Earned, Owned, Paid — The Digital Marketing Trifecta: Finding Your Winning Mix

Earned, Owned, Paid — The Digital Marketing Trifecta: Finding Your Winning Mix

Does your business focus on paid ads to attract traffic and conversions? Relying on only that one high-cost source to attract leads could put you in a tight spot. Instead, you should diversify your approach.

The most successful businesses include multiple channels for lead generation to ensure marketing efforts are worthwhile. The three critical components: earned, owned and paid media. In this blog, we’ll explore their differences and explain why combining them is the ultimate recipe for triumph.

Understanding the Digital Marketing Mix

Earned, owned and paid media are essential in digital marketing. Let’s break down each element to understand its significance.

Owned Media

Owned media is the foundation of your marketing structure. It includes all platforms and assets your brand has complete control over. Your website, social media profiles, blogs and email newsletters fall under the owned media category.

Owned media can take on any goal or purpose you would like. Your owned assets allow you to establish your brand identity, share your message, and engage with your audience directly.

An example of this would be our website. We own and have complete control over this asset’s content and goals.

Paid Media

Paid media acts as an amplifier to broadcast your message further. As it states, paid media requires a monetary investment to reach potential new customers. This could include social media