Let's get social

MKR had the privilege to present at the 2022 Social Media Strategies Summit. We were joined by other tremendous speakers — such as Kristi Daraban, AVP, Social Media at Nationwide. Her perspective on how to navigate an organic versus paid digital strategy was inspiring.

As the Media Supervisor for MKR, my responsibilities include putting together successful media plans for clients that include both paid and organic media. Kristi helped break down a complex process into some easily recognizable steps:

  • Define Your Needs
  • Identify Your Audience
  • Select Tactics
  • Develop Assets and Creative
  • Place Media

Defining Your Needs

The first step we take in defining our needs is establishing the customer funnel. Kristi mentioned reach, engagement, conversion, and customer advocacy. At MKR, we might call these awareness, consideration, and conversion campaigns to reach different audiences at different stages of the funnel (also known as the customer journey).

Kristi mentioned the coordination between paid traditional media, digital media, earned media, and publicity to make sure all campaigns are working together to achieve the same goal. This is something that MKR does exceptionally well. Being a full-service agency, we’re able to coordinate across a variety of channels. From traditional outdoor, TV, or print to optimized conversion campaigns, we are experts when it comes to media planning.

Person working on laptop while looking on a cell phone

Identifying Your Audience

This is one of the most important steps when it comes to paid vs. organic content strategy. Clearly defining your objective and audience could change which channel would work best for your goals. Some examples of different objectives that Kristi mentioned are:

  • Reach current customers
  • Reach new prospects
  • Convert prospects
  • Build awareness
  • Drive engagement
  • Reinforce loyalty

Selecting Tactics

You don’t have to spend money to reach these audiences. You can cultivate a quality email list to increase loyalty. Engage with customers in a live Q&A session on social media to get feedback about a new product or service. Or implement a tracking pixel on your website to build a retargeting audience.

Something that MKR does so well with our audience-first approach is creating audience personas to get a better understanding of audience segments. Putting a personality to the audiences you want to reach that convert.

Kristi also talked about stepping back to take a look at the entire marketing landscape. Not just what campaigns are running, but also what’s happening within your market and industry. This helps give context to your content — increasing your relevancy and appeal to your audience.

Speaking of relevancy and appeal to an audience, Kristi mentioned influencer marketing and how it fits within paid media. Yes, influencer marketing is paid media! You’re paying to reach an influencer’s audience through their channel. But when done effectively, it can boost the organic content strategy as well.

Email marketing can be a great “glue” across paid, owned, and earned media. Using your email list to create an ad with a custom audience list. Also using email as a medium for showcasing your testimonials, employees, and press.

Kristi did a fantastic job of taking the paid vs. organic content strategy even further — breaking down what works for each.

What works – Organic:

  • Personalization
  • Frequency
  • Cross-Sell
  • Customer focus/messaging
  • Retention
  • Advocacy

What works – Paid:

  • Targeting
  • Message customization
  • Content timing and cadence
  • Partnerships/influencers
  • Engagement
  • Reach – current and new

A significant and growing piece of the paid media puzzle is targeting and audience data. These are things we take into consideration for every campaign we do here at MKR. Do we have first-party data? Do we have to rely on third-party data? What will that do to our budget? Can we utilize the native platform data? How big is our retargeting audience?

Assets and Creative

Creative can be the X factor in a digital campaign’s success. It’s a balancing act. You don’t want your paid content to stick out like a sore thumb from your organic content. But top creative checks a lot of boxes to help influence campaign performance. Some factors to consider when thinking about organic vs. paid campaigns include:

  • Platform
  • Production Quality
  • Quantity of Assets
  • Frequency
  • CTA
  • Timing

Key Takeaways

  • Be clear on your objective
  • Know who you already reach vs. who you want to reach
  • Review all possible tactics – don’t think in a silo
  • Ensure the creative is right for the tactic
  • Monitor, measure, and optimize

Kristi’s presentation was extremely informative and thoughtful. If you’d like to find out more about Kristi you can follow her over on her Twitter.

If you’d like to find out if a paid or organic strategy (or both) would be best for your business, contact MKR today. We’re an audience-first marketing agency with offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Indianapolis, Indiana.