The Paid, The Owned or The Earned – Which Online Marketing Strategy is Best For Your Business

online marketing strategyDo you know the most effective way to spread the word about your business or increase awareness of your latest campaign online? Whilst every business and every campaign is different, there are three ways to go about it for maximum exposure. In this post we explain the differences between different types of online marketing strategies.

Understanding the difference between one online marketing strategy and another and learning how they work well together can be confusing at first, especially when it comes to building a results driven online marketing campaign.

The 3 Different Online Marketing Strategies


A paid online marketing strategy is where you are quite literally paying someone else to drive “targeted” eye balls to your content or call to action. You use this type of strategy to cast a wide net and drag qualified prospects to your offering.

The benefits of paid advertising are that it is the most scalable and predictable of the three online marketing strategies. It also has the longest track record with banner adverts having been around since near the birth of the internet. Typically, paid advertising is the best understood online marketing strategy.

A disadvantage to paid media would be that unless you’re utilising a highly optimised search engine marketing campaign, click through rates are typically low and are continually declining as people are less inclined to be sold to.

Owned Media

Owned media is a channel that is controlled by a person or a brand. This could be a self hosted website or blog that cannot be edited by anyone other than you, your business or your brand.

When you are the master of your own destiny you can build a vast array of content that builds relationships and gives customers and prospects more reasons to interact with you.

The advantage of owned media is that you own the brand and the platform therefore no one else can come along and pull the rug from under you. You do not have to dance to anyone else’s tune and your content is governed by you and you alone.

As an online marketing strategy, owned media is a must. You should be in control of your own brand and messages. However the disadvantage to having your own platform is that you have to manage, maintain, attract and inspire the interest of your audience through producing fresh and relevant content on a regular basis. Click on the following link to learn more about content marketing

As soon as the content dries up the audience will move on.

Earned Media.

Earned media is quite literally the icing on the cake. It is when the customer becomes the marketing channel and talks about their experience with your business to their following through mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+

In traditional marketing terms this would be known as referral marketing; someone who has had a great experience working with you and then lets everyone know what a fantastic job you did and how pleased they are with the results.

That kind of marketing is absolutely priceless and that is why it is earned. You cannot go out and simply turn on the taps like you would with paid online marketing strategies. It is a result of hard work and persistence.

Although earned media is without doubt a great way of growing business it can also work against you. If for whatever reason you have a disgruntled customer, then just as easily as people can heap praise, they will also paint your business in a negative manner. There is no direct control with earned online marketing. The best you can do is to be involved and if somebody mentions your business in a negative way then do your best to uncover the problem and rectify the situation as soon as possible. This in itself can add to your earned reputation as people will see how effective your customer service really is.

The best online marketing strategies contain elements of all three; paid, owned and earned all working in conjunction with each other.

What has been the most effective online marketing strategy that you have used? Leave a comment and let us know!