Having a successful marketing strategy that grows your business, means creating different tactics to reach your audience. To capitalize on your outreach and grow your business,  your brand should show up on the following media channels – paid, earned, and owned media.

Let’s first start out defining what media is. Media is a means of mass communication. There are various channels your message can be broadcasted on to reach these mass audiences including newspapers, direct mail, websites, social media, and email.

To mass communicate to an audience, all media channels can be bucketed into three different media outlets. The three media outlets you should consider are paid, earned, and owned media. Frequently and consistently utilizing these channels will allow you to attract your dream customers and eventually help you grow your business.

Paid Media

Paid media is the media in which you pay for. With this vehicle, you are able to tailor and target the audience you’d like your message to go to.

To get in front of a mass audience you pay Google, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram to get your brand and message to their audiences.

You can pay social media influencers to talk about your product. In doing so, you are paying to be noticed by their audience.

You pay companies like AdRoll for digital billboard ads to display on various web pages throughout the world wide web.

You pay for ad space in magazines or sponsor events to get your message to the audiences reading those magazines or attending those events.

One of the biggest advantages of paid media is that you are able to build brand awareness to the exact audience you are looking to attract. Those purchased eyeballs can then trickle down and complement your owned and earned media, allowing you to build your client and publicity pipeline.

Earned media

Earned media is all about getting your message out in front of someone’s audience (an organization, a public figure, or a publication, etc.) without paying for it. You have, in essence, earned the right to speak to their mass audience.

You can earn the right to speak to someone’s audience by getting recognized as an expert in your field. This can happen organically from the content you publish in your blog, the events you host or what you post in your social media.

For example, I was given the privilege to write as a guest blogger from a recent social media story I published a few weeks ago. Julia Block, CEO of Stratos Creative Marketing, reached out to me and asked me to write this blog after seeing the story.

You can also get out in front of an audience from a guest speaker on someone’s podcast, or live event.

Having the press, a local or national newspaper or news broadcasters, pick up a story about you is also a great way to get your message to the masses via earned media. Having a public relations teammate or consultant can help you in that endeavor. For example, BlkBld & Co. recently hired a PR consultant, The Authentic Messenger, to gain more earned media spotlights. 

A subset of earned media is shared media. Client referrals, positive reviews, and someone sharing your social media posts are ways in which you are reaching the person who shared the contents’ audience…for free. I say subset because, you earned their free publicity by either having a great product or service they want to share with their family and friends or you created a very valuable, shareable piece of content they want their audience to see.

Earned media is one of the best ways to get your message shared outside of channels you pay for and the ones you own, for free! This does include negative feedback and reviews as well, so make sure your cognisant about your brand’s perception.

Owned Media

Last but not least, there is owned media. This is a way to speak to the audience you have created, for free, in the capacity in which you choose.

For example, if you have a website, you have full control of what’s written, what content is included in your blogs, and which hyperlinks you include.

You also own your social media accounts. You control what content you post, the stories you highlight, and the memes you share. Although Zuckerberg owns Facebook and Instagram for example, you own and have control over what you post for free (unless you boost the post of course).

The success of the owned media strategy can create a domino effect on other media channels.

If you are frequently and consistently producing value-driven content on your blog, on your podcast, and via email, that will keep your mass audience engaged. They will be more inclined to share good news about your product or service. It will attract earned media coverage because your content is compelling. And as your paid audience lands on your website or your Instagram feed, they will be more inclined to connect with you rather than bouncing toward your competition.

The goal is to have a mix of all three media outlets to reach the masses. Doing so will allow your brand’s message to reach audiences that aren’t in your circle and bring in more prospective clients into your pipeline.

BUT you shouldn’t just throw spaghetti on a wall and pray something sticks. Make sure you understand your dream customer, the problem you help them solve, your solution, and (this is key) make sure you know where your audience typically consumes content.

Knowing these key elements will allow you to be strategic about where you show up, which mass audiences you choose to be in front of, and the message you choose to showcase.

To get to know your audience intimately, download my free Ideal Client Roadmap at blkbld.co/ideal-client. The probing questions in the roadmap will help you deeply understand who you are serving, and it will help you create a very clear brand message that attracts them via paid, earned, and owned media.

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Joseline Nyinawabera
Branding and Marketing Strategist at Blkbld.co

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