Owned, Earned and Paid Media: Small Business Owners Must Know Them


For a small business in this new era, the key areas that needs much investment in order to boost marketing results would include the business website, digital paid advertising, organic social media, purpose specific landing pages, marketing automation, and more. To cover the internet marketing effort from end to end, it would always involve all three of the above media: owned, earned and paid. On an advanced technology point of view, more than a few thousand of software or system for marketing have emerged. The small business owners would use the marketing automation tools to drive sales, build brand awareness, convey detailed information, capture new leads, retain loyal customers, launch promotions and campaigns, improve marketing efficiency, and more.

Whether it is social media or automation, nowadays small businesses have numerous channels and opportunities available to them. Covering all types of marketing channels is always difficult. It is better first understand the bigger scope of all the channels and/media before jumping into a big decision. One of the sources is through using this best free traffic sources list. With internet marketing especially content marketing, when it comes to media, you should separate them into 3 main types: Owned, earned, and paid.

Owned media can further be split into two main categories. The first owned media category includes your websites (e.g. business website), you mobile app, your blog, etc. You have full control over all of your first category owned media. For example, you have full decision rights to the design of the website, how many pages, the type of pages, and more. You even would have full control (or almost all the access rights) over the hosting accounts of your website.

The second category of owned media are also sites or pages that you owned, but will have no control over the hosting services of this category of owned media sites. For example, you may create a fan page on Facebook for your business, and publish posts on the page. You can control how often your social media and/or promotion posts get published. Another example is that you can create a microblog on Tumblr and regularly share images, videos, or other form of media.

Earned media is different to the second category of owned media, though they both rely heavily through social media and/or blogs. The major difference with earned media is that it is about what your followers or connections do, how often they like, share/forward, or comment on your content, and how they do all those. Earned media really rely how the efforts of other people who are interacting with and reacting to your business/content.

Paid media is about advertising. You pay to get traffic (or visitors) to your company website. A very commonly used and effective paid media channel is paid search. Other online advertising channels include display ads, retargeting ads, affiliate programs, meta search ads, etc.