You’ve probably heard these buzzwords floating around your marketing department— earned media, owned media, and paid media. Which one should matter most to you? The answer is earned media.
What is earned media?
Earned media, also referred to as free media, is publicity gained through promotional efforts for which you haven’t paid or created yourself.
It’s the job of public relations teams to get their clients’ media coverage. With every company doing the same thing, consumers often tune out all the noise on various media outlets. Earned media is the most trustworthy type of media one can gain. In fact, 25-40% of all traffic and lead generation comes from earned media.
Using a mix of earned media, owned media, and paid media is crucial to a successful marketing strategy. Together these types of media create more opportunities for messages to be heard.
Learning the differences between these types of media will make your public relations strategies bulletproof, but if you’re here for specific information, feel free to jump ahead using the links below.
Earning media is all about grabbing and holding the attention of media gatekeepers, such as bloggers, influencers, and reporters.
Waiting around for someone to cover your story won’t cut it. You must be deliberate and strategic about your earned media strategy.
The main way to gain earned media is through making connections with the gatekeepers. Follow them on Twitter, email them about a piece of work you really liked, engage with their social media content— any way you can think of to gain their trust will help you to earn media.
Creating great content is another way to get the attention of the press. Any initiatives your company with which your company is involved, writing articles that help your audience, and keeping up with social media posts can help as well.
Lastly, tapping into your brand loyalist and advocates base is another way to get earned media. These people are first in line to cheer you on and share your news, and if you’re lucky, an influencer could be a fan and skyrocket your brand awareness.
Earned media is particularly important to public relations professionals because it establishes and builds your reputation in the public eye. Earned media will increase web traffic, build brand equity, reach larger audiences and generate leads.
You know what earned media is and how to get it, but here are the types of earned media:
Aiming your media efforts toward gaining earned media is a surefire way to improve your public relations strategy. But don’t forget to integrate both owned and paid media too.
What is owned media
Owned media is anything online owned and created by the business, allowing for direct control.
Businesses invest a lot of time on these channels because without them, there would be fewer opportunities for earned media. Owned media provides value to users rather than pushing them promotional messaging.
Types of owned media
It takes time to build the types of owned media, but once you do, you’ll have a cost-effective, versatile, and easy to control content for your audience to engage with. Establish these types of owned media for marketing success:
Social media channels
What is paid media
Paid media is advertising for your brand across one or multiple channels to generate immediate, trackable results.
Usually created by an advertising agency, your brand can control the messaging and the people with whom it targets. Paid media is a y good way to gain brand awareness if you’ve launched a new product or if you’re an entirely new business.
Types of paid media
When choosing what type of paid media to place your ad dollars, be sure to have a researcher determine where your audience is. Then work carefully to craft messaging that is attention-grabbing and impactful.
Types of paid media include:
Paid content promotion
There’s no such thing as a free lunch
Even though earned media is unpaid, that doesn’t mean it’s free. It takes hard work to implement earned media, along with owned media and paid media. Earned media is most important for public relations pros, owned media takes time to develop but serves as the backbone of your media strategy, and paid media is essentially advertising.
Being in public relations is all about relationship building and brand advocacy, and learning how to hold a successful press conference will help you achieve those goals.
Deirdre O’Donoghue is a Content Manager at Nature's Fynd and a former Content Manager at G2. In her free time, you can find Deirdre fostering puppies or exploring the Chicago foodie scene. (she/her/hers)