Earned, Owned and Paid Media – What’s the difference?

Earned, Owned and Paid Media – What’s the difference?

Earned, owned and paid media are three words that play an important role in the marketing world. These three platforms must be implemented into every marketing strategy and utilised as an equal mix to ensure the best engagement and connection with your audience and greater brand exposure.

At VO Group, we aim to leverage each platform in a marketing strategy to ensure brand’s are generating the best awareness, connection, engagement and sales.

What’s the difference between earned, owned and paid media? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

Earned media 

As Scrunch  puts it, earned media is “every piece of content about your brand that is on a third-party platform without monetary incentive”. Essentially, it’s media that you gain without paying for it. Earned media is made of user generated content, word-of- mouth, public relations campaigns and activities. As well as viral marketing, mentions, media features (newspaper features and coverage), social media referrals and potentially influencer marketing. Depending on whether there is a paid incentive.

The main benefit of implementing earned media into your marketing strategy. Is that it is the most trustworthy information for your audience to consider and influences your audience to make purchasing decisions. Also, earned media allows you to manage your message and brings that message to your audience through various avenues in a more impactful and credible way. Ultimately, earned media gives brands an expanded reach and promotes your brand’s authority and trustworthiness.

The main drawback of earned media is that brands have limited control over the publicity they earn. This can be hard if the media you have earned isn’t positive.

Owned media 

Did you know owned media is branded content that you own and design. This could include your website, social media, blogs, videos and mobile apps. In order to utilise owned media in your marketing strategy, brand’s need to have strong content. Whilst this may take time to curate, it’s worth it.

Owned media is a cost effective platform and helps to create long-term relationships with your audience. Owned media allows you to be in control, provide insight into your brand’s story and enables you to adapt your content to your audience, as they engage.

The difficulty with owned media is it tends to take up more time than paid media and its ROI may not always be worth it.

Paid media 

As the title suggests, paid media is any media coverage that has been paid for in order to leverage a brand. Paid media could include PPC campaigns, social media advertising, sponsored content, influencer marketing, celebrity ambassadors and television commercials.

Paid media has a number of benefits. Essentially, paid media allows brands to specifically target their audience, generate greater brand awareness and facilitate conversation and engagement through content and call to actions. This platform also ensures you are driving traffic to your owned media and potentially landing new business.

However, paid media can be an expensive venture and it isn’t considered as credible as earned media. As soon as credibility is lost, it could result in declining response rates.

Now that you understand what earned media, paid media and owned media is, it’s time to unite the trifecta. In order to create a successful marketing strategy. Combining the three platforms are crucial to engaging with your audience through targeted avenues, increasing brand awareness and exposure and generating sales.

Get in touch with VO Group for a fully integrated marketing strategy.

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