Paid, Owned, and Earned Media: What’s the discussion all about?

Time is of the essence when it comes to advertising your content.  Getting discovered and going viral is everyone’s top priority.  In turn, creating a competitive environment. On top of  that the immense, plethora of media channels to choose from makes the possibility of making a noticable presence overwhelming. The easiest way to look at media is to break it up into 3 categories: Paid media, Earned media, and Owned media. Using this categorial approach allows companies to more efficiently advertise their content.  


Paid Media:  A media owner is paid by the brand to promote their message.  Examples of this type of media are display ads, sponsorships, paid searches, promoted tweeters tv comercials, etc. This is the least organic approach and people tend to judge it as less credible.  The other negatives to Paid is that consumers are becoming less and less effected by things like banner ads.  They don’t want to be talked at anymore they rather offer their attention in exchange for useful content.  On the other hand, is useful when it comes to getting in touch immediately with niches and the advertiser has a large amount of control.

Owned Media: is a channel a Company/brand creates and owns.   They can either fully or partially own the channel.  For instance, a company fully owns their website, but partially owns their Facebook page.  This allows for brand extension and expansion on the web, but requires patience to gain attention.  The reason for this is it takes time to find someone creative to create the brand’s content and also to find a responsive audience.  Brand storytelling is a large portion of why owned media work. Once these two elements are found the brand advertising becomes much easier and authentic. This approach has more credibility because it is coming directly from the source, at the same time that can defer some consumers.

Earned Media: the term stems from the PR field.  It is known as the most organic approach because the Company/Brand does NOT pay money for attention.  Attention is “earned” by people naturally sharing.  They find the brand’s content interesting so they tweet it or write about in their blog. Earned is all about interaction and engagement. The only negative is that the advertiser doesn’t have a large amount of control and at times can be difficult to measure. In contrast, it involves all levels of influencers from Sara sitting at home commenting or a blog post to Justin Bieber retweeting your brand’s link.  These type of interactions are the main force behind things going viral.  This approach has the highest credibility.

Work well Together 

Usually what happens is more or less a domino effect.  Paid is needed to get Owned going and then Earned is needed to sustain traffic  and lower costs.  When all three are utilized they are able to fuel each other allowing to for advertising optimization.  Sometimes Owned and Earned take over and Paid is no longer needed saving money.

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