The Digital Apprenticeship Podcast

How To Create A Sustainable Online Presence

December 06, 2020 Stephanie Trinder Digital Marketer and Digital Marketing Consultant Season 1 Episode 18
The Digital Apprenticeship Podcast
How To Create A Sustainable Online Presence
Show Notes Transcript

In todays show I’m discussing why you shouldn't rely on social media alone and how you can create a sustainable online presence by diversifying your marketing strategy. 

We discuss:

  • Why you shouldn't rely on social media for your business
  • The best places and ways to represent your brand online
  • The difference between media that is paid, earned, shared and owned
  • How to create a sustainable online presence

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With so many places to represent your brand online, the world of digital marketing can seem overwhelming.

One small piece of that pie is social media.

It’s a cost-effective, targeted solution that gives businesses access to the 3 billion people using social networks around the globe. 

It’s no surprise that many businesses rely on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to generate brand awareness and sell their services.

Social media does provide businesses with an amazing opportunity to connect and build relationships with consumers but the thing is, you don’t own it.

There is risk associated with relying on one platform, especially one that you don’t own.

Today, I’m going to tell you why shouldn’t put all your eggs in to one basket and what you should do instead.

Have you ever experienced the unpredictability of social media?

The content you posted didn’t do as well as you hoped…

You can’t login to your account…

You can’t see your posts…

Only a few weeks ago, Instagram went down for almost 24 hours.

Or maybe you were supposed to post, but instead you just ended up getting distracted and mindlessly scrolling through the app…

The thing about social media is, you don’t control it.

If the social media giants were to shut up shop tomorrow, what would you do?

To help you minimise risk and understand where you need to invest your time, I’m going to introduce you to a concept of media that you own, share, earn and pay for.

An easy way to remember this is with the acronym PESO.

Or by visualising a couple of fish tacos and a margarita.

PESO stands for:



Shared &

Owned media

Social media, blogging, your website, news articles, testimonials and more all fit in to one of these categories.

To understand where they fit, you need to know:

Who created the content?

Who controls the distribution platform?

Who built the audience? And

What does it cost?


In the case of owned media, you own the rights to the content or channel.

Examples include your website, blog, podcast, email list, brochures, catalogues, the content you create (photography, videography), even your branded workwear and office space.

As you’ll notice from these examples, it’s not necessarily free, there may be a cost involved in creating and maintaining these assets but otherwise, you have full control.


  • It takes time to scale i.e. website authority doesn’t happen over night, it’s a long term process that needs to be maintained.


  • You’re in control
  • Owned media enables you to build and maintain relationship with clients (both current and future) over a long period of time
  • It usually turns in to earned media
  • It builds lasting benefits over time


Social media belongs to the category of shared media.

You own your social media account, but you don’t own the platform itself.

You create the content and you spend time networking and growing your community.

But you don’t control the algorithm or how many people see your content.

It’s also free, unless you want to invest in paid advertising and reach a larger audience.

The control is shared between you and a third party.


  • You’re not in control, you don’t own the platform or the algorithm,
  • It also takes time to scale, building a following and community doesn’t happen over night


  • It’s cost effective
  • Tap in to a network of people who use the platform
  • Communicate directly with consumers


Earned media is user generated content, content that is created for free by someone else without prompt or payment.

It’s the hardest of the four media types to obtain and includes testimonials, word-of-mouth recommendations, backlinks, PR and social media mentions including reposts.

This type of media is supported by your owned/ shared/ paid strategy i.e. a person sees your social media post and then talks about your brand among their friends


  • You have no control
  •  It’s hard to measure and difficult to scale


  • It’s the most credible source of media
  • It builds trust and plays a key role in sales


Finally, we have paid advertising.

This is fairly self explanatory, you pay to play. 

You pay to leverage an audience that is developed and maintained by a third party platform.

Examples include Facebook Ads, PPC, sponsored content, affiliate programs, paid influencers

The goal is usually to drive exposure or sales via website traffic, reach or conversions.

With paid media, you can get your brand in front of complete strangers.


  • You’re competing in a noisy market.
  • Consumer confidence is decreasing, they know when you’re trying to buy their attention
  • Credibility is poor
  • You need to know what you're doing to achieve ROI. If you don’t you’re best to outsource to someone


  • You can amplify your message and reach new audiences
  • You have almost total control
  • Performance is easily measured via metrics like views, clicks or conversions


Obviously, I don’t endorse putting all of your eggs in to one basket.

Especially one that you don’t control.

I’m a holistic marketer, so I believe in a well-rounded strategy with multiple touch-points.

A strategy that uses a diverse range of content makes for a better customer experience because you can meet them at whichever stage they’re at on their buying journey. 

You can use different channels to create brand awareness, to provide more information about your business and services when the client is doing their research and to ask for the sale.

Note, this involves understanding your customer and where they’re hanging out online.

Employing a mix of media types will also reduce your risk because you’re not relying on one form alone.

If you don’t have the budget to employ someone to do this for you, my advice would be to get clear on your goals.

For example, if you want consistent work but you don’t want the responsibility of a large team, you might focus on your website, one social media channel and testimonials.

On the other hand if your dream is to build a large company with a team of employees, you might consider adding paid media in to the mix.

Such as with my clients, you might want to dial up different kinds of media when running a particular campaign, like an event or competition.

Whatever you choose, monitor the results and invest in what works for you.