Building Authentic Connections: How Owned Media Enhances Your People-First GTM Approach

Building Authentic Connections: How Owned Media Enhances Your People-First GTM Approach

Nick Bennett 4 min

With all the digital noise, is your brand struggling to stand out and connect with your target audience?

In my experience, that’s usually a sign that your company is spending more time looking at what your competitors are doing rather than what your audience is asking for.

If you’re looking at things from a people-first go-to-market (GTM) strategy, that simply doesn’t fly. People-first GTM focuses on truly understanding your target audience and creating meaningful experiences that resonate with them—and owned media is a huge part of that.

In this post, I’ll be talking about the intersection between owned media and people-first GTM and how these two combined together help improve personalization, cost control, and strengthening your brand across the board.


Personalization Through First-Party Data

The third-party cookie has been dying a slow, painful death with yet another stay of execution as of this writing.

With Google phasing out its attribution models, it’s becoming more vital than ever to move your audience to owned media channels. The loss of information from third-party cookies means nothing next to the rich amount of data that your organization tracks in its website, blog, CRM, and various other first-party data repositories.

By leveraging the data stored or generated in this repository,(demographics, interests, behaviors, etc) you’ve got everything you need to be creating more personalized content that speaks directly to their needs and preferences.

For example, imagine your first-party data reveals that a significant portion of your B2B audience is interested in improving their data security and privacy practices. In this case, you’d want to focus on creating content that directly addresses this topic and aligns with your brand.

By doing so, you put people first and demonstrate an understanding of them and their interests. You aren’t just putting out generic, clearly written-for-SEO cookie-cutter content.


Greater Control Over Messaging and Brand Voice

The rules around what you can and can’t say on paid media change by the minute. By the time you finish reading this sentence, it probably changed again.

Owned media provides you with far greater control over your messaging and brand voice, allowing you to consistently communicate your value proposition and brand personality across all touchpoints.

Consistency is key in a People-first GTM.

Building trust and authenticity with your audience requires a demonstration of your commitment to delivering…well, frankly a coherent and reliable experience.

What this looks like in action is ensuring that your brand’s tone, style, and messaging remain consistent across your website, blog posts, social media updates, and email streams.

This consistency not only reinforces your brand identity but also helps to create a seamless user experience, making it easier for your audience to connect with and trust your brand.


Cost-Effective Audience Engagement

Paid media competition is getting fierce. For instance, CPC for Google ads dropped temporarily back in 2020 but it’s right back where it was before. It’s only going to get more fierce as platforms can only fit so many ad spaces before ruining their UX.

Paid media is like a faucet. It can turn on lead flow right away but the longer you leave it running, the more expensive it’s going to be. Instead, a people-first GTM would be to create high-quality content.

Engaging across various communities helps drive organic traffic to your owned properties, reinforcing your relationship.

Obviously, this method takes a lot more time than typing in the corporate card into GA. But that’s the point. Building meaningful, long-term relationships with your audience isn’t about how quickly you can do it—it’s about keeping them engaged.

Over time, this engaged audience can become brand advocates, promoting your content and products to their networks, further amplifying your reach without additional advertising spend.


Strengthening Customer Loyalty and Advocacy

Engaging and valuable owned media content not only attracts new audience members but also strengthens the loyalty and advocacy of your existing customers.

By consistently delivering useful and relevant content, you can demonstrate that your brand genuinely cares about its audience’s needs and interests, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty.

Consider an industry giant like HubSpot. They championed the inbound method across their owned media to create communities of loyal customers and advocates.

Despite the (likely astronomical) cost of upkeep on HubSpot’s resource hub, they continue to cement their reputation as a trusted source of industry knowledge.

This is the difference between providing content whose only goal is to get to a demo and content that actually aligns with your audience’s values and interests. Take it from HubSpot’s example: you can transform casual readers and customers into loyal brand advocates.

These advocates will then share your content, recommend your products, and contribute to your business’s growth.


The Role of Owned Media in a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

While owned media is a powerful tool for enhancing your people-first GTM approach, it’s essential to integrate it within a larger marketing strategy that also includes paid and earned media.

A balanced approach ensures that you’re reaching your target audience where they want to be through multiple channels and touchpoints they prefer. All that adds up to a maxim chance of success.

You might use paid media, such as advertising or a newsletter sponsorship, to drive initial awareness and traffic to your owned properties.

From there, your engaging owned media content can help to nurture leads, build trust, and convert visitors into customers. Meanwhile, earned media — such as positive reviews, press coverage, or social media mentions — can further amplify your reach and credibility.

Regardless of the balance of paid and owned media, it’s important to always bring your perspective back to the most important part of your marketing: the people who are listening.


Closing thoughts

One of the founders of Wired magazine, John Battelle said it far better than I could:

“If you’re going to build something, don’t build on land someone else already owns. You want your own land, your own domain, your own sovereignty.”

By combining high-performing owned media channels with a people-first GTM, you can be building deep, meaningful relationships with your audience that will pave the way for building a brand that’s not only authentic and credible but profitable as well.


Nick Bennett | About the Author

Co-Founder, ClubPF

Nick is a passionate creator and evangelist in the tech industry, boasting over a decade of marketing expertise. He is committed to bridging the gap between revenue teams, helping them achieve their ultimate objectives: revenue growth and retention. As part of this endeavor, Nick co-founded ClubPF, an organization that champions people-first go-to-market strategies by placing individuals at the heart of every experience, fostering meaningful interactions and valuable partnerships.

Nick also hosts The Anonymous Marketer Podcast, where he addresses pressing questions from the B2B marketing community, sharing his unique insights and experiences. Based just outside Boston, Nick spends his free time on the baseball diamond, continuing to enjoy America’s favorite pastime or cherishing moments with his three daughters.

Nick Bennett 4 min

Building Authentic Connections: How Owned Media Enhances Your People-First GTM Approach

People-first GTM focuses on truly understanding your target audience and creating meaningful experiences that resonate with them—and owned media is a huge part of that.

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