Paid, owned and earned media are all part of driving traffic and conversions and ensuring that your digital marketing is as effective as possible. In this post we’ll be looking at the differences between each type of media, how to work with them in your content marketing strategy and what the options are when it comes to generating more ROI.

Paid vs earned vs owned media

  • Paid media. This is any type of advertising that you pay for, whether that’s social media ads, sponsoring events, influencer marketing, paid search on Google, retargeting or digital display ads. Its purpose is usually to drive people towards your owned media. There are many benefits to paid media, for example you can expect to see results as soon as the ad is live and you still get to define the appearance of the ad, as well as its strategy, even if you don’t own the channel. Whether paid ads are going to be successful for you will depend on a number of factors including how competitive keywords are in your industry and whether your audience is ‘ad blind’ from being constantly shown ads.

Getting more ROI from paid media: make sure the ad is compelling and specifically targeted.

  • Owned media. This is the content that is directly under your control – probably the most obvious example of this is your website. Other types of owned media include your social media posts, as well as email content, podcasts and virtual events. All of these have the potential to make a big difference to marketing for your business but not simply by their presence. It’s not enough just to create a website or email content – to make it effective you also need to look at user experience, for example. Owned media has a lot of obvious advantages, for example you are in complete control of content and design and this is a great way to build trust with an audience. As long as owned media is live it’s always going to be driving ROI. Plus, it tends to be the biggest contributor to organic search rankings and it costs less than paid media by around 62%.

Getting more ROI from owned media: focus on the type of content and ensuring that what you’re creating is useful, compelling and a positive experience for your audience.

  • Earned media. This tends to be the exposure or visibility that your business gets through channels that aren’t paid for. It’s essentially the 2022 version of ‘word of mouth’ advertising. It could be something like a review or mentions and shares on social media. A strong SEO strategy can help to improve access to earned media, as you’ll ‘earn’ higher rankings via high-quality, optimised content. Earned media has a lot of benefits, including that it provides your customer with social proof of your credibility and has a greater reach to new audiences.

Getting more ROI from earned media: start learning how to measure it, for example, the ratio of shares compared to total follows will give you an amplification rate. This is one of the metrics you can track to better understand the importance of your brand in social conversations.

There is no one type of media that is better than the other – the optimum situation is to work with a combination of all three. Iconic Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency in London that has the skills and know-how to help your business reach its full digital capabilities in 2022. To find out more about Iconic Digital’s award-winning digital marketing services get in contact today on 020 7100 0726.