Paid, Owned, Earned and Shared Media

It is known that consumers nowadays are more aware of being targets for advertisements, and often ignore them. Although they are still popular, marketers have been finding ways around direct advertisements. Using inbound marketing, content marketing and social media marketing, businesses are able to engage customers with different methods that are less invasive, more interactive and still get their message across, and achieve the ultimate goal of building an audience. When people think of traditional media promotion, most people think of paid, owned and earned media. Well what are they exactly? Here is a table from Sean Corcoron explaining the different types of ‘traditional’ media: Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 12.01.29 AM

Owned media is the channel that has the most control, is versatile and allows for high customization. Paid media is paying a third party to reach their previously accumulated audience. Its primary goal is awareness, bringing traffic to your media. It is beneficial because it is immediate, and the message is controlled and reaches the market. Earned Media: allows communication between you and your customers, which not only builds relationships, but also provides feedback. It builds trust, and is free advertising. The negative is that it can get out of control, and doesn’t have a concept of scale.

The primary differences between the three are the content control, and how you’re getting your audience. Today, marketers do not think knowing the difference between the three will be as beneficial to the development of your digital strategies. Instead, according to an article by Steve Kerho, some believe that digital content development and management should be considered through the terms paid and shared media.

Shared Media: media that is shared between the marketer and the consumer, ultimately taking away the divide between earned and owned media. This brings up the idea of user-generated content (UGC) and how consumer should be able to contribute to the content that is created on different channels. Customers want to have a voice in media channels, and want to be able to contribute. A good example is Starbucks’ “My Starbucks” page on their website. My Starbucks is a platform for customers to submit their feedback and ideas for new products, services, and offerings. This allows customer engagement and interaction between the company and the consumers. Consumers now have higher expectations about how they should be able to interact with brands.

Paid media is ‘touchy’ form of marketing, because many look down upon the use of “cookies.” Cookies, are not the kind you eat, but according to Mark Staton, “pieces of code that track your online behavior.” This makes paid media a controversial form of marketing because some think it is invading people’s privacy. An article by Ad Age goes into detail how the European Union started regulating cookie usage, and explains how your every move online can be tracked. For example, Amazon uses cookies to track your past purchases and to recommend new products, Netflix uses cookies to recommend you new movies, and without cookies this wouldn’t be possible. Google would give you search results in wrong cities!

cookies patrick star

Now what happens if cookies become regulated everywhere? Ad Age‘s answer is through native advertising. Native advertising is advertising content that doesn’t look like advertising. This is beneficial for businesses because “users are more likely to respond positively to marketing tactics that don’t look like advertising – but instead take the form of the rest of the content on the website or platform.” This marketing tactic is engaging, builds an audience, and people aren’t necessarily aware they’re looking at an ad.

hide and seek cats

The down side of native advertising is that it is very time consuming to create rich content, and it takes time for it to produce results. Although sometimes difficult to produce engaging content, a good example of well executed native advertising is Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed has rich and captivating content, along with advertisements that most users are unaware of. In the following screenshot of a Buzzfeed page, you can see the article about PlayStation, and then the ad for Sony Entertainment circled, and also makes multiple appearances along the right side of the page:

11-Things-You-Didn_t-Know-About-PlayStation

It’s apparent that marketing has taken a digital turn. People see over 3,000 advertisements daily whether they are aware of it or not, and the Internet only increases this number. Social media has sponsored posts all over the pages, friends are frequently sharing content on various social networks.

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