindshare and community around their products and services.
The Power of Shared Media
|Increases brand awareness and reach
|User-generated content exposes brands to new networks and audiences organically
|GoPro, Red Bull
|– Impressions – New follower growth – Traffic from shares
|Provides social proof
|User content builds credibility through authentic reviews and experiences
|– Testimonials – Reviews – Mentions
|Fosters engagement and community
|Interactive platforms allow brands to foster conversations and connections
|– Comments – Shares – Engagement rate
|Potential for virality
|Compelling user content can spread rapidly through sharing and networks
|– Share rate – Views – Reach from shares
Increases brand awareness and reach
One of the greatest powers of shared media is its ability to increase brand visibility and reach new audiences organically. When intriguing or valuable content is shared across social platforms, it can expose the brand to entirely new demographics and networks.
This provides an opportunity to gain awareness and consideration with relevant consumer groups that may not have encountered marketing messages through traditional channels. Brands like GoPro and Red Bull have built massive recognition by creating shareable user-generated content that spread through networks and introduced the brand to new audiences globally.
Provides social proof
User-generated content on shared media also offers invaluable social proof. When real customers post authentic positive reviews, experiences, and recommendations, it builds tremendous credibility for a brand. Potential buyers are likelier to trust other consumers’ real-life experiences than polished marketing content. User-generated content tells a brand’s story in an authentic way that resonates and provides the social validation people seek before making purchase decisions.
Fosters engagement and community
The interactive nature of shared media allows brands to move beyond one-way messaging and foster real conversations with engaged communities. When consumers are excited about a brand, they become powerful advocates who continue driving conversations organically across platforms. This creates a feedback loop that reinforces affinity and provides valuable insights into customer sentiment. Brands like Glossier have built loyal online followings by encouraging user-generated content and maintaining engaging social presences.
Potential for virality
Finally, compelling user-generated content has the potential to go viral and greatly accelerate brand growth. When content resonates and users actively share it across their networks, it can expand brand reach exponentially. Humorous, inspirational, or informational content can spark viral sharing activity, providing marketing exposure no ad budget could achieve. Clever campaigns utilizing user-generated content have gained massive brand awareness through viral sharing.
One of the most viral brand moments in 2020 was from an unlikely source: a TikTok video featuring a man casually skateboarding while drinking Ocean Spray juice. Created by user Nathan Apodaca, the short video amassed over 69 million views and sparked a viral trend, with thousands of TikTok users eager to recreate their own versions of the memorable moment.
Apodaca’s laidback vibe and the simple pleasure of sipping juice while cruising on a skateboard clearly resonated. The video spread rapidly as viewers shared it across platforms, drawn in by its authenticity. Ocean Spray capitalized on the viral attention, gifting Apodaca a new truck and releasing their own TikTok video playfully responding to the trend. This strategic response helped amplify the brand’s reach and exposure. According to one report, the viral video boosted Ocean Spray’s sales by over 30 percent.
Ultimately, the power of shared media comes from its authenticity and grassroots energy. By inspiring advocacy and participation from real consumers, brands can amplify reach and engagement in a highly strategic way.
Challenges of Shared Media
|Competing for attention
|Crowded space on social platforms
|Create unique, compelling content. Target specific audiences.
|Engagement rates. Impressions.
|User content is powerful because it’s real
|Focus on value and relationships. Avoid overly salesy tactics.
|Sentiment analysis. Testimonials.
|Negative feedback spreads rapidly
|Monitor and respond promptly. Handle with transparency.
|Response times. Social listening.
Competing for attention in a crowded space
The sheer volume of content and voices on shared media makes it difficult for brands to be heard. On platforms like Facebook or TikTok, users are flooded with content from all directions competing for their limited attention. Breaking through the noise requires creating unique, compelling content that resonates with specific audiences. It demands considerable creativity and experimentation to spark engagement consistently.
User-generated content is powerful because of its raw authenticity. Brands must avoid diminishing this authenticity by being overly promotional or manipulative in their strategies. Content that feels artificial or corporate will likely be ignored. Maintaining authenticity requires brands to focus less on selling and more on creating value, building relationships, and furthering real conversations. Savvy consumers can recognize genuine brand voices.
