What are Owned, Paid and Earned Media?

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Hey Brandi,

I've seen the term “owned media” on a few articles lately, along with paid and earned media. What are these types of media, and how do I get some? 

Owned, earned, and paid media are the three primary kinds of “media” that we talk about in marketing today.

Media is just another way of saying communication channel – or how you're getting the message out there about your company.

Owned media is channels that your business “owns.” It includes your website, email list, and social media profiles. Since you control all of the content through these channels, you own how your company is presented to your customers. You “get some” by having a website and social media channels. (Yes, you need a website. I'll write more about this another day, but trust me on this one. You NEED this hub. A Facebook page won't do!)

Paid media is advertising – whether it be an advertorial, a display ad, a PPC ad, etc. You “get” paid media by running ad campaigns, and spending some cold, hard cash.

Earned media is when your company is mentioned by others, like customer testimonials or news coverage. It's the new term for “word of mouth.” It's super valuable, but it's also really hard to get and manage, especially when you're just starting out. Plus, you don't get to control what earned media says about you… negative reviews are still “earned media.”

You “get” earned media through your PR (public relations) efforts, outreach, and networking. You'll likely also get some just from being in business, once your name spreads.

Have questions about how to “own” your owned media, or “earn” some earned media? Join my email list!

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