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Six brands whose owned media channels are thriving
Six brands whose owned media channels are thriving

Spend enough time with digital marketers and you'll no doubt hear the terms "earned, owned and paid media". These are more than mere buzz words, they should be key pillars of any content marketing strategy.

Earned media: when your content gets shared, referenced, reviewed, linked to online. Think of it as digital word-of-mouth. 

Paid media: your ad campaigns and content which you sponsor. Buying traffic.

Owned media: channels you have control over. For example, your website or blog. Social media channels such as Facebook and Youtube also technically count as owned media.

In this article, we'll be focusing on owned media. Having a successful owned channel can make your brand stand out from the crowd. So, which companies are doing it well?

Blue notes - ANZ

ANZ launched their newsroom, Bluenotes, in April 2014 and began publishing a raft of content about the financial sectors of Australian, New Zealand and Pacific economies. 

In their first year, they smashed their annual target of 80,000 unique views and gained 2000 newsletter subscribers from the key demographics. While the traffic numbers haven't skyrocketed since then, the award-winning site has proven itself strong in the content space, especially in regards to organic search.

They know their target market well and the data reflects that - with a strong focus on in-depth industry specific content (powered by the ANZ knowledge bank of industry specialists), and a steady flow of readers coming from professional platforms such as LinkedIn and businessinsider.com.au.

Pursuit - The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is constantly producing interesting stories from their world-leading research department and in 2015 they launched their own channel through which to share these stories. Fronted initially by former Herald Sun editor-in-chief Phillip Gardner and now former BBC editor Imogen Crump, Pursuit has positioned itself as a worthy player in the digital news and features space. Pursuit provides a steady stream of interesting articles and podcasts (about 46 pieces a month), 90 per cent of which is produced by University of Melbourne academics.

Averaging at least 150,000 hits recorded in a single month, you can see how this high-end news and research site is complementing the uni's brand and cementing itself as a critical part of their marketing strategy.

Starbucks Channel

Starbucks has a splendidly multifaceted approach to its marketing, utilising apps, games, journalism and social media posts to promote customer loyalty, harvest consumer data and sell its products. They maintain and build their mailing list through their innovative content marketing strategies. The company has a colossal marketing budget, so it's always fascinating to see the directions they move in. Recently, this world-renowned brand took the bold step of moving into video content on aptly named Starbucks Channel - establishing their own sort of mini-Netflix focusing on "Coffee, Culture, Community". Their video series Upstanders is on to its second series and perfectly complements their blog posts and feature journalism.

The Cleanest Line - Patagonia

Nowadays, Patagonia is often hitting the headlines for their environmental activism. So who better to tell these breaking stories but the brand themselves? Alongside stories of resistance such as "There is Trump and There is the Truth" there are super-shareable gems like "Following Wolverines" and stunning photography splashed all over the beautiful blog. Naturally their Instagram page is also killing it with 3.1 million followers.

AirBnB Magazine

The business that was born out of the thin air of the Internet, but Airbnb have moved into the real world by partnering with Hearst Communications to launch a physical vessel for their content. Hearst’s Johanna Coles hopes to see Airbnbmag on “every coffee table of every Airbnb host”. Meanwhile their online magazine channel continues to enjoy a great symbiosis with their main product - accommodation - as thousands of daydreamers and travel planners swirl around their content hub daily.

Move Nourish Believe - Lorna Jane

Australian activewear brand Lorna Jane has gone from strength to strength, and so has its content marketing. Their stand-alone content site is built upon the brand's active living philosophy, Move Nourish Believe, and is tightly focused on delivering content that provides value to their target audience - rather than on promoting the Lorna Jane product line.

While the site has a wide range of content, including healthy eating, skincare, lifestyle, motivation and recipes to profiles of Lorna Jane's 'active living advocates' - all of the content aligns closely to the brand's core philosophy and is crafted to be both emotive and inspirational.  

It's a strategy the audience appreciates - with up to 200,000 visits to their site a month, and more than 40 per cent of those from the Australian market, Lorna Jane has tapped into a strong and loyal community. 


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