Managing crises and negative feedback
The open nature of shared media means brands must deal with negativity and crises in full public view. Complaints, damaging claims, and other negative feedback can spread rapidly. Being proactive with monitoring, customer service, and prompt crisis response is crucial. But brands must also recognize their inability to control conversations on social media fully. Acting defensively or trying to bury criticism often backfires. Handling negativity with poise, transparency, and accountability is key.
While complex, shared media remains vital for modern brands. Those able to adapt their strategies to capitalize on their strengths while navigating their challenges will gain a significant competitive advantage. Maintaining authenticity, adding value, and furthering real connections, rather than just promotions, is critical.
3 Tactics for Shared Media Success
Brands can maximize the impact of shared media by being strategic with their content. Developing thoughtful tactics and best practices tailored to specific platforms and audiences is key for cutting through the noise.
|Tailor Content to Platforms
|Understand platform culture and audiences. Create content optimized for each.
|Custom assets for TikTok vs LinkedIn.
|Engagement rates by platform.
|Respond to users. Share UGC. Run contests to incentivize sharing.
|GoPro video challenges.
|Comments. Shares. UGC usage.
|Monitor and Optimize
|Track metrics. Test content approaches. Pivot strategies based on data.
|Compare video vs. infographic performance. Address rising complaints.
|Engagement rates. Sentiment. Conversion rates.
Tailor Content to Platforms and Audiences
Each social platform has its unique culture, formats, and audience expectations. Content that thrives on TikTok may flounder on LinkedIn. To resonate, brands must understand the nuances of each platform and tailor content accordingly.
For example, TikTok is driven by fun short videos and viral trends. Audiences expect entertainment, humor, and cultural relevance. This favors brands with engaging visual content in a casual, organic style. In contrast, LinkedIn calls for informative, industry-focused content presented professionally. Tailoring message style and formats is crucial for resonance.
Content Creation: Tailor your content to specific platforms and audiences, understanding each platform’s unique culture and expectations.
Beyond platform norms, brands must also cater content to the specific target audiences they want to reach. Demographic and psychographic insights should shape content strategies. For youth audiences, innovative and interactive content may work best. Professional groups may prefer useful, industry-specific material. Tailoring content to both platform and audience is key for sparking engagement.
Brands should develop shareable assets like infographics, videos, and images expressly created for specific platforms. Unique content designed for each channel and audience has a greater chance of taking off organically. The goal is to provide value while reinforcing brand identity in a voice suited to each platform’s culture.
Brands should actively encourage user engagement and sharing to maximize their presence on shared media. This fosters brand advocacy while also increasing reach.
One effective tactic is consistently responding to user comments and questions on social platforms. This nurtures a dialogue rather than one-way broadcasting. Thoughtful interaction shows the brand listens and cares while providing customer service transparently.
Brands can also amplify engagement by sharing user-generated content on their channels. For example, reposting customers’ photos featuring the brand’s products makes them feel valued. This content also comes across as more authentic to audiences.
Encouraging Engagement: Actively encourage user engagement and sharing, such as responding to comments and sharing user-generated content.
Running contests, sweepstakes, or campaigns with incentives to share or create content can also drive high engagement. The opportunity to win prizes or rewards compels users to participate and spread brand messaging themselves. GoPro’s annual Million Dollar Challenge awards prizes for the best user-filmed video footage. This generates tons of authentic, engaging video content showcasing GoPro’s action cameras in use.
The key is to provide value first, then make it easy and rewarding for audiences to amplify brands through their networks. This facilitates a synergistic cycle of value, engagement, and exposure. Brands relinquish control but gain authentic advocacy.
Monitor and Optimize
To maximize shared media success, brands must vigilantly monitor performance and be ready to optimize based on data and insights.
Ongoing tracking provides the metrics needed to refine strategies. Analyzing engagement rates, reach, sentiment, and conversions for content gives crucial visibility into what works. Brands should monitor both owned metrics on their channels and wider listening across shared media to spot trends and opportunities.
