Every brand campaign is unique. There is no one set formula or media strategy for a successful marketing campaign. However, one common factor among all successful campaigns is that they balance various elements that contribute to meeting marketing goals.
There are several marketing channels available at your disposal today. Understanding the different marketing channels and categorizing them into earned, owned, and paid media helps in recognizing how they make sense for your goal, before allocating any resources.
So, what is the difference between earned, owned, and paid media?
- Earned media
Earned media is the publicity you earn. Also known as free media, earned media is the favorable exposure and audience reach gained by engaging with the community. Word-of-mouth, viral unpaid content, organic searches, press coverage, social media mentions, etc. count as earned media.
Earned media increases not only your overall brand reach but also the trust among your consumers. Since earned media is media attention achieved organically, it has the highest credibility and is free of cost.
However, even with earned media’s long-lasting impact, it is difficult to predict when your content would get promoted. You have no control of earned media advertising, regardless of whether the publicity is positive or negative. This lack of control also makes it difficult to measure and track performance.
- Owned media
When the publicity is through media and platforms that you own and control, it is owned media. This includes everything from websites, mobile applications, social media accounts, blog pages, email lists, and newsletters.
Owned media facilitates building long-term relationships with both current and future customers. One of the significant benefits of using owned media is that it has staying power. The content you publish on your media platforms stays there until the end of time unless you consciously take it down. You can even tweak it as and when conditions change.
That being said, owned media demands heavy time investment because it takes time to create and float content in front of an audience. It can become tough to scale owned media as well since it depends on organic growth. It is, however, the most affordable option out of the three and gives you full control of the content.
Marketers should be experienced with content strategy and audience journey before implementing a campaign based on owned media.
- Paid media
Paid media, like the name suggests, refers to when you pay for the publicity. Any form of advertisement or promotion you pay to appear in front of your audience is paid media. It can range from display ads, search engine marketing, and sponsored content on social media to ads on radio and television.
Paid media is generally used to expand reach to improve brand awareness and increase sales. It is the easiest to scale and measure. When you employ paid media for advertising, you can target your audience because you have full control over who you reach.
It is precisely for this reason that paid media is also considered the least credible out of the three. At the same time, it is also the quickest, and consequently the costliest as well.
To execute a successful marketing strategy based on paid media, it is essential to understand broad concepts like SEO, PPC, SEM, etc.
All three types of media – earned, owned, and paid – have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is critical to understand the differences between them and how you can combine them to create an effective marketing strategy. Get familiar with examples of how you can leverage them for your brand.
|Earned Media||Owned Media||Paid Media|
Coordinating between these channels of digital media ensures an effective and efficient media outreach. To understand which channels work best for you, ask yourself:
- What is the objective of the content being produced?
- Who is the content aimed at? Is the target audience easily accessible?
- What tools are at my disposal?
- What are my competitors doing?