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Owned, paid, earned, and shared media explained: Examples and how to use successfully in content marketing

Simone Cunningham_Owned, paid, earned, and shared media explained: Examples and how to use successfully in content marketing

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We all need to create content to promote our businesses if we want to attract new customers and keep the ones we already have. 

The most successful business owners don’t rely on just one media channel to distribute their content.

To build brand awareness and generate more business, they count on the compound effect of all the different channels working together.

These are known as owned, paid, earned, and shared media.

Understanding these four media channels, knowing when to use them, and how they all work together is critical, whether you do your own business marketing or whether you pay someone else to help you.

So, if you’re ready to improve your content and your online marketing, keep reading.

 

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Owned, paid, earned, and shared media explained

 

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If you’re continuing here in the blog, let’s get started.

There’s no doubt that content marketing has become one of the fastest-growing marketing tactics. 

It’s so mainstream that the online world is full of “content creators”. 

Yet it’s getting increasingly confusing. You may be wondering:

  • How do I use content strategically? 
  • What types of content do I need to create? 
  • How do I know where each piece of content I create fits into the larger marketing puzzle?
  • Plus a dozen other questions.

It’s complex, for sure.

To make it a little easier, today we’ll break down the different types of content we use in our business marketing by grouping them under the four main channels: owned media, paid media, earned media, and shared media.

 

Owned, paid, earned, and shared media explained

 

What is owned media?

 

Owned media is simply any content that you create, have control over, and maintain.

This type of content has three main goals: 

  • To engage prospects with valuable content
  • Drive conversions
  • Build customer relationships.

 

Examples of owned media

  • Website content
  • Blog content
  • Podcast content
  • Video content
  • Email newsletters
  • Course content
  • Webinars
  • eBooks
  • Gated content such as cheatsheets and whitepapers.

It’s important to remember that the more owned media channels a business has, the greater its digital footprint and the more likely it is to reach new customers and followers.

Owned media is your little piece of public relations paradise, where you’re in complete control of the messaging, the content you create, the audiences you’re targeting and how you distribute it.

 

It can never be taken away from you.

 

Own media content marketing

 

What is paid media?

 

Paid media is any type of content or marketing channel that involves payment. Otherwise known as advertising. No doubt you’re very familiar with this. 

In digital marketing, paid media is used to direct traffic to existing content and encourage earned media (which we’ll get to later).

 

Examples of paid media

  • Social media advertising on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms
  • Pay-per-click advertising or search engine marketing such as Google Ads
  • Display advertising
  • Native advertising (advertising on third-party websites)
  • Podcast advertising
  • Video ads advertising
  • Word-of-mouth marketing, influencer programs or referral/affiliate programs.

Paid media is essential for building brand awareness and amplifying your reach across various platforms. 

 

Paid media strategy

 

Generally, you should consider allocating a dedicated amount of at least 20% of your overarching campaign budget to paid media.

In recent years, it’s also become your best strategy for better targeting and controlling who’s seeing your content. 

It’s also how you get your owned content noticed in a very busy online landscape. 

For example, your social media ads can directly link to a piece of content you want your audience to read, download or watch—such as your website landing page, lead page, blog article, or video.

But unfortunately, it’s also become very expensive for businesses to compete in this environment, with the cost of advertising on social media and pay-per-click becoming increasingly unaffordable for many.

 

What is earned media?

 

This brings us to earned media, which could be the antidote to the hard-to-compete paid media space.

Earned media is any media, brand mentions, or conversations that come voluntarily from others. 

A third-party endorsing your brand or product is something you’ve achieved organically or ‘earned’ and for this reason, it holds greater value not just for you, but also in the eyes of your audience.

This is the type of media you can’t pay for, but it’s my favourite type because it’s priceless exposure. It’s also known as public relations or publicity.

 

Examples of earned media

  • Brand mentions on third-party websites
  • Reviews, recommendations, and testimonials
  • Shared articles and shared social media posts
  • Social media comments
  • Guest blog posts
  • Podcast and video guest spots
  • Editorials gained in media outlets such as magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and online publications
  • Listings in organic search engine results pages.

Earned media is the flow-on effect of your owned and paid media performing well. It’s your reward for all your hard work.

