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Paid, owned & earned media

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Paid, owned & earned media is a model that is often used in online advertising. It is a simple model, but very useful to structure your online advertising strategy.

Paid, owned & earned media

The model means the following:

  • Paid media - publicity you pay for
  • Owned media - publicity via media that you own
  • Earned media - publicity you've earned

Below I explain by type of publicity what exactly is meant by it. I also give examples.

Paid media: examples & explanation

By paid media, we mean that you pay for this publicity. In other words, it means online advertising.

Examples of online advertising are:

Owned media: examples & explanations

Owned media refers to the media that you own. The advantage of owned media is that you have control over what is communicated. The disadvantage is that the potential customer knows that you have written the communication yourself. Advertising via owned media is often less effective than advertising via an independent source, such as earned media.

Examples of owned media are:

  • your own website
  • your own social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc)
  • your own newsletter
  • you have your own blog

Earned media: examples & explanations

Earned media literally means Media/publicity that you have earned. This is also called free publicity.

Advertising via earned media is often very effective because the station is independent. Earned media can only be earned if the person who praises you really believes in your product.

__Examples of earned media are ___

  • A blog that records a press release from you
  • An interview on a blog or website
  • A social media message that goes viral.
  • An influencer you mention on YouTube, Instagram or other social media.

Paid, owned & earned media, the ideal mix

Which form of publicity is most effective for your website or app differs of course. If you have a very innovative idea it is quite possible that you can become very successful through earned media. However, it is wise to also use paid media to bring the free advertising to the attention of the public.

If your product has little newsworthiness, then it is smarter not to use earned media or to come up with something so that your product can still become newsworthy.

Companies often forget which media they actually own to put a product or service on the market. The advantage of owned media is that the visitors of your website, for example, are probably already familiar with your company. It is then easier to sell than when you first approach someone through paid media.

There are also intermediate forms between paid and earned media. This is becoming increasingly popular to use. More and more companies are paying influencers to promote their products. This may seem like earned media, but of course, it is actually paid for. Native advertising is also such an intermediate form. Precisely because it is not entirely clear whether it is earned or paid, this type of advertising is often more effective than traditional paid advertising.

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