The Art of Winning: Shared Media Strategies that Deliver

Picture this: the local bakery down the street might’ve just made marketing history. They tossed their traditional promotional tactics out the window and embraced shared media wholeheartedly. Suddenly, people post #SugarRushSunday selfies with their pastries; a fierce debate over the best donut flavor has erupted, and even the bakery’s dog mascot wags its tail on TikTok. This little shop became ground zero for a thriving community, and it’s not because of some megabucks ad campaign—it’s shared media working its magic.

But, all isn’t always just sprinkles and frosting; sometimes, shared media can be that trifle with too much brandy. It’s a delicious, dynamic marketing playground, but the challenges CMOs face today can be amusing and daunting.

What is Shared Media? 

Shared media is a pivotal part of the PESO model. It refers to the digital spaces where brands and their customers engage in a mutual exchange of content and conversation. It’s an evolving landscape, continually shaped by the interaction between the two parties.

Social media platforms have become prime examples of shared media. Here, marketers actively engage with their customer base, imparting a blend of curated and user-generated content. As a result, it’s less of a monologue and more of a conversation, where companies aren’t solely dictating the narrative but are part of an ongoing storytelling process.

Shared media is a pivotal part of the PESO model. It refers to the digital spaces where brands and their customers engage in a mutual exchange of content and conversation.

And at the heart of this process lies the concept of “community.” Brands must understand that shared media isn’t just about broadcasting. It’’s a give-and-take relationship where active listening and genuine engagement lay the groundwork for deeper connections.

These connections bring about a sense of belonging among customers, transforming them into brand advocates. It’s a powerful dynamic. A testament to the shift from traditional marketing approaches to those focusing on nurturing relationships and building communities.

The Challenges of Shared Media 

Now that we’ve established a solid understanding of shared media and its importance in modern marketing let’s dive into the challenges of managing it effectively. Navigating shared media can be an uphill battle, with potential roadblocks like competing for attention, ensuring authenticity, and managing crises looming large. 

One of the critical challenges marketers encounter in shared media spaces is the competition for attention, given that these platforms are often flooded with content from various sources. As a result, audiences are exposed to overwhelming stories and messages daily. Cutting through the clutter to garner meaningful engagement requires a well-thought-out strategy that considers personalization, direct brand-consumer communication, and a blend of UGC and professionally curated content.

Another pressing issue brands face heading into shared media landscapes is maintaining authenticity. Marketers must develop a transparent and genuine online presence, with consumers increasingly discerning in their digital engagements. On the other hand, inauthentic messaging or interaction can backfire and damage a company’s reputation, leaving audiences disconnected and disinterested. Striking the perfect balance is essential to foster trust and to nurture lasting customer relationships.

Their essential conversational nature implies that any misstep or negative sentiment in shared media is open to immediate public scrutiny. So brands must be prepared to handle crises tactfully and expediently. In shared media spaces, reputation management is of utmost importance, and marketers must devise strategies that address and rectify issues in real-time.

Moreover, with the ever-changing landscape of shared media platforms, brands face the added challenge of analyzing data effectively. From determining the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to measuring success, the data-driven aspect of shared media can be a burden as much as an asset. As a result, marketers must stay on top of trends, understand their target audience, and adapt their strategies to attain maximum impact.

Despite these hurdles, shared media remains invaluable for companies fostering deeper customer relationships and building robust communities. By proactively addressing these challenges and creating authentic, resonant content, marketers pave the way for a harmonious existence in the ever-evolving world of shared media. If done well, this harmonious existence ultimately leads to a loyal and passionate community of brand advocates.

Shared Media Examples 

One notable brand effortlessly navigating shared media on TikTok is the global cosmetics company, e.l.f. They launched the #eyeslipsface challenge, encouraging users to showcase their e.l.f. Products using a catchy, custom-made soundtrack. This initiative cleverly tapped into TikTok’s user-generated content capabilities and became a viral sensation, amassing billions of views.

When embarking on a TikTok shared media strategy, brands should be aware of its unique features, such as its dynamic audience and the importance of short, creative content that resonates with users. They must also be prepared for TikTok’s rapid pace, closely monitoring trends and adjusting their approach.

The sports apparel giant, Nike, is a prime example of a compelling shared media strategy on Instagram. Nike extensively utilizes user-generated content by encouraging its followers to share their workouts, adventures, and personal stories with the hashtag #justdoit, fostering community and engagement around the brand.

For a successful shared media approach on Instagram, companies must consistently create visually unique and authentic content that sparks conversation among followers. Brands should also monitor users’ interactions, respond to comments, and, when feasible, incorporate user-generated content or influencers to amplify their message in a genuine, relatable way.

Microsoft, the technology leader, has built a solid shared media presence on LinkedIn by showcasing its employees, celebrating their accomplishments, and discussing their contributions to the company’s mission. Microsoft enables meaningful conversations with professionals on the platform through posts, videos, and thought-leadership articles.

When utilizing LinkedIn as a shared media outlet, marketers should be mindful of the platform’s professional nature, crafting content that engages their audience on a deeper, more intellectual level. They must be ready to participate in industry discussions, share valuable insights, and become thought leaders within their respective sectors.

