The Difference Between Earned and Owned Media
BY Aaron Aders
Here's the basics on where your content appears online and how to position yourself as an industry thought leader.
Creating fresh, interesting and relevant content is a new practice for many digital marketing teams. Almost any form of content created by your digital marketing team can be placed into one of two categories--earned media or owned media. Understanding the differences between these content types can focus the team's efforts and maintain truly meaningful KPIs.
This is the primary type of content your team will create on a regular basis. Owned media is all content and media that is featured in areas of the Web owned by your brand. A few examples of where you place owned media include:
• The company blog, news area or website in general
• Social media profile pages such as the company Twitter or Facebook page
• Email marketing pages
• Webinar presentations
• Mobile notifications inside company-owned mobile apps
This type of content is what really boosts digital relevancy on the Web. However, earned media is useless by itself. The same quality and frequency of published content must also appear in the brand's owned media to complete the loop and be digitally relevant. The most valuable feature of earned media is in the name --the content is so good that it earns a spot on a third party site instead of being paid for. However, just because you don't pay for the placement doesn't mean that it's free. To place earned media effectively, your team must find relevant publishers, pitch ideas, create content and follow up with each potential opportunity in an efficient manner.
Examples of Earned Media Content:
• Guest blog posts, news articles and editorials
• Polls or other data resources
• Research papers, whitepapers, guides and studies
• Viral videos
Examples of Earned Media Third Party Websites
• Industry organizations
• Industry partner websites
• Top industry Linkedin groups
• Industry thought leader blog or website
• Other relevant blogs or websites
It's the combination of compelling owned and earned media that communicates digital relevance to search engines, social media websites and the world. Always keep an educational and thought leadership perspective when creating owned and earned media. This will educate the market, encourage sharing of your content and position your brand as an industry thought leader.
AARON ADERS: Aaron is co-founder of DigitalRelevance™, a national leader in earned media and inbound marketing services. Building on more than a decade of Internet marketing experience, Aaron steers the strategic vision behind DigitalRelevance market research and collateral. @drelevance