The Trifecta of Digital Marketing


When it comes to Digital Marketing, there are a lot of know-hows and must-knows that you must be aware of. Most importantly out of everything is the holy trinity or the trifecta that makes up digital marketing. Namely, they are Paid Media, Owned Media and Earned Media.

These three media forms are intertwined and mutually beneficial. That is why they are key elements, and you should strive to include each of them in your marketing strategy in a balanced manner.

Owned Media

Owned media is any type of outline property that you control and is unique to your brand.

Owned media means that you have ownership of the media. This includes a company or brand’s own websites, blogs, mobile apps, and social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Brochures and retail storefronts are examples of offline owned media as well

Paid Media

Paid or bought media refers to any form of advertising in which a fee is charged for traffic, reach, or conversions. Basically, you pay for visitors or customers to find out about your content. Offline traditional media such as print, television, radio advertising, and even billboards are an example of paid media.

Paid media can also be found in search engines. When someone searches for something, the top result that pops up is usually paid for. Remember Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising we spoke of in our last blog? Once a customer clicks on the ad, the company pays a fee for the number of clicks.

Another avenue of paid media which you may be familiar with is on social media. Paid advertisements that can boost or be sponsored is an option available across social media platforms such Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Earned Media

Earned media is also known as word of mouth marketing or free media. This means that you yourself are not generating traffic but instead through your customers or other parties, the word is spread.

This type of media is a double-edged sword. Unlike the other two types, you do not have much control over what is said about your brand.  Earned media can be done through influencers, PR, reviews of your product or business, or friends and fans who genuinely liked your product. However, earned media can also include bad reviews and complaints too!

Key differences between the three types of media

Content can belong to either one of these categories however the best content will perform under all three. For example, if a company creates a video regarding their products in collaboration with an influencer and uploads it to the company’s own social platforms, website, and distribution platforms, it comes under ‘Owned Media’ and it requires no outgoing cashflow. There is a possibility that the influencer charged a fee to be part of the video and do the content so that falls under ‘Paid Media’ however once the influencer uploads and shares the video on their platforms generating likes, shares, comments, reviews and more, it is categorized as ‘Earned Media’.

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