Owned Media Platform Guide: 40+ Options You May Be Missing

Owned Media Platform GuideDo you have a documented owned media platform strategy?

As a digital marketer, you know that your blog and email list contribute to your balance sheet and support your marketing.

BUT there’s more to owned media!

Even better, most marketers don’t take advantage of the full array of owned media options.

As a result, you have an opportunity to extend your reach without investing in social media or third party marketing. Further, you can use these other owned media options to help your employees by giving them a reason to contact prospects and customers!

Owned Media Platform Definition

An owned media platform is a content management system where the information, its format, and the means of distribution are totally under your organization’s control.

An owned media platform is a content management system where the information, its format, andthe means of distribution are totally under your organization’s control.  #digitalmarketing #contentmarketingClick To Tweet


Since your business owns these distribution channels, you save money compared to other media options. This is why retention marketing costs significantly less than acquisition marketing.

With customers’ increased lack of trust in advertising and higher use of ad blocking software on their devices, avoid cluttering owned media channels with continuous promotion and push communications.

With customers’ increased lack of trust in advertising and higher use of ad blocking software on their devices, avoid cluttering owned media channels with continuous promotion and push communications.  #digitalmarketing #contentmarketingClick To Tweet


Influencer Relations

Use of Ad Blockers-Computer and Smartphone – Chart


Owned Media Platform:  Benefits VS Challenges

Owned Media Platforms

Owned Media Platforms: Benefits VS Challenges – Chart-Heidi Cohen


Owned Media Platform Benefits

Expand your owned media platforms and gain these 5 advantages that’ll make your organization more competitive:

  • Build corporate assets. Your email list and other media entities  contribute to your balance sheet.
  • Reduce marketing expense. When you distribute content and promotions from owned media assets, you eliminate media costs.
  • Mitigate marketing risk. Owned media makes your business less dependent on Facebook, Google, Amazon and other entities beyond your control.
  • Reduce internal expenses. Leverage owned media across your organization to eliminate duplicate work. For example, sales people don’t need to craft their own communications.
  • Improve branding and communications. By using consistent marketing developed content, sales and customer service don’t have to create their own off-message communications.


Owned Media Platform Challenges

Before you jump on the owned media platform bandwagon, understand its challenges.
Avoid these 5 problems:

  • Use communications only to push promotional content. While sending more email yields more revenues, every email you send reminds your audience that they can unsubscribe.
  • Increase communications frequency. Don’t expand your audience contacts within a week based on your marketing needs.
  • Add people to your email and messaging files without  permission.  It’s a bad business practice that hurts your image.
  • Requires management and employee buy-in. Educate your organization as to what owned media is and each person’s role in making it more effective.
  • Expect employees to represent your business on their personal email and social media channels. Offer training and set social media guidelines but don’t force them to shill for you. Use business social media accounts.


Owned Media Platform Guide: 40+ ChoicesOwned Media Platform Guide


To improve your owned media strategy, test as many elements of your company’s platform as possible. These media options may be outside of marketing’s control so get management buy-in.

Here are 40+ different owned media platforms broken out by digital and offline options.

Digital owned media platforms

Digital owned media platforms allow content to be distributed and/or consumed and/or responded to via a digital device (including computers, smartphones, tablets, smart speaker and/or gaming system.)

1. Marketing controlled digital owned media platforms

  • Website. Is your business’s digital location. Make sure that it renders on mobile devices.
  • Blog. Is your owned social media outpost. Provide useful content on a regular basis. (Here’s help with your business blog.) A blog can also distribute your content including a variety of content formats.
  • Email newsletter. Is the king of communications. Treat your recipients as if you were communicating with a good friend. Email is the most viewed form of information online.
  • Microsites. Provide smaller outposts online tailored to a specific topic or promotion.
  • Podcast. Is an audio program that gives your brand a voice. Beyond downloads on your website, blog and email, post podcasts on third party  aggregators like iTunes to expand your reach.
  • Video. Offers a white-hot content format. Additionally posting video content on YouTube helps distribution and search results.
  • Webinars/presentations. Allow you to communicate with your audience providing educational information and human voice.
  • eBooks. Are large pieces of content that give your audience in-depth content. They can be created from shorter, existing content. Additionally, distribute them via Amazon to broaden distribution.
  • Landing pages. Are digital on-ramps to your business and/or content. Tailor them to maximize results. 

