If you pay any attention at all to marketing strategies involving the online digital world, you’ve probably heard the terms Earned Media, paid media, and owned media floating around. But just what are they? How do they differ? And are they important to your business?
Owned media are things like your website, your mobile site, your blog, and the social media channels you are on. They are extensions of your brand and offer ways for people to interact with your brand.
Paid media is your advertising. This would be things like your pay per click ads, your display ads, your retargeting ads, your social media ads, your paid content promotions, and your paid influencers. It is a great way to promote content to generate more Earned media and drive more traffic to your owned media.
Earned media are your social sharing efforts. This would include things like mentions, shares, reposts, and reviews. It is basically an online version of “word of mouth” and is pretty much what drives traffic, engagement, and sentiment for a brand. SEO and good content strategies are key factors for generating earned media.
These three elements work together to form a complete digital marketing strategy. It is up to you to decide where to allocate the most of your resources to help your brand.
Although it might not seem like it, earned media is very important for your business. As previously stated, it is basically the online version of word of mouth, and we all know how important that can be in getting people to your business in the real world. So it is too in the virtual world. Social sharing of posts and their reactions to them also play a big factor in whether others will visit your site or not. Earned media can take a variety of forms: posts “going viral”, social mentions, post shares, reposts, reviews, recommendations, or when a third party site picks up you content. All of this can play a factor in leading people to visit your website since it not only gives you third-party credibility but also give you a wider audience reach.
But it’s not enough to just post things online and hope people will react to it and create the earned media. To get the best benefit of earned media, you have to work for it just like anything else. This means you need to have the right sort of content to give you high search engine ranking (good SEO content). Your content has to be interesting and informative. It can be a blog, an infographic, a video, a webinar, or an e-book. It doesn’t really matter what sort of content you use as long as it is worthwhile enough to garner earned media.
There are some other ways to generate earned media, as well. One way is to get industry influencers to publish or share your content, or at least to talk about it. This will not only get you earned media but their audience can also become your audience. Another way it to take part in industry trade shows. By being present at industry events that you audience attends, you have the opportunity to be seen and to share your content – by text, video, with visuals, and in person. Yet another way is to engage you fans and advocates. Strengthen your relationship with audience members who are talking about your brand, sharing your content, etc. Add them to a watch list and interact with them when they share your content. Initiate contact with them, also, and encourage them to talk about or share news about your brand; they may be more receptive than others the idea than others and, also, your fans and advocates may feel honored to have you ask them for something and will be happy to help you as it shows a close connection with your brand.
So, as you can see, earned media can benefit your business greatly, but it is only one of a trifecta of marketing strategies that are very important for your business.