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Earned, Paid and Owned Media: Why You Need Them All
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Today’s consumer is tech- savvy and armed with a wealth of digital information that influences what they do and don’t purchase. Gone are the days when you simply paid for an ad to tell the consumer your product or service was good; now your brand must gain social approval in the digital sphere. Your customers’ attention must be earned.
Earned Digital Media
Earned digital media is the result of consumers interacting with your content and brand. It comes in the form of social media posts, mentions, tweets, shares, reviews, reposts, content picked up by third-party sites and recommendations. In other words, it’s the buzz created by an online community that drives traffic to your website and increases conversions.
Paid digital media is when you pay to promote your brand and content. It comes in the form of display ads, Pay Per Click, retargeting and sponsorships. As the organic reach of posts on social media sites decreases, paid advertising becomes important for sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Owned Digital Media
Owned digital media is any property you control online, such as a website, blog or Facebook business page. It is a cost-effective extension of your brand that allows you to directly engage with consumers. Your owned media are the platforms on which consumers can access and engage with your content.
How They Work Together
If attracting consumers to your owned digital media is the goal, consider paid media and earned media the means by which this goal is achieved.
Earned media gets its life from strong search engine rankings and good content. You want your company website on the first page of a search engine where consumers will see it. If you distribute valuable content, people will share it. When people share your content, awareness of your brand increases. Remember: consumers trust each other; earned media builds credibility within your target audience.
A blog perfectly represents earned and owned digital media. You own the blog itself, and you earn followers by providing them valuable content. A blog that consistently produces fresh and engaging content will draw in potential clients searching for answers and ultimately position the company as a thought leader in its respective industry. It’s no wonder that marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
Paying to Play
There are some hurdles when dealing with earned media. Unfortunately, even the best content can get lost in the mix. Not to mention the substantial investment of time needed to produce valuable content and manage multiple platforms. This is where paid media can help.
Paid media gives exposure to content that will engage people and generate earned media. By allocating funds for paid media, you can target and grow the audience you want consuming and distributing your content. Paid media’s precise nature and quick results make it a good way to build a base audience. It provides your brand with a competitive edge by extending beyond the reach of organic posts on social media sites.
For a digital marketing campaign to drive qualified traffic to its owned platforms, it must leverage both paid and earned media. Your ratio of paid and earned media will depend on your budget and objectives, but a strategy involving both is the best way to drive traffic to your site, grow your brand and increase conversions.
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