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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Understanding Paid, Earned and Owned Media

There are three ways in which you can get exposure in the digital space.  They are Paid, Owned and Earned Media.  Let’s go over each and what they each bring to the party.

Owned Media – is the media a brand owns like their website, blog, Facebook page, or any other branded channel including YouTube.

Paid Media – are ads that a brand pays for like banner ads, paid search, video ads on YouTube, or even sponsorships.

Earned Media – are the viral aspects of your marketing efforts including word of mouth, reviews on Yelp, blog comments, Facebook story shares, and any other user generated content on various social channels.  Any social sharing falls in this category.

Each bring something to the party as mentioned earlier.  Owned media helps provide information to your current prospects and customers that are most likely already in the funnel.  This media helps keep them engaged.  Whereas paid media is a way to inform your non customers and those unaware of you about your brand or offer.   Paid serves as a means of getting prospects to the funnel.  Earned media, helps to ignite the flames even more and spread the word more quickly about your brand or offer.  It helps to builds those advocates.   And keep in mind, although we call it “earned media” typically money is being put behind these efforts indirectly.

All three are important from an advertising point of view to create your brands awareness and serve their part in the mix as the figure above shows. But of the three, earned media are becoming increasingly important to a brand.  Where earned, for a large part, is a result of your paid and owned media efforts. 

But do not forget that all three work very closely together and are tightly entwined.  As the saying goes, 1 + 1 = 3 is definately the case here.

Consider these important facts from various sources to keep in mind when building out your campaigns:
  • Ad recall of a social ad was 55% greater than a non-social ad (Nielsen)

  • Offline sales of people exposed to a brands website is 3X more likely to make a purchase than those that were subject to the paid ad alone (Nielsen). 

  • 90% of people trust the recommendations of people they know (Nielsen)

  • 70% of people trust recommendations from people they don’t know on sites like Yelp (Nielsen)

  • Fans and friends of fans for Starbucks were found to spend 8% more and transact 11% more in store than non-fans and non-friends of fans (ComScore)

  • Fans are 41% more likely to recommend a brand to a friend (Syncapse)

As can be clearly seen, it is not any one media alone but all three that create your presence.

I hope you found this post beneficial and thought provoking.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Perry D. Drake
Professor of Social and Digital Media
University of Missouri - St. Louis