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Boost Reach With 3 Key Media Types: Earned, Owned, And Paid!

Published by Algorithmic Global on

Media Types

When you truly understand these three media types, you will have a better chance of creating a marketing strategy tailored to your ideal customer!

Understanding the difference between earned media, paid media, and owned media is essential for small business owners, in-house marketers, and marketing agency members in the current digital age.

Earned media is what your clients say about you, paid media is your paid advertising efforts, and owned media is content you own, like your website.

Let’s go ahead and go over the difference between earned, owned, and paid media and see how to implement the three media types in any size business!

What is Earned Media?

In simplest terms, earned media is the online version of word of mouth. Earned media is online mentions, shares, reposts, reviews, and recommendations.  

Tracking earned media through social media. 

The easiest way to track earned media that your company has received is through a social network analysis tool. Using a social network analysis tool will let you know who mentions your business and other social interactions. 

Social media nodes

What is Social Network Analysis?

Social network analysis (SNA) is a method that allows digital marketers to study people’s social interactions. Social Interactions can imply many different questions: for example, “who talks to whom?” “who befriends whom?” “who goes to happy hours with whom?” “who collaborates with whom?” and so on. 

The common element of these questions? They are about relationships between two or more people. 

Every social network analysis has two elements: 

  • Nodes, also known as vertices, actors, people
  • Edges, also known as ties, connections, relationships

3 types of SNA Metrics

1. Degree centrality is the total number of connections linked to a node. This measure is the representation of popularity. 

2. Between-ness centrality is a sort of “bridge” score. It’s a measure of how frequently a node is positioned in the path between other nodes. This “path” is a special kind of pathway: it’s only concerned with the shortest route between the two nodes because SNA prioritizes the most efficient way for information flow within the community.

3. Clustering allows you to understand the overall structure of the whole network. Even within a single community, some individuals may be better connected among themselves, while others may not.

Although social media is a powerful tool, we have found that the most effective earned media factors are a combination of strong organic rankings on SERPs and backlinks. 

When your company puts out content that ranks high on the first page of search engines, you will most likely receive backlink shares and higher engagement (both valuable to an SEO and content marketing strategy)

Authors note: We are biased against building on social media platforms; it’s a lot like building on rented property.

Google Ads is Paid media
Google Ads is Paid Media

What is Paid Media?

Paid media is media leveraged through a third-party channel, such as a paid sponsorship or paid advertising. Think of this type as paying for exposure.

3 Paid media types

Social Media Marketing 

Promoting content is often the best way to get quick exposure. You can use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to advertise and boost a piece of content. 

When you decide to use social media to promote content, you will most likely also see more traffic to your website.  

Search Engine Marketing 

The clients that work with Algorithmic Global love our search engine marketing campaigns. Pay-per-click, retargeting, and display ads are great ways to drive more traffic and conversions to a website.

Paid Influencers 

We have seen a mass number of businesses leverage paid influencers to represent products or services. Paying the right influencer will increase the reach and recognition your business receives. 

SEO is owned media
A Website is Owned Media

Third of the Media Types: Owned Media 

Owned media is when you leverage a channel you have created. Some marketers will say that owned media is any web property that is controlled by a business. It’s different from social media because you won’t ever own the content placed on social media platforms like Facebook and Youtube. In the blink of an eye, a lawsuit can disrupt social media efforts.  

A commonly known piece of owned media is a company website. A website is an extension of your brand. The more quality content you have on your owned media, the better chance you will have increased brand awareness. Owned media is an extension of your brand and will create additional avenues of brand interaction. 

Owned media is not enough in the digital world. When performing an SEO Audit for many new clients, we have found a lack of traffic and brand mentions with owned channels. Half the battle is going to be keeping up with posting blog content regularly. The other half is going to be getting people to read it. 

That’s where you should leverage earned media and paid media. Paid and earned media will extend your content reach. 

Common Combinations of Media Types 

If you are looking to create the best marketing strategy, it is best to use a combination of owned, earned, and paid media types. Combine media types by amplifying earned or owned media through the paid media type while keeping in mind that all the media that your company puts out needs to work together. 

An example of this would be an informative published blog on your company’s blog (owned media). You can then use social media to share then a new piece of content. You can then use paid advertisements to ensure the content reaches more customers (paid media). Lastly, every time someone shares your content on their feed, it will make more people aware of your brand (earned media). 

Another example is to use the same blog post (Owned media) and pay an influencer (Paid media) to share your content on their social media feed. The hope in doing this type of strategy is that it will bring in more mention and shares (Earned Media)

Approach a strategy like the ones above only when you know your target audience. Content delivered to an individual that is not interested in the shared message is a waste.

We know that small businesses do not have the large budgets of larger enterprises, leaving them to rely on the owned media and earned media types. We still believe that paid media needs to be implemented in a marketing strategy as soon as the business has extra cash flow–even 5 dollars a day in Google Ads can bring you a new lead and enhance your brand awareness.

Earned Media Vs. Paid Media Vs. Owned Media 

One key takeaway from this post is that your company’s three media types need to work together. 

Earned media, paid media, and owned media all contribute to a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Not one of the media types is better than the other, but we have found that the best performing strategies use all three media types. 
When choosing to hire digital marketing professionals from Algorithmic Global, we will evaluate all media avenues and work with you to decide the best approach for brand consistency and new leads. Contact us at any time for any digital marketing strategy questions.


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