Content is King again – the PESO model

When the Internet, and in particular the mobile Internet, was in its infancy, companies were still trying to figure out how to attract people to their sites or to use their mobile services.  Back then, the phrase “Content is King” became as commonplace as references to “Big Data” are today.

But although you don’t hear the phrase as often these days – in many ways, it is more appropriate now than ever before.

Companies of all sizes now appreciate the need to tell their stories – to use all the many digital and physical vehicles at their disposal to spread the word about their successes, their new services, and the challenges and developments in the marketplace.

And in fact, today, a content “model” has emerged which has earned the acronym PESO – which stands for Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned.

Paid Content used to just be advertising or advertorials.  Today there are many other variations of the Paid Content model – a piece of independent editorial in a newspaper or magazine might have been sponsored by a clothing company because all the models are wearing their clothes, for example.  With sponsored content and contra-deals, there is no doubt this content is paid-for – but it is not always obvious to the reader.

Earned content is what used to simply be called editorial coverage.  It is content that has earned a place in a newspaper, magazine, or website through the strength of its news, business or consumer interest.  It is traditionally the hardest content to achieve, but was usually seen as having the greatest value, but that is not always the case these days.

Shared content is the term given to the material that gets promoted and re-promoted on Social Media.  A story on an obscure news site that attracts the eye of, and is shared by, someone with a high profile on Twitter can quite easily get its biggest readership through sharing rather than its original publication.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are prime Sharing sites that often deliver the biggest audience and the stronger chance of engagement.

And finally Owned content.  This represents an organization’s own output on its website, its customer newsletters, direct mail, and its blogs and opinion vehicles.  This is an area where companies really need to invest.  After all, if you are not telling your story consistently and frequently, how can you expect others to pick it up?  It also creates great fuel for all the other content channels.

By creating good content on a regular basis you give yourself the opportunity to put that to work.  You can publish it on your website; use it to generate social sharing; promote it through paid opportunities on targeted sites or – if it truly has hard news strength and an interesting angle – you can use it to generate earned editorial coverage.

So think about the three pillars of REACH, ENGAGE, CONVERT and where your organization is when it comes to shaping up and delivering a sound Content Delivery Plan as part of your overall REACH.

You have a story to tell, one you need to keep fresh and consistently re-tell.

If you don’t then who will?

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