In today’s ever-changing world of digital marketing, there are a ton of marketing terms that most business owners don’t know about. Familiarizing yourself with these terms, as well as the different types of media in marketing, are essential to establishing success.
Are you ready to explore three main types of media in marketing: paid, owned and earned media? In this article, we will define each term, provide examples of each medium, explain their marketing purposes, and describe some of their pros and cons. We will also look at different ways these three different types of media can be combined for an even stronger marketing strategy. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to use these three types of media to achieve higher conversions and drive revenue.
When used strategically, these three types of media will work together to help you overcome some of marketing’s biggest challenges. If needed, you can team up with a visual marketing agency to make your marketing efforts even more successful.
The Differences Between Paid, Owned and Earned Media
Paid, owned and earned media are all related terms, but they are far from the same thing. Here’s how they differ.
What Is Paid Media?
- Definition: Paid media refers to all of the media your business pays for. Paid media is typically done to convert new or prospective leads into customers, but it can also be used to target past customers.
- Examples: This includes online ads, social media ads, search engine marketing, offline ads (such as print, radio or television ads), any other promotional time or space you pay for.
- Benefits: It’s easy to keep track of and you can completely control paid media. However, it can be costly, and more and more customers are looking to reduce their exposure to ads.
What Is Owned Media?
- Definition: Owned media refers to all of the media materials that you create and own yourself.
- Examples: This includes your website, explainer videos, blog content, e-books, infographics, social media profiles, and emails.
- Benefits: Owned media helps to draw more traffic to your website, and while they work to help sell your products and services, owned media can provide additional value or information to the visitor or reader. Owned media costs less and you still have complete control over it. However, your audience is more limited and it needs maintenance to be effective.
What Is Earned Media?
- Definition: Earned media refers to all of the media that mention your business organically.
- Examples: Publicity from media outlets, backlinks to your website, and reviews are all examples of earned media.
- Benefits: You don’t (and can’t ) pay for it, and you don’t own it, but this is a highly prized type of media because it comes from external recognition of your business or product. You cannot control earned media and it can be difficult to cultivate, but it’s great for increasing your credibility and providing more brand awareness to new audiences
Is One Type of Media Better Than Another?
No one type of media is better than another. One type might be better for your business and your needs, but you should prioritize what works best for you. It also doesn’t hurt to diversify your marketing strategy by using different types of media to achieve your goals. In fact, you should have a primary digital content marketing goal to integrate each type of media. In doing so, you can reach customers at different parts (touchpoints) of the buyer’s journey.
Combining Paid, Owned and Earned Media
To create the ultimate “marketing mix” that includes all three types of media, you should do the following:
- Connect with influencers in your niche to help promote your content
- Pinpoint customer pain points by using your buyer persona
- Perform extensive keyword research
- Conduct a competitor analysis on your three biggest competitors
- Research company news that impacts your business
Here’s a look at how you can use one type of media to amplify the effect of another. When used in tandem, you can get powerful marketing results.
Paid and Owned
You can combine paid and owned media for an extra boost to either one of these channels.
Example: paying an influencer (paid) to share a link to a post on your blog (owned) can help draw more people to your website and other forms of your owned content.
Earned and Paid
You can use your paid media to help cultivate earned media.
Example: You can send out a discount in an email (paid) to your customers. This may not only encourage customers to make a purchase, but could cause them to share the word about this discount to their peers, friends and family members so they can also take advantage of that discount.
Owned and Earned
You can also use your owned media to help cultivate earned media.
Example: You can post an explainer video you created (owned) on your social media profile and encourage people to engage with or share it. If they choose to share it with their own followers and friends, then you’ve successfully used owned media to obtain some earned media.
Are You Ready to Use Different Types of Media in Your Marketing Strategy?
There is no magic formula for combining owned, earned and paid media, just as there is no single, one-size-fits-all solution for marketing. You should always ask for help from marketing experts if you need it. Just remember, using all the different types of media you have at your disposal will have the biggest effect on your business.