When it comes to effectively marketing your products, there are three key types of media to consider. From digital marketing strategies to more traditional tactics, each of these is integral to your brand’s success. And each can help you gain beneficial exposure for your business and mission with potential consumers. So, what’s the difference between owned, earned, and paid media? And what are the benefits each brings to your marketing efforts?

Owned Media

Owned media is uniquely yours and run by you. Your brand or organization controls how it’s used, how it’s presented, what’s published, and what’s advertised. This is often free or available to your organization at a low cost. Examples include platforms such as your website, social media channels, YouTube account, email marketing, and blog posts.

After encountering your brand, interested prospective consumers may view these channels for more information about your business and your offerings. So, it’s important to put your “best face” forward with compelling content on your platforms.

Shared media is a subset of this form of media. On social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn you can take advantage of social sharing opportunities. This means not only publishing your own posts, but commenting, re-posting (retweeting), and contributing to discussion forums, blog threads, and reviews. For example, your public LinkedIn and Facebook pages probably don’t only have content that you yourself posted. They most likely also have comments and reviews that consumers and organizations have shared about your business which helps boost your credibility with your intended audience.

Earned Media

Another important marketing strategy for your business is earned media. When you pursue earned media coverage, also often referred to as public relations opportunities, your business will use its connections (or build new ones) with media outlets to help share your product, service, or news. Examples include distributing press releases, direct or exclusive pitches, or holding a press conference. In all cases of earned media, it will be important to tell a compelling story because the media outlets you hope to partner with will want to know what value your news provides for them and their audience.

Paid Media

Paid media is any marketing or advertising that requires a financial cost. This can include display ads, paid advertisements on social media platforms, and even partnerships with well-known influencers or celebrity figures. You can also take advantage of paid search (or PPC) opportunities, where you pay to show up at the top of search engine results (such as Google or Bing) when a certain keyword is searched by consumers. In addition to these digital tactics, traditional paid channels such as billboards, print ads, radio, and television commercials, are also effective opportunities to consider.

When marketing your company or products to your intended audience, it will be important to keep paid, owned, and earned media strategies in mind. While each has its own uses and benefits, all three will work together to play a crucial role in the marketing of your business as well as its growth and success. Without effective marketing strategies, your business will be limited in its reach with potential customers, which could hinder your full potential for success.