Digital MarketingEarned MediaOwned Media

Paid, Owned & Earned Media

By June 5, 2020 August 28th, 2020 3 Comments
paid owned & earned media

The wheel was by far mankind’s greatest invention. I bet you a dollar that I could connect the invention of the wheel to almost anything. Have you ever heard any of your friends talk about their life wheel? You know, the wheel that measures your work, personal, family, spiritual, and health practices in the context of a balanced life? A balanced life would be one where each of the ‘spokes’ on the wheel would hold equal value of time, effort and money. If one of your spokes is out of whack from the others, it could lead to an unbalanced lifestyle. You’d work on that area cause who wants a bumpy road, right? 

Well, like I said, I can make the wheel argument for digital marketing as well! Digital marketing no matter how you talk about it is always broken into three categories (spokes). Paid Media, Owned Media and Earned Media. If one of your marketing spokes is not given the correct amount of time and money, your marketing wheel is unbalanced and not able to deliver maximum return on your investment. 

Paid, Owned & Earned Media 

Paid Media 

Paid media is one method by which organizations can promote their content through sponsored social media posts, display ads, paid search results, video ads, pop-ups, and other promoted multimedia.” Hubspot

In essence, paid media is when you put your money where your mouth is. You spend extra time creating this content because it means something. You spend extra time making sure that your message (image, text, call to action) is appropriate for each digital platform’s placements. There’s nothing worse than paying for impressions on content where your message is cut in half or photos incorrectly sized. It’s a total nightmare and a complete waste of money. Remember you were spending money on this one. 

And the targeting opportunities are pretty much endless; meaning, you can make sure that only the exact people that you want to view your content will, and you’ll be able to very accurately measure that too! The data you can get from paid media is eye opening. A whole new perspective of your marketing campaigns can be achieved with paid media activities. 

Owned Media 

Comprises digital marketing channels that a company exercises complete control over, such as their branded website and social media. … Owned media includes: Email marketing campaigns such as company newsletters. Blogs and other owned content.” Big Commerce

Most smart business owners realise that they don’t actually own their social media channels and that their offerings change with the seasons. They understand that official branded accounts are important in their overall identity online. It’s like trying to grow corn on a flatbed truck going 75mph down the interstate! It’s hard work keeping up with all of the changes so you need to focus on content that you DO own. 

A Company website is the heartbeat of any business. It should say what you do on the tin. It should align with all of your offline marketing and business processes. It’s also the one place on the internet that you fully control. This is where you would want all of your customers to visit when they are getting to know you. Failing a social media meltdown, it’s the place your customers can always go to buy, subscribe and consume your content. Best part is that it’s free of charge. 

Earned Media 

“Earned media, or earned content, is any material written about you or your business that you haven’t paid for or created yourself. Although this type of media is always published by a third party, there are ways marketers can position themselves for earned media opportunities.” Hubspot

If you ask me, earned media is the gold dust of marketing. It’s really just other people talking about your brand, company or whatever it is that you do for a living. You can talk to some folk that will say social media is an opportunity to get absolutely hammered in the public eye. Yeah sure, there are reputation management concerns with digital marketing, but for the most part it’s an opportunity to get free marketing. Yup, 100% free marketing. Won’t cost you a penny. 

Everything that you publish on your owned and paid media channels has the primary objective of engagement, with a secondary objective or call to action like buying something, signing up for something or just watching something. Whatever your doing when ‘sponsored’ content comes into your feed, you’re doing something that someone is measuring. When you take an action like commenting on the post, liking the post or even better, SHARING the post, you’re working in the utopian sweet spot of marketing called convergence marketing. All of your followers, fans, friends etc are taking actions that then go into their feeds for all of their connections to potentially see. 

Earned media isn’t a new concept, it’s just a new phrase. We’ve been giving word-of-mouth referrals since the beginning of time. We’ve all also redeemed a voucher in a store for a discount, right? Well, by taking one of those actions you’re helping the company or person to amplify their reach for free. I love free stuff! 

Paid, Owned & Earned Media 

Just like your life wheel, when you combine your paid, owned and earned media plans together you will be able to see great opportunities to increase your marketing performance by getting more for the same spend. Maybe you’ll half your spend and maintain your lead count. Who knows, but you can be guaranteed to get farther, faster with some good old earned media. Below is the perfect example of how using the POE Media Model could work for your business. 

Post a blog on your site get 

  • 150 hits organically

Post on your Facebook Page 

  • get 50 likes, comments or shares
    • Each like from that user has 50 friends (that’s about 2500 impressions)
  • , 15 website hits

Create an Ad on Facebook for your post 

  • $5 budget
  • Generates 250 engagements (comments, likes, shares)
    • Those 250 engagements have 50 friends (that’s about 12,500 impressions)

For this example, earned media generated 2.5K impressions for free. You just paid $5 to get 12.5K. So about 20% of your post’s reach was generated by earned media. Imagine if your post went viral or was more popular than usual. You do that maths. I think you get the point about using the POE Marketing Model. When used well you can get so much more out of your content without having to fork- out loads of cash. If you’ve got any questions about using a POE Marketing Model, get in touch with us. We’d love to help you out.


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