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Understanding how to use owned, earned and paid media to create a local marketing strategy.

Using the Big Three: Owned, Earned and Paid Media for Local Business Marketing

When it comes to local marketing endeavors of any kind, a brand or business must have a comprehensive strategy that incorporates owned, earned and paid media. Together, these work to create an enviable, successful campaign that will catch the eye of a business or brand’s customers.

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Defining Owned, Earned and Paid Media

Before we dive in-depth into what each type of media is, how they differ, and how they can benefit businesses and brands, let’s begin with a few quick definitions:

  • Owned Media – Any mentions of the business by the business, e.g. their website, marketing collateral, print and web content.
  • Earned Media – Mentions of the business or brand, either online or in print, by a third party, e.g. an article in a magazine, a quote on another business’ website, etc.
  • Paid Media – Advertising to promote the business, online or in print with the goal to generate sales and increase brand awareness, e.g. Google Adwords, paid ad placement on a media website or in print.

At Advice Local, we utilize earned, owned and paid media (also referred to as POEM) on the regular, so we know their value. So, we’re here to provide a refresher course on how to best implement these strategies if they have fallen by the wayside in a digital marketing plan.

Understanding Paid, Earned and Owned Media to Create a Local Business Marketing Plan infographic

Owned Media – The Starting Point

First things first – owned media. Owned media is relatively easy to define: it’s content and other forms of media that are totally managed by a business or brand. It also encompasses any created or commissioned content, which includes social media accounts, infographics, websites, blog posts and eBooks – any kind of content created and controlled by the business or brand.

According to Brandpoint, any form of owned media will serve as the foundation for a business or brand’s marketing game plan, which makes sense. If a brand doesn’t establish its mission or reason for going into business, how can it attract others to jump on board? A businesses does this by establishing a target audience; once the mark is missed on this one, it can be hard to recover.

Next, a business or brand must hone in on the right keywords to target, the type of content that should be generated, and the appropriate topics. They must also learn how to measure what works and what doesn’t.

Owned media is arguably the most important of the three types of media, so a business should plan on devoting the majority of their time and allocated budget to it.

Earned Media – Just as It Sounds!

Earned media is something to be proud of for any brand or business. Does this sound silly? Believe me, it’s not! According to Medium, earned media is the hardest to plan around due to the fact that there is little to no control on the business owner or brand manager’s end – earned media is primarily driven by the customer or other media outlets. Earned media can take many forms; for example, a mention in a blog post by an industry colleague, publication in an article that has the potential to reach others in a given field, and content derived from press releases announcing the latest happenings and promotions with the brand are all earned media moves.

On the customer-reliant side, earned media can be a word-of-mouth recommendation to a friend or to the general public via social media channels, or reviews posted online or on public forums. Daunting, right? Thankfully, positive earned media is not only a reflection of a brand, but is often also the result of successful owned and paid media strategies. But, the pressure is always on to keep the business in a positive light! Negative earned media can prove detrimental if it’s not quickly and adequately rectified. Unfortunately, it can be a waiting game to see how well a brand can recover following a negative exposure.

To help achieve positive earned media, it boils down to high-quality content that’s enticing enough to compel an audience member to share it. Earned media can mean the difference between profitability and the need for damage control, so businesses need to be as attentive and observant as possible on all media forms associated with their company.

Paid Media – Tried and True

Lastly, we’ve arrived at paid media. At Advice Local, we think that any marketing strategy is sorely lacking if paid media efforts are not included in the plans. Paid media includes pay-per-click advertising, ads on Facebook or through Google, promoted tweets on Twitter, and many other forms. Paid media is obviously budget-based, but according to BigCommerce, it offers the highest amount of instant gratification – which everyone can appreciate.

Paid media can drive traffic quickly, but most importantly, a simple ad can be just enough to get noticed by a new consumer and create more opportunities for expansion. Because paid media works and is easy to track, it will never go out of style as a tried and true marketing strategy for businesses or brands of any size.

The Powerhouse Trio for Local Marketing Success

When it comes to these three types of media, there is really no room to pick and choose; combined, they lead to the most cohesive local marketing strategy for any venture. I say this with confidence, as I’ve seen it in action a million times over! The last thing any brand or business wants to see is their digital footprint diminish.

Wondering how to best utilize owned, earned and paid media for a comprehensive local marketing strategy? Find out now how partnering with us can help you better serve your clients – request a demo.