The current trend of competition between paid media, owned media, and earned media

Competition between paid, owned, and earned media trend

As the importance of social media and online public relations continues to rise, enterprises and brands are quickly adjusting their budgets, reporting, and investment in paid, owned, and earned media to reach and attract their target customers.

By Jing Wen

What are paid, owned, and earned media? And what are the differences between them?

Media investment is usually divided into three “buckets”: earned, shared, and paid, each providing opportunities to influence customers. Although these media types are not new concepts, owned and earned media are receiving increasing attention. What is different now is that paid media has always dominated among all media types in the past.

****Actually, this is a good thing,**** ****as it raises questions about how to best measure social media returns and set investments at the right level.**** ****In an environment of global inflation**** ****and**** ****marketing budget cuts**** ****, enterprises need to**** ****re-evaluate**** ****the value of earned media, especially in their social strategies, to achieve their goals at a lower cost per acquisition.****

So what are the platforms for earned media? And how should its value be measured in 2023?

The following useful infographics show the increasing number of platforms and participation types that marketers must consider when optimizing their earned media strategies.

Source: Google

In terms of participation types, some forms of participation are generally considered more valuable than others. For example, sharing/forwarding/retweeting increases social value and publicity, further expanding the influence of enterprises or brands.

Image source: Google

In some industries, there may be a tendency to focus more on usually higher-cost paid media or lower-cost owned media, but we recommend a balanced approach that is usually best suited for “always-on” media activities, and for campaign goals, businesses or brands can choose to “dial up” specific media or channels according to their goals.

0 1 ****Current definitions of paid, earned, and owned media****

Current definitions of paid, earned, and owned media

The adoption and use of digital media is constantly evolving in today’s digital environment.

As of April 2023, 60% of the global population uses social media. It is fair to say that paid, earned, and owned media provide marketers with a range of endless new opportunities to win and retain more customers.

1. What is paid media?

Defining paid media is the easiest. Paid or purchased media refers to investment media that pays for visitors, coverage, or conversions through search, display advertising networks, or affiliate network marketing.

Offline traditional paid media such as print and television advertising and direct mail still account for a large portion of paid media spending.

Digital dissemination means we see more and more opportunities for targeted digital paid media, such as online streaming and in-app advertising.

****2. What is earned media (Earned Media)?****

Traditionally, earned media has always been the name for publicity generated through public relations investments that engage influential people to increase brand awareness.

Of course, it is still an investment —whether it’s time, money, or both. However, if done well, this type of investment is most likely to instill customer trust through recommendations or word-of-mouth promotion.

Earned media also includes buzz generated through viral marketing and social media marketing, including conversations on social networks, blogs, and other communities.

Viewing earned media as a useful way to develop through different types of partners such as publishers, bloggers and other influential people, including customer advocates. Earned media can also be viewed as different forms of online and offline conversations.

3. What is owned media?

This is the media that a brand owns. Online, this includes a company’s own website, Weibo, mobile applications, or their social presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Offline owned media may include brochures or retail stores.

Viewing a company’s own existence as media is useful because they are an alternative investment to other media and provide the opportunity to promote products using advertising or editorial formats similar to other media. It emphasizes that all organizations need to become multi-channel publishers.

0 2 ******How to integrate your paid, owned and earned media Earned Media******

How to integrate your paid, owned and earned media

Each of these three types of media provides today’s marketers with a wealth of methods and channels. As always, we recommend that brands and companies plan their own goals before diving into the media world.

Aside from planning their own activities, setting clear digital marketing goals can help businesses or brands gain better support.

In addition, if there is a need to expand the budget for paid media, the business or brand must have clear reasons to do so, and planning can help generate digital support for this.

As shown in the figure below, there is overlap between three different types of media. It is important to note this, as achieving this overlap requires integrating activities, resources, and infrastructure throughout the entire multi-channel marketing strategy.

Image source: Google

A popular multi-channel marketing strategy involves planning content on a content center or website, breaking it down (atomizing) and sharing it across other paid media and earned media types.

If the budget is appropriate, this activity can even be supported by APIs and widgets, thereby reducing the burden of current tasks. So, multi-channel marketing is the key to unlocking the full power of media content.

1. Media Investment: Content Distribution Matrix

When choosing media investment, our content distribution matrix tool helps review paid, owned, and earned media investment options based on investment value.

It can review the effectiveness of existing media investments and consider future investments based on the goals of the business or brand. Of course, the media world is constantly changing, so scanning and predicting media changes to continue eliminating noise and reaching customers is worthwhile.

Image source: Google

0 3 Brand experiences of paid media, owned media, and earned media

Brand Experience of paid owned and earned media

Summarizing a brand’s current use of paid and owned media is a powerful technique that can be part of market analysis when developing marketing strategies.

This market map visualization presented at Brighton SEO many years ago is still a good visualization for today’s marketers, as it covers different types of touchpoints in the customer journey with paid, owned, and earned media.

Image source: Google

0 4 ****Media marketing for today’s digital landscape****

Overall, although these media types are not new, marketers are certainly warming up to the available opportunities for owned and earned media types, as well as paid media. Brands or companies can use charts or matrices to plan their media activities and adjust their media mix according to their marketing plan in a timely manner.

****Xinrui provides digital marketing planning services for enterprises and brands.****

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