Don’t build your content house on rented land

Build where you own the land, distribute where the audience is.

Before distributing, ensure it’s worth visiting. 

This pretty much sums up the whole post. 

If you are already doing it, kudos to you. And you don’t need to read this post :). But if you’re confused about the balance between owned and rented, you may proceed further.  

I understand that the rented land is lucrative. It’s crowded, abuzz with activities and attention. 

Pretty much every marketer’s dream and KRA – to be present where the attention is. 

But what happens when this attention gets diverted or blocked? Suddenly there is a wall created between you and your audience and you don’t have their contact to reach out to them any further.

Most of these platforms change their rules and algorithms often. They are the owners, and they have all the right to change. 

Remember the word “organic reach” on Facebook? Pretty much, a thing of the past now. And remember, how much effort we all had put in (including me) to increase the likes and followers for our pages? Can we establish a personalized connection with those followers now?

Does this mean brands shouldn’t be present on rented lands? No, I didn’t mean that at all. Brands must leverage the social media platforms and be present wherever the audience is – be it owned or rented.

However, it’s important to understand if we are leveraging the platforms to serve our interests and goals. Here are three quick suggestions that may help in this direction :

  • Evaluate your content strategy and check if there is a balance between content creation for your owned properties vs social media.
  • For some categories, the scale will always be tilted towards social media as that might be driving results. And that’s perfectly fine. Though in such scenarios, do evaluate if the rented land is helping you grow your own media in any way? Have you included a clear CTA and something of value to your audience to attract them to your own property?
  • Once they land, ensure that the audience feels welcome at your property, has a clear path to navigate, and has sufficient content to connect and engage.

And, what are the owned properties in marketing these days? 

As of 2021, it would be our website, app, newsletter, and customer/subscriber database. This landscape may change again but a simple rule to keep in mind while deciding about the own land will be – am I getting to own my audience here?

Speaking from experience, in a lot of consulting assignments, I still get asked for increasing the “likes” and “followers” for ‘Instagram’ profiles. And I don’t blame them, as most of the social media platforms when handled properly do give results. But mostly short-term ones.

We don’t even know if these platforms will be there tomorrow or not. 

For long-term benefits, leverage the rented land but focus on bringing the audience back to your own land.

Owned media is an asset for any brand. 

Own, connect, engage and grow!

*Thank you for reading this post. Speaking of owned audience :), I run a monthly newsletter on marketing for solopreneurs and small businesses. It has only one objective – to help this segment grow and enable them to do their own marketing. If this interests you, you may subscribe to it here

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