Active testing is also key for optimization. Brands should develop a range of content types and topics, then iterate based on response. For example, a brand could post infographics, listicles, videos, and expert interviews on a topic, comparing engagement across formats. This reveals ideal content styles to prioritize.
Monitoring and Optimization: Continuously track metrics and test different content approaches, pivoting strategies based on data.
Brands must also be agile enough to pivot approaches quickly based on monitoring and testing. If a certain content theme takes off, do more of that. If engagement drops on a platform, re-evaluate formats and messaging. Listen for rising conversations or complaints and address them.
The shared media landscape evolves rapidly. Staying on top of subtle shifts through vigilant tracking allows brands to optimize and perform stronger continually. Rather than guesswork, data-driven iteration helps pinpoint effective strategies for reaching audiences. The brands that constantly sharpen their approach will maintain an edge.
Understanding the Differences: Shared Media vs. Earned Media
Shared and earned media are two vital components of an integrated marketing strategy, but they differ fundamentally regarding content control, distribution, engagement, and required efforts. Examining these nuances is crucial for brands looking to leverage both effectively.
Balancing Content Control: Understand the difference in content control between shared and earned media, and strategize accordingly.
Diverging Levels of Content Control
A key distinction lies in the level of control brands wield over content creation and messaging. Shared media encompasses posts, images, videos, and other content brands create and disseminate directly across owned social channels. Companies retain full control over shaping messaging and presentation styles to resonate with their target audiences.
In contrast, earned media stems from external parties like journalists, influencers, and reviewers. Brands relinquish direct control over messaging and spin. Earned content reflects third-party perspectives, opinions, and experiences with the brand rather than controlled marketing communications.
Varying Distribution Channels and Reach
Shared media leverages a brand’s owned social media presence and followers. Content is natively designed for discovery and sharing within these defined channels. Ideal content can spread widely through followers actively engaging and reposting organically.
Earned media derives its distribution power from credible third parties publishing or sharing content through their channels. For example, a review from an influential site or writer inherently reaches that outlet’s readership. This exposes brands to new audiences beyond owned channels but without guarantees.
Divergent Engagement Approaches
Shared media thrives on direct two-way engagement between brands and users. Companies can spark conversations by responding to comments and feedback. This fosters community and strengthens relationships.
With earned media, brands indirectly engage by monitoring and reacting to content shared externally. They have less ability to participate in direct conversations but can amplify positive earned media through owned channels to expand reach.
Contrasting Resource Investments
Generating quality shared media requires strategic content planning, platform-optimized creative assets, and active community management. Brands must invest time understanding audiences, monitoring engagement, and iterating approaches.
Earning media depends more on brand experiences, public relations outreach, and cultivating press relationships. Brands must generate compelling stories, maintain credibility, and build goodwill with external publishers.
In summary, shared and earned strategies differ considerably but work powerfully together within a coordinated approach, providing brands with control over messaging and third-party validation.
Shared media represents a pivotal opportunity for brands to engage modern audiences and build lasting connections. By embracing user-generated content, companies gain access to authentic peer voices that resonate profoundly with consumers. This provides immense potential to expand reach and strengthen brand affinity organically.
However, effectively leveraging shared media requires a thoughtful strategy tailored to each platform and audience. Brands must focus on creating value rather than promotions. They provide compelling content and experiences that spark organic sharing and advocacy. Maintaining authenticity, encouraging participation, monitoring data, and optimizing approaches are key tactics for success.
When done strategically, shared media allows brands to foster genuine communities rooted in shared values and experiences. The result is mutually beneficial relationships between brands and empowered consumers. As social platforms and user content continue evolving, listening closely to stay relevant will be critical. But brands willing to adapt to this new participatory landscape can flourish. Ultimately, shared media represents an opportunity to have meaningful conversations rather than broadcast impersonal ads. By embracing this shift, companies can build trust and enrich the customer experience through social connections.
Importantly, shared media is a key component of the PESO model for integrated marketing. PESO encompasses Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned media. Shared media is the critical “glue” that weaves paid, earned, and owned activities together. By inspiring organic peer sharing and advocacy, brands amplify the reach and resonance of content distributed across all channels. A strategic approach to shared media supercharges integrated campaigns.