by Shea Murtaugh

You think you got your P in place and it’s working but what about your E-S-O? Have you ever heard of PESO? No, we’re not talking about Mexican currency. The acronym PESO in marketing stands for paid, earned, shared, and owned media. While these categories all overlap in some aspects, they encompass four distinct types of media:

  • Paid media includes social media, radio and TV ads, billboards, native advertising, and myriad other ways a business can put money behind strategic, intentional advertising campaigns.  
  • Earned media is traditionally more on the PR side of things, including articles written about a company by an outside source, influencer partnerships, and even search engine optimization. 
  • Shared is the newest kid on the block, consisting of messaging being shared on social media by both the brand and by others. It can be seen as a subset of owned media, as well. 
  • Owned is, well, the content owned by the brand, such as a company blog, website, and social channels. 

Originally, like many agencies, Hoffmann Murtaugh only focused on paid media. (And we’re still over delivering it in that area for our clients today) We recognized the importance of ESO early and worked to educate our clients on the power of this model.  It took about four years of discussions for our clients to start embracing ESO, but, like so many of our clients will tell you, we know what’s best for them before they do. 

The following are five reasons you need to have an ESO strategy in place if you want your business to succeed. Now more than ever you must coordinate and diversify your efforts to build a successful brand.

1. Media consumption has drastically changed in 2020. 

COVID really pushed ESO to the forefront with fewer people leaving the house, creating challenges for out-of-home marketing like billboards and radio. Significant events and evolving technology can change consumer behavior in an instant.  It’s never been more important for companies to have a well-rounded marketing strategy that can quickly adapt to change.  In the current environment, it’s imperative to have a fantastic website with excellent SEO, an engaging social presence, and a content strategy that will take the business to the next level in all channels.

2. Your competition is already there.

It’s true. 70% of companies have a content marketing strategy in place in 2020, and that number is only going to go up. Improved web traffic, increased lead generation, and brand awareness are only the tip of the ESO iceberg. 

3. Your audience is there, too.

Like I mentioned earlier, people are spending way more time online, especially after we’ve mostly all gone remote work-wise. Your audience is already spending nearly all day online (Facebook reported 2.6 BILLION active users during Q1 of 2020!) so it’s crucial to meet them where they are. 

4. Grow your SEO 

Earned and shared media are excellent ways to boost your website’s SEO efforts. External links are an easy way to up your site’s visibility on Google because it gives your domain more authority. And the more authority your domain has, the more Google trusts you as a source, which gets you to the top of search results. 

5. Get to know your audience in real time.

All good marketing plans involve creating a customer persona and knowing who the target audience is for the products and services being sold. Often, though, this is done once and forgotten about for years at a time. By having a robust ESO strategy, which includes open-ended questions and polls on your social channels, tracking your earned mentions across the internet, and looking at your site analytics on a regular basis, you can see exactly what your audience wants from your business. This valuable, real-time audience feedback can be used to adapt tone and messaging across tactics to form stronger connections. 

So, how do you feel your company’s ESO efforts stack up? It’s a huge task to take on alone, so reach out to us to learn how we can help you create a media strategy that works. (And be on the lookout for our social channels as we rev up our own ESO strategy!)

Shea Murtaugh is the founder and president of Hoffmann Murtaugh.