Members Speak Out: The Growing Importance of Visual Content Creation in the Paid, Owned and Earned Media Mix
Recently there has been significant attention given to the growing importance of “visual content” as part of the paid, owned and earned media marketing mix. The headlines tell the story:
Beyond the obvious of visually enhancing your online content and helping to give your brand an identity, it is clear that images, whether they are photography, video or infographics, are playing an increasingly important strategic role on many fronts. From content sharing and user generated content, to driving referral traffic and impact on SEO ranking, the discussion about visual content creation is intensifying daily.
A recent and widely circulated infographic from M Booth well illustrates the growing importance of visual content
in social media. We asked new IAB member Shareaholic, whose Traffic Sources data is featured in this infographic,
to provide some perspective on their findings, and to share their thoughts on how visual content is impacting the
paid, owned and earned media mix including what may be in store for the future.
“The data shown in the M Booth infographic is based on traffic trends to our publisher network websites, which
show that Pinterest is now the fourth largest source of referral traffic, exceeding Twitter and Google referral
traffic and, for the first time, exceeding Yahoo! Organic. It is interesting to note is that Pinterest isn’t even in
our top 10 most popular social networks for social sharing - meaning that click-throughs on pins are driven by a
smaller percentage of organic pins.”
— Janet Aronica, Head of Marketing, Shareaholic, @JanetAronica
“For brands who choose to invest time in Pinterest, we feel that optimizing owned media with images and Pinterest buttons is rather obvious advice. But most importantly, marketers should use content analytics tools like Shareaholic to learn how visitors discover their content and where their opportunities are. Part of this means re-thinking earned media. Pinterest boards are content, and pins are another form of earned media. Just like you build relationships with journalists, building relationships with the community members who pin your content and content similar to yours should be part of your POEM strategy. This is why we also offer Shareaholic Analytics, so publishers can actually see a breakdown of who the most influential sharers are, making those connections happen as efficiently as possible. Moving forward, it’s important to think about visual content for Pinterest as well as other social media sources. In August, nearly 33% of traffic to our publishers’ sites was referral traffic - those are your social media sources. It’s not just about Pinterest. It is important to include images for Pinterest, but it is also important to set featured images for content so that shares to platforms like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn look as ‘appetizing’ as possible to entice click-throughs from the potential readers who see them.”
This blog series focuses on key areas of interest within the realm of paid, owned and earned media and taps into the expertise of IAB Social Media Committee members to share insights and best practices. What’s your take on the importance of visual content creation? Join in the conversation by commenting here or posting comments and/or questions using #IABPOEM.
About the Author
Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, and Games. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst.