In the realm of media and marketing, understanding the distinction between owned, paid and earned media is crucial. While paid media involves promotional efforts through paid channels, and earned media refers to organic publicity gained through word-of-mouth or media coverage, owned media takes a different approach. Owned media refers to the platforms and channels a brand controls, such as websites, social media accounts, or blogs. It offers a unique opportunity for businesses to create and disseminate content, engage with their audience directly, and establish a distinct brand presence.
What is Owned Media
Owned media is anything under companies’ direct control such as websites, newsletters or email campaigns, catalogues, social media and blogs.
How it Affects Strategy
Owned media is a vital part of strategy, offering direct control, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness for brands. Though it demands commitment and coordination, it delivers long-lasting results. It serves as a foundation for earned and paid media, enabling reuse of content. A robust media presence enhances chances of earning media coverage, as published content is more likely to be shared and promoted by others.
One growing reason to prioritise owned media as a communication strategy are the upcoming changes in the utilisation of 3rd party data and cookies, as stated by Lindsay Boyajian in the Forbes Communication Council – “With third-party cookies being phased out over the next few years, many companies are focusing on first-party data, which is only accessible through owned media.” (Forbes, 2022)
Building a source of first party data through a strong pull-marketing plan, driven by your owned media can help build long-term marketing lists that you can use in the future.
How to Influence Strategy
With owned media directly in your brands control having an effective content culture and focus can critically influence the quality and output of your media. The creation of and delivery of high quality content that adds value to your audience requires a thoughtful process, pre-planning and above all, a keen understanding of your target audience. You can positively influence your owned channels as a brand by investing in a content calendar, having an editorial process, and a defined content creation workflow that streamlines the ideation, generation and publication of content within the organisation.
How to Measure Owned Media
The success measurement of your owned media will vary depending on the goals of your content and the audience you are trying to reach. Tools such as Google Analytics or Hotjar can help you understand the engagement of your audience with blogs or your website, whilst social media metrics such as engagement can help you understand the effectiveness of owned content across social channels. In all cases it’s important to test, learn and optimise your process to support the metrics you want to influence.
The final part in our series will explore what is paid media. For our piece on earned media, see here.