What Is The Difference Between Paid And Earned Media?
Having a solid marketing strategy and a streamlined suite of different types of media is essential to making sure your services, products, and brand stand out from the competition, connect to your potential customers, and inspire them to choose you. Unfortunately, not all marketing channels are created equal: experts suggest using a blend of both paid media, owned media and earned media to strengthen your brand presence and achieve your specific customer acquisition and retention goals.
What is Paid Media?
Paid media is the traditional advertising method in which you pay to advertise your business on different channels. In paid media, advertisements and sponsorships promote your brand, products, and services. Marketers create and place these ads to grab customers’ attention and influence their choices. The goal: Generate audience awareness and ultimately inspire them to use your products or services.
Paid media includes traditional offline channels and online platforms. Since the invention and quick adoption of the internet in our everyday lives, many marketing efforts now take place on the internet and paid media is bought online. This is because online advertising not only allows your brand to reach more eyeballs but also to more precisely target the audience to make sure they’re the right ones.
Traditional offline media (such as print, television, radio, and out-of-home) is also important and still accounts for a large share of paid media spending. While online paid media spending has skyrocketed in the past decade, offline media channels should not be discounted. They remain a powerful way for brands to generate awareness (especially with the older demographics), and to build a relationship with consumers.
Examples of Paid Media Tactics
Paid social media advertising is a great way to capture customers who spend time on these platforms. Paid social media marketing increases the reach of your campaign, pushing the posts in front of more users to help deliver your message. Which social media channels you choose to market on depends on your target audience. You don’t want to market on a network like TikTok if your core demographic is over 60 years old; similarly, you don’t want to target LinkedIn if your audience is teens.
Paid search ads are simple text ads shown in search results but can be highly effective in driving traffic to your company website and ensuring that the traffic comes from qualified potential customers who are actively searching for your product or service. The key to success is determining the best keywords to target based on volume and differences in search engine queries to target consumers along their decision-making process. Paid search can be a complex beast, so many businesses choose to outsource this type of work to a PPC agency.
Unlike paid search, display ads use both text and visuals to attract website visitors. By placing these ads in the right place at the right time to capture the most likely person to convert, they not only generate awareness of your brand but also can help drive the desired conversion action.
Print, TV, Radio, and Out-of-Home Advertising
Print, radio, and TV ads, and billboards can help your business reach as many people as possible within a specific geographic and demographic. Tried and true, traditional advertising methods are still a great way to build brand awareness on a large scale.
The Benefits of Paid Advertising
Paid media advertising can be an effective, cost-efficient way to achieve your specific business goals: It can increase your sales and customer loyalty to build your bottom line by continually driving new consumers into your sales funnel. It can enable you to enter new markets – or launch new products and services–to expand the reach of your business. Paid advertising also can help you change, strengthen or rebuild your brand image to gain or maintain your competitive edge.
What is Earned Media?
Earned media is just that: earned. Unlike paid media, with earned media you do not pay the media outlet to present information on your brand, product, or service to their audiences. Instead, you work with public relations experts or marketing agencies to generate publicity like valuable features, shoutouts, and recommendations that promote your brand. Since you aren’t directly paying these media outlets to cover your brand, consumers view such placements as word-of-mouth endorsements so there is an increased level of trust and added value in comparison to other forms of media.
Examples of Earned Media Methods
Securing a feature in a news program, magazine, newspaper article, or blog can be great for brand building. Having a third party promote your business is seen as more trustworthy than promoting it on your own–especially if the third-party reviewer is a well-known and trusted source.
A social media review of your service or product is a great way to increase brand awareness and trust. Consumers want to buy products and services from companies that value their customers and provide them with high-quality and convenient goods and services. A customer’s or influencer’s review or share about your product adds incrementally to the perceived value of your brand’s offerings.
An earned backlink (when an external website links to your website with a “do follow” link) can be a lot of work for an SEO strategist, but well worth the effort. These links represent trust and authority to search engines. The more relevant backlinks a website or webpage has, the better it will perform in organic search because Google recognizes the content as important and valuable since it comes from, and is referenced by, an independent third party. This is another example of how third-party reviews and promotions (in this case links) can help optimize the reputation, credibility, and trust of your brand.
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The Benefits of Earned Media
The value of earned media is its third-party credibility. Advertising has been around for a long time and consumers are wise to the intention–and vested interests–behind ads that are placed in front of them. But choosing a brand endorsed by a trusted source can be a no-brainer. By leveraging a solid PR, digital marketing, and organic SEO strategy to build and maintain relationships with influencers, reporters, and publishers, earned media experts gain valuable media coverage to help increase a brand’s reach, awareness, and most importantly, credibility.
Earned and paid media are integral parts of the marketing mix for today’s brands. Whether you’re aiming for large-scale growth and want to increase revenue or are striving to maintain sales and brand image in a competitive market, implementing an integrated paid and earned media strategy is a great place to start.