The brands have successfully navigated the shared media landscape in these examples by creating a community around their products and services. Companies venturing into shared media on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn must understand the unique attributes, challenges, and opportunities these platforms present. Then, to maximize impact, they should devise strategies that resonate with each platform’s diverse audience, remain adaptable to change, and foster authentic connections that transform customers into brand advocates.

Shared Media Tactics

Shared media is a unique aspect of modern marketing that requires a delicate balance between brand messaging and active engagement with customers and prospects. To succeed in this shared space, marketers must employ various tactics tailored to suit the specific platform and audience to build a strong presence and maintain that authenticity.

One effective tactic involves posting content on popular social networks such as TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. These platforms offer many opportunities for marketers to reach their target audience and initiate conversations. However, it’s crucial to remember that each forum has unique user demographics and content preferences – a viral TikTok video wouldn’t necessarily perform the same way on LinkedIn. By understanding these nuances, marketers can tailor their shared media strategy to specific platforms and audiences, ensuring a more targeted and impactful approach.

Meanwhile, blogs present another opportunity for marketers to develop shared media strategies. Instead of using them solely as promotional tools, they can be employed as a space for thought leadership and customer-generated content. By encouraging engagement through comments or guest post submissions, marketers can create interactive, community-driven content hubs that foster a sense of belonging and loyalty among their audience.

Additionally, forums like Reddit can be influential shared media arenas for companies that aim to connect with passionate communities built around specific interests or industries. Engaging in thoughtful discussion and sharing helpful insights and solutions positions the brand as a knowledgeable authority and helps build rapport with the community. However, it is crucial to maintain a genuine and transparent presence in these forums, as promoting self-interest can backfire and create negative sentiments.

Employing these tactics and adapting them to suit the shared spaces of TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, or Reddit provides marketers with a solid foundation for building strong relationships with customers and prospects. Moreover, successfully navigating these platforms and implementing an effective, shared media strategy can lead to a loyal and engaged community of brand advocates.

What To Watch Out For 

When brands actively engage using shared media, they open up lines of communication with their audience and expose themselves to potential customer service issues and crises. Therefore, as customer inquiries, complaints, and grievances reach shared media channels, marketers must be prepared to address them promptly, efficiently, and empathetically.

To manage customer service issues effectively on shared media, brands should have a dedicated team of personnel responsible for closely monitoring direct messages, comments, and mentions. In addition, this team must be adequately trained in customer service etiquette, equipped with a deep understanding of the company’s products or services, and knowledgeable about escalation procedures in cases where issues cannot be resolved through public channels.

Being well-prepared for crisis scenarios is another crucial aspect of managing a brand’s presence on shared media, as it helps minimize potential damage to the company’s reputation. Therefore, brands should develop a crisis communication plan with specific guidelines for shared media content during emergencies. Ideally, this plan should outline a systematic and timely response protocol for identifying, addressing, and mitigating emerging crises.

Also, brands should establish a transparent chain of command in decision-making, ensuring responsible parties are always informed about emerging issues. Finally, in situations of potential crisis, it’s essential to maintain transparency, provide frequent updates, and engage in sincere dialogue with the audience to demonstrate genuine concern and mitigate reputational damage.

Understanding the Differences: Shared Media vs Earned Media

Shared and earned media are crucial in a brand’s overall marketing strategy. However, they differ in various ways, primarily regarding content control, distribution, and engagement methods. Here are the key differences between shared media and earned media:

1. Content Control

Shared media refers to content the brand shares on its social media accounts or other digital platforms where customers can directly engage and interact with the brand. In this case, the company controls the content they produce and share, such as posts, images, and videos tailored to their audience’s interests.

Earned media is content about the brand created and shared by third parties. This could include news articles, product reviews, social media mentions, or influencers endorsing a brand. In earned media, brands have limited control since external parties generate and disseminate the content.

2. Distribution

Shared media relies on social media platforms and other digital channels where the brand maintains a presence. It is distributed to the brand’s followers, who can directly interact with and share the content, potentially increasing its reach and visibility organically.

Earned media, however, stems from others’ perceptions and opinions about the brand. The distribution of earned media is based on a third party’s decision to publish or share information about the brand. This media type is primarily distributed through news outlets, industry publications, influencers’ social media accounts, and other independent channels.

3. Engagement Methods

In shared media, the focus is on fostering direct engagement with the brand’s audience, encouraging active participation by responding to comments, conversations, and other interactions. This creates two-way communication and a sense of community where customers feel heard and valued.

Earned media typically involves less direct engagement between the brand and its audience, as the content is generated and shared independently. In this case, a brand’s role is to monitor and manage its online reputation and leverage positive earned media to strengthen brand credibility and trust.

4. Effort and Investment

Shared media often requires more time and resources to plan, create, and distribute content consistently. Brands must also dedicate effort to maintaining an active presence on social media, responding to audience interactions, and adapting their strategy based on user feedback and platform trends.

Earned media usually demands a different approach, creating valuable products and services, generating positive brand experiences, and cultivating relationships with journalists, reporters, and editors. Although the initial efforts might differ, the subsequent benefits often translate into organic brand exposure and greater credibility, resting largely on the brand’s reputation and third-party validation.

In conclusion, shared and earned media examples serve distinct purposes and employ different approaches to reach and engage with audiences. A balanced and integrated marketing strategy should leverage both media types to create a comprehensive and authoritative brand presence, building strong customer connections and fostering long-lasting relationships.

Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.