Paid, Owned, and Earned media

Written by: Jonathon Osborne, AAE of CWU’s College of Arts and Humanities

Paid, owned, and earned media are three key elements to any marketing strategy. This trifecta is the best way to go about spreading awareness about your company and its brand. Each one can be broken down into their individual uses and benefits and then come together as a whole.


Paid Media

This is your standard form of advertising. Generally, you pay an outside source to put your brand in front of an audience. Your goal is to catch the eye of brand new potential customers. Television advertisements, newspaper ads, and online ads are just a few of the possible outlets to run ads through. You want these potential customers to become aware of your website and social media outlets, along with the products your company is offering. My favorite of these is online ads because everyone is glued to the internet in some fashion. You can insert hyperlinks and pictures and your website and all its content is only a click away.

Owned Media

Outside of your company’s website, your owned media outlets are more effective towards existing customers. Essentially this is the company’s PR. You put out the image you want the company to have through the website, Facebook fan page, mobile app, press releases, etc. You want to spread your brand out as much as possible.

Earned Media

Earned media is the driving force behind your owned media. This is your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and blog site. You want to gain a strong following and facilitate some word of mouth regarding your company and brand. Search engine optimization (SEO) is important as well. When your brand gets typed into a search engine, you want to be the closest to the top with as many positive mentions as possible. You will also want to keep track of analytics such as page views and clicks.

If your company and its brand can get a strong handle of these three platforms of media, you will be able to garner a lot of attention and watch your brand spread around in no time at all.


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