If you are a marketer or someone trying out your hand in the field, you’ve probably heard the terms ‘owned media’, ‘earned media’ & ‘paid media’. These are crucial elements of a marketing strategy and it’s important to know how each varies from one another.
Consider them as a triangle where each supports the other, in which each side contributes a vital part in a marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll take a look at closer look at the differences between each.
Any marketing campaign that you cannot execute for free falls under paid media or paid advertising. It’s generally an umbrella term for any kind of marketing & advertising that you pay to build interest, visitors, leads and conversions and can consist of both offline and online campaigns.
In the case of traditional advertising, paid media includes print, radio & television ads and billboards, whereas search engine ads, social media ads and display ads are some examples of online paid media. The biggest advantage of online paid media is that it allows you to reach your target audience and attracts visitors. It can be a great tool to kick-start a marketing campaign and generate exposure.
Owned Media simply refers to the marketing content you own – ranging from blogs to organic social media posts and email sequences. In most cases, it is where you build your brand identity and establish your presence over the web. Owned media is free and you get to decide who sees it, allowing you to have greater control and flexibility over your marketing efforts.
Having a strong owned media presence brings you a lot of opportunities to extend your brand awareness and reach more potential customers. Content marketing is the biggest player here and if executed right, it can even be your primary source of traffic and revenue.
Earned media is any type of content people voluntarily share online for free. All kinds of exposure and publicity earned without using paid advertising fall under this category and it can be an important factor in fostering brand awareness so that potential customers know where to go when they are ready to consider your offering.
In its simplest form, earned media is online word-of-mouth. It includes influencers, PR, reviews & demos, and fans and brand advocates sharing your content on different platforms.
Combining the Marketing Trio
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, owned, earned and paid media are three sides of a triangle in which each plays a vital role and has its own added advantages. If paid media brings you targeted exposure, earned media builds trust, while owned media can create you an authentic identity.
It’s up to you to evaluate these three themes and decide where to allocate your resources to make the most sense for your brand. Before heading into owned and paid media, make sure you plan and set marketing objectives for each campaign. This should be supplemented by clear and tangible goals that make it easy to measure your progress. You should also determine what metrics and what channels are going to be taken into consideration and optimize each according to performance.
Earned media is often not in the hands of business owners but good SEO, a great content strategy and active social media engagement can definitely boost your earned media opportunities.
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