 

How to get earned media coverage

 

That being said, you’ve got to be extremely proactive in the early days to build momentum to secure that earned media coverage. As the name suggests, you must earn it.

So, how do you do that without appearing, desperate or too in-your-face?

Well, it comes down to relationship building, and also, being nice goes a long way. 

If you want to get noticed by online publications, podcast hosts, video channels and bloggers who will promote your brand, start by reaching out to those whose work you admire.

Contact them via social media, leave comments on their posts and email PR story pitches that are relevant and well thought out. 

Remember to check out my very first podcast – 3 reasons why your media pitch gets ignored or deleted to learn more about this.

You can also book a free call with me to discuss how to get your story featured.

 

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Related blog: 3 reasons why your media pitch gets ignored or deleted

Lastly, you also need to actively check out platforms that connect you to journalists, bloggers and podcast hosts such as SourceBottle, HARO and Podbooker

I give you my full list and show you how to secure earned media exposure for your business in my online Publicity Boss training courses. The link is in my show notes.

I give you my full list and show you how to secure earned media exposure for your business in my online courses. In my Publicity Boss training, I work with you 1:2:1 to achieve your earned media and public relations goals.

If you’re keen to work with me and want to learn more, contact me here.

Related podcast: Press Release or Media Release vs. Media Alert vs. Media Pitch: 3 media strategy tools explained

Related blog: Press release vs. Media release vs. Media alert vs. Media pitch

 

how to get earned media coverage

 

What is shared media?

 

This brings us to our last media channel, shared media.

Shared media is the newest addition to our channels. Essentially, it’s, as the name suggests, the content that’s shared on your social media platforms.

 

Examples of shared media

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok
  • Google My Business
  • Any other social media platform.

You might be thinking, “wait, what?” Don’t I own the content I’m posting? 

Well, you do, but you share it with the owners of those social media platforms. 

Remember when in February 2021, Facebook blocked Australian users from sharing news content on its site?

It was very clear then that at any time we could lose anything or everything we’d built on social media, including our content and followers. So, yes, indeed it is shared media.

What makes shared media different from earned media or public relations, is the combination of content marketing and social media marketing in order to generate it.

Creating a positive brand image in shared media and content marketing is where many businesses are spending the majority of their time and financial resources.

 

How your owned, paid, earned, and shared media strategies work together

 

That being said, you also need to develop an overarching strategy where your owned, paid, earned, and shared media strategies are working together.

You need to see the big picture, so you know what content you can share across all four media channels.

This is critical because as this infographic below shows each of the different media strategies does not exist in isolation.

 

How your owned, paid, earned, and shared media strategies work together

Source

The right balance depends on your industry, your budget, your goals, and how much time you want to spend implementing them.

The best strategy is one that leverages the benefits of each channel while cross-promoting all your content to reach a wider audience.

In summary

 

What is owned media?

  •  Any content that you create, have control over, and maintain.

 

What is paid media?

  • Advertising or marketing you pay for. 

 

What is earned media?

  •  Third-party endorsement or public relations.

 

What is shared media?

  •  Content on your social media channels.

 

Owned, paid, earned, and shared media explained [Infographic]

 

Now that you know the differences between the four media channels and how much they need each other, I’m sure you’ll start creating much more integrated content, so you can get better marketing results.

For a summary of today’s blog see the infographic slides below: Owned, paid, earned, and shared media explained.

 

[rl_gallery id=”9257″]

Source

 

Ready to be featured as a thought leader?

 

Discover my new PUBLICITY BOSS 1:2:1 live online training options, which includes public relations and thought leadership training to maximise your media coverage and publicity opportunities in podcasts, videos, social media and online publications.

Learn more by booking your free 30-minute chat today.

You can also email me by visiting my website contact page or by clicking here.

 

new live training 1:2:1

 

Want more content marketing and public relations?

 

For more great resources about content creation, content marketing, video marketing, and public relations be sure to check out my new podcast series “Improve Your Content in 7 Minutes” by clicking here, or find me on your favourite streaming app.

To learn about the 3 ways content marketing drives sales read the blog here or listen to the podcast below.

 

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Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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