Earned Media vs. Paid Media vs. Earned Media: Which is Better for Your Business?

Updated July 18, 2023
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Earned Media vs. Paid Media vs. Earned Media Which is Better for Your Business 702 Pros

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Earned Media vs. Paid Media vs. Earned Media Which is Better for Your Business 702 Pros: You are welcome! What were the things that convinced you to purchase from a company after you purchased items online? Perhaps you saw a compelling advertisement or read some great reviews.

It may be a combination of both.

These two examples show the differences between paid and earned media. Both types of media might appeal to you, but perhaps you don’t know the difference or which one to choose.

We are here because of that. We will discuss the difference between paid and earned media and how to incorporate them into your marketing strategies.

What is earned media and what is paid media?

What is paid media?

Let’s begin by explaining what paid media is. Paid media is any type of online marketing in which you pay to advertise on a specific platform or service. paid advertisements is an example. However, it can be used to refer to many other forms of online marketing. This covers all types of online marketing that requires you to pay another party.

Paid media’s greatest asset is its speed. Launching an ad in a matter of minutes and having it displayed before people the next day is possible. You can also target the people you want with paid marketing options.

What is earned media?

On the other hand, earned media is a form of marketing in which, instead of advertising yourself directly, others are talking about your company and products.

Earned media can be thought of as word-of mouth marketing. However, it can also take many forms. Earned media can be in the form press mentions, reviews and influencer mentions, general organic buzz about your brand or backlinks to third-party websites. This is an important aspect of SEO.

Paid media is often referred to as earned media. Paid media allows you to pay for advertising. Paid media is where you pay to promote yourself. Earned media is traditional unpaid promotion. True unpaid earned media is rare, but it can still be a powerful marketing tool because people trust others more than brands.

What is owned media?

Website for owned media
Website for owned media

Another type of media worth mentioning is owned media. It is exactly what it sounds. This is any type of media your company owns.

Your website is a great example. While there might be some costs associated with domain hosting, and the domain name, it is not like you need to pay for pages or ads to your site. The site is yours to market as you wish. This is true for your company’s newsletter or mobile app.

Let’s now look at examples of marketing that fit each category, after we have covered earned and paid media.

Types of paid and earned media

Types of media paid

One of the most popular types of paid media is Google Ads. This allows you to display ads on third-party websites.

Some types of search engine optimization can also be paid. You can also run paid searches at the top Google or Bing results. Here you place a bid for specific keywords. Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the earned media version. We’ll get to that in a moment.

Sometimes social media may fall under the paid media category. Both sponsored posts and social media ads can be considered paid media.

Types of earned media

Testimonials are one of the best examples of earned media. This is where customers who have purchased your product or services take the time to praise your company, whether in a formal review or a comment on a forum or social media.

Those reviews wouldn’t be there if you didn’t provide top-notch service or an exceptional product. Unless you paid for fake testimonials, which…please don’t ever! If users find out that you are simply buying reviews, they won’t be able to trust your company again.

SEO is a hybrid of earned media and owned media. SEO refers to optimizing the content on your website to rank it higher in search engines. Your content will rank higher if more people respond positively. Your content is often shared and considered earned media. This is because it promotes your brand to others. Your website is also owned media.

Paid media vs. earned media: Which should I use?

You are possibly asking yourself: Which one of earned or paid media should I choose? I have the answer.

Both media types are important in creating the best strategy. Both media types often play different roles in the customer’s journey. Paid media quickly gets your brand’s name out there and you can be very specific about who those ads reach. Earned media allows users to endorse your brand from third parties. This helps prove that your products and services are trustworthy.

Combining earned and paid media is a great way to achieve speed, efficiency, and quality without compromising on reputation.

WebFX offers more information about earned and paid media

This concludes our discussion on earned media vs. pay media. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel or to revenue weekly our email newsletter if you are interested in learning more about specific strategies that fit into each category.

We appreciate your time and look forward to seeing you again!

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