What’s the Difference Between Owned, Earned, and Paid Media?
When you look at the landscape of your brand, it is sometimes helpful to look at it through the lens of earned, owned, and paid media—the cornerstones of a strong marketing strategy. When one of these is lacking, you may be losing out on sales you could reach if you extended part of your budget towards building these multi-channel strategies.
Earned, owned, and paid media all work well together in the quest to gain new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more. We will discuss what each of these terms means and how to use them together to market your brand effectively.
Owned media is the type that comes from you: your website, blog, social media, video content, etc. For the most part, owned media speaks to an audience that already knows your brand. They subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social media, and visit your website.
You fully control this content and can use it to build an audience of consumers that can eventually give you earned media by sharing with their audiences. With complete control over this type of media, you can experiment and tailor your communication style to fit your brand.
Owned media is a powerful force, as it forms your company’s online identity, but it does not stand by itself very well. While it could be the world’s best content, if no one sees it or knows about it, it will be challenging to leverage when marketing your brand to new audiences.
Earned media comes from sources outside of your control when the press, customers, and other third parties share your media or create their own content about your brand. Earned media gives you social proof, which is the credibility that comes when real people advertise for you of their own volition.
Earned media is the most authentic of the three types, and it tends to be the most trusted since you, as the brand, do not create it.
Paid media is the type of media that comes from paying for a third party to advertise your product for you on different channels. Paid media is what you would think of as traditional advertising, such as:
- Television Ads
- Google Ads
- Social Media Ads
While this can help scale your business and extend its reach beyond the platforms you own, you need to be careful about using it to build earned media, as paid media alone is the least credible form of media. People know that this type of media is paid for, so you need to make sure it will be well received.
The ideal approach is to leverage these three types of media together into a clear marketing strategy. An example of a way to do this is through influencer marketing. Let’s say you are a food and beverage company, and you have a new product that you want to make people aware of.
- You create a new landing page that advertises this new product. This is your owned media.
- You then pay an influencer to promote that new product on social media. This makes up your paid media.
- After the influencer posts content promoting your product, you reach out to the press in the hopes of getting them to cover the new product. If they do, you have just acquired earned media.
- From there, you can post about your press coverage on your website and social media, thereby going back to owned media.
This way, your brand gains credibility and reach through all types of media.
The use of all three types of media—earned, owned, and paid—can significantly benefit your brand by extending your reach much further than any one form of media on its own. It is beneficial to look at your brand through these different lenses, so you know where you are lacking and what you should focus on. If you don’t want to worry about this, ChuckJoe can help you create the right media strategy for your business. Get in touch with our team today!
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