2. Corporate controlled digital owned media platforms

  • Intranet. Is your internal website for content distribution and communications you want employees to access.
  • Employee emails (non-sales or customer service). Allow employees to communicate with each other as well as externally. Use employee communications to customers and others to distribute marketing messages via a centrally controlled signature file.
  • Employee list. Includes all employees to whom you can distribute marketing messages and content directly.
  • Press Releases. Are notices to third party media entities about major business events and regulated communications. Include press releases and journalist outreach as part of major marketing and content distribution.
  • Corporate resources including About Us content. Should be part of your website and easily findable.  At a minimum, highlight your top management.
  • Maps and/or location information. Ensure prospects and customers can find your business. Also it helps to get recognized on mapping engines. (Note: This is third party media.)
  • Contact Us. Offers your audience a variety of ways to contact you including email and phone. If you don’t supply this information, they look elsewhere.
  • Internal messaging. Includes tools like corporate chat functionality and Slack.

3. Non-marketing controlled digital owned media platforms

  • Sales communications. Are tailored to the recipient. Encourage your sales team to share the questions they get asked and their responses so you can create high quality content.
  • Sales collateral. Is often created by marketing. But don’t let this fool you. Many sales teams create their own materials.
  • Purchase emails. Are often programmed centrally to ensure immediate customer response. Since these communications tend to go directly to primary email accounts, enhance them with relevant content and upsells. (This depends on your firm’s technology constraints.)
  • Package information or inserts. Is enclosed in the package. While often “how to” and legal information, use this opportunity to provide educational and upsell content.
  • Customer service emails. Are controlled by customer service. Work with customer service to create related content.
  • Persistent chat (customer service). Is often manned by customer service. Include email registration and content offers to improve audience experience.
  • Employee training. Explains business processes. Use this focused time to provide related content.
  • HR job prospects. Reach people interested in working for your firm. Provide them with your best content and encourage them to register for your email list.
  • HR alumni (former employees who are potential re-hires and referral sources.) Know your firm best. Keep in touch with them.
  • Employee manuals and other corporate guidance. Don’t directly contribute to marketing distribution. But ensure that your communications, content and branding are aligned.


Offline owned media platforms

Offline owned media options exist independent of your digital media.

1. Marketing controlled offline owned media platforms

  • Magazines. Are print content offerings tailored to your brand. Can be digital as well.
  • Catalogs. Spotlight your products in color brochures delivered by postal mail. Since people receive less mail, these promotions may get greater visibility.
  • Newsletters. Provide regular servings of content on a focused topic. They often deal with information that’s scarce to find.
  • Handouts and flyers. Can be included with purchases or handed out at your retail establishment.
  • Postcards. Are short, colorful attention getters often used for reminders.
  • Events, conferences and other programs. Include live person-to-person activities. They may be targeted at employees, customers or others. Further, they may be held by management or other departments. 

2. Corporate controlled offline owned media platforms

  • Annual report. Combines regulatory reporting with branding targeted at investors. Some companies deliver these documents digitally.
  • Presentations. Can be targeted internally or externally. Marketing should assess the potential for adapting this content for broader distribution as Michael Brenner did when he was at SAP.
  • Building. Is your physical presence. At a minimum integrate your branding into your presentation.

3. Non-marketing controlled offline owned media platforms

  • Sales materials. Include handouts, one-pagers and leave-behinds that sales staff use to stay top of mind.
  • Business cards. Are used by your staff. In addition to your branding, ensure the critical information is easily legible for people who wear reading glasses. Also include your website, blog and email newsletter.
  • Sales team and customer service staff. Provide prospects and customers with company information. Train them regarding your content so they can tell your audience about it.
  • Retail establishments. Are marketing experiences. Beyond branding, consider how you can provide content and other benefits for visitors.
  • Packaging. Can deliver your content in addition to your product. When I worked at Bertelsmann, we included catalogs and other promotions in our packaging.
  • User manuals and instructions. Provide information customers need. Where appropriate provide or direct users to extended educational and how to content where appropriate.


The Owned Media Platform Guide Conclusion

Owned media platforms encompasses more than your organization’s blog and email house file.

To maximize your social media and content marketing amplification and distribution, take advantage of every owned media platform across your organization.

Ideally, get employees involved so they know what your marketing team is aiming to accomplish and how you can work together to reduce redundant activities across you business.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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