Understanding Paid, Owned, Earned Media For Content Distribution

Understanding Paid, Owned, Earned Media For Content Distribution

By Cali ThomsonMar 24 /2017

paid-earned-owned-content-distributionMost marketers know that it’s unwise to rely on one channel for their marketing.

If you want to generate quality leads on an ongoing basis, you need to be using more than one tactic—not just because it will boost the effectiveness of your marketing overall, but also because it mitigates risk. You never know when a social media platform will change its terms of service, or your rankings in Google could be affected by algorithm updates.

In content marketing, you should be leveraging three types of media—owned, earned and paid. Blending these tactics will help you generate, nurture and close more leads.

Not sure how paid, owned and earned media work with content distribution, or looking for additional clarification? Here, we clarify.

What Is Owned Media?

What content do you have 100 percent control over? Primarily, the content on your website, like your blog posts, videos, reports, case studies, PDFs and eBooks. For all intents and purposes, your social media accounts and email list are also owned media.

The goal of owned media is to add value for your prospects and move them down your sales funnel. In general, it’s best to keep this content from becoming overly self-promotional, and instead focus on building credibility and trust with your audience. The main advantage of owned media, however, is that you can control how you present your company’s message.

New prospects are often generated through earned media. But these leads may not necessarily be warm. You can further “warm them up” using owned media, as it gives them a chance to find out more about you and whether the solution you offer is the right fit for them.

Owned Media Best Practices & Tips

Here’s how to maximize the results you drive from owned media.

  • Promote your content. For instance, take quotes from your blog post and share them on Twitter.
  • Repurpose blog content. For instance, if you published an infographic on your blog, break it up into its components and create a series of blog posts discussing each stat or tip.
  • Share it with your email subscribers. Don’t forget to segment your list based on their interests and send them relevant content as it becomes available.

What Is Earned Media?

Have you guest posted for other blogs? Has your company been mentioned in an article? Do you have active fans on social media who share your content? These are all examples of earned media.

This is different from paid media, since you’re not spending money to have your ads placed on a specific website, or to have your content seen by more people.

Earned media also encompasses:

  • Your ongoing SEO efforts
  • Your customer service—especially if you’re known to deliver an amazing experience to your customers
  • Testimonials, quotes and mentions
  • Press mentions
  • Positive reviews
  • Regular columns on sites like Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes and Huffington Post

These days, you can also help journalists and content writers by contributing quotes, thoughts and insights to their articles. Sites like HARO and ProfNet are there to connect journalists with sources. Helping content creators with their stories can help you establish more authority in your industry.

Earned Media Best Practices & Tips

Here are a couple of ways to get more from your earned media.

  • Integrate earned media with your content. Plan guest posts based on your content strategy, make your content shareable, email content curators about your new posts and use high-authority research in your piece.
  • Build connections in your industry and with influencers. Quote influencers in your pieces to make them more shareable. Agree to cross-promote each other’s content. Come up with different ways to leverage your connections.

What Is Paid Media?

Getting your company’s message out into the world can be a challenge—especially while you’re relying on organic traffic sources like search and social media for the bulk of your lead generation efforts. These landscapes are competitive and positively saturated.

Paid media can help you promote your content and drive more exposure. Plus, it can also be used to supercharge your owned and earned media strategies.

From Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising to Outbrain and Taboola, many paid media solutions can get your content in front of your audience. What platform you use depends on where your target audience is, but since most social networks allow you to advertise on their site, getting in front of the right people with the right message is easier than ever.

Paid Media Best Practices & Tips

Try these tips to increase the effectiveness of your paid media.

  • Optimize your ads. Advertising can be expensive. If you don’t optimize your targeting on an ongoing basis, you could end up spending too much and have nothing to show for it.
  • Drive engagement. Instead of trying to get the sale immediately, approach paid media with an inbound perspective.

Blend Your Media Like a Pro

Create a plan for how you’re going to integrate the different types of media and how you’re going to promote your content using each. Paid media is a great complement to owned media, as it can amplify the results you’ve already earned from your high-performing content. Earned media can be baked into your owned media with some forethought.

Do you have more questions about owned, earned or paid media? Let us know in the comment section below!New Call-to-action

Cali Thomson
The Author

Cali Thomson

Cali has extensive knowledge and experience in sales and marketing with a passion for helping companies grow and drive profitability. Prior to joining Kuno Creative, she oversaw a business unit for a major healthcare manufacturing company. Cali is a graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor's degree in business management.