• Nathalia Cruz Ortiz

Earned, Owned, Paid Media, OH MY!

Effective marketing and public relations (PR) are essential to every business's success. Above all, it is a key component of attracting new clients. In addition, understanding the most effective distribution channels is crucial because the ultimate goal is to increase sales by driving traffic to their website. To do so, one has to create a data-driven marketing strategy.

Marketing falls into three categories. Owned, earned, and paid media. They form a triangle, with each arm contributing to your overall marketing plan. However, each is unique because they need a different approach to be successful.

Owned Media - Refers to all media a business is accountable for creating, controlling, and managing. This may include a brand's website, blog, email newsletters, and social media platforms. It's critical to remember that the more owned media channels a business has, the larger its digital footprint and the greater its chances of acquiring new consumers and followers. The primary benefit of owned media is that the brand retains complete control over the messaging and delivery methods at no additional cost.

Earned Media — Earned media encompasses brand mentions, media awareness, and content generated freely by a third party. In comparison to advertising or posting on your company's website, earned media is acquired organically and has thereby 'earned' the media's attention. As such, it's an excellent measure of how effectively your campaign message or idea is resonating.

Earned media includes online word-of-mouth from third parties, such as shares, mentions, reviews, reposts, or recommendations. Earned media also has editorial garnered from publications, newspapers, radio, and television. PR is time-consuming. The most cost-effective decision a company can make is to hire an in-house publicist or a public relations agency to get earned media.

Paid Media - Paid media is any marketing medium that you pay for. This often entails collaborating with a third-party platform to disseminate your message to a targeted audience, new or returning customers. Advertisements on display, radio, television, podcasts, paid influencers, sponsored content promotion, social media marketing, and search engine marketing are all examples of paid media.

The value of getting earned media is often worth four times as much as a similar-sized advertisement. Why? The publicity value of earned coverage is calculated as the sum of the ad value and the incalculable value provided by an editorial from a credible media outlet.

While paid advertising is undoubtedly effective, consumers will recognize it as a form of paid advertising designed to sell something. On the other hand, editorial content from trusted sources is perceived as legitimate and trustworthy. Because consumers are substantially more likely to respond positively and engage with editorial material, that's why public relations worth is significantly greater than its advertising value. Understanding the distinctions between paid, owned, and earned media will go a long way toward ensuring the success of any marketing effort. By understanding how these three media channels operate, you can determine the most effective method to invest your resources for your brand.

Having an integrated multichannel plan by collaborating with different media types increases the chances of success of the marketing campaign. For instance, you can use a PPC campaign (paid media) to drive traffic, leads, and conversions on your website (owned media) and combine it with an organic social media campaign to increase awareness and engagement (earned media).

Measuring the success of your marketing campaigns should always begin while planning the campaign. Always have a plan to identify your goals, objectives, and how to measure if you achieved them before plunging into media buying. The goals must be specific and attainable because they will provide a benchmark against measuring mid-campaign success. Before launching your campaign, ensure that you understand the key performance indicators or KPIs to track each media type and your numerous media channels.

Also, remember to analyze how the metrics of individual channels are influenced by each other. For example, the increase of your earned media (likes, shares, comments, and mentions) may be connected to the bought media because that partnership with that influencer reached the exact demographics you were targeting.

Finally, recall your campaign objectives and evaluate how mid-campaign improvements can assist you in achieving your goals. For example, you may decide to change a portion of your budget from paid to earned media to boost the performance of your campaign. By assessing your campaign, you will have the justification (and confidence) to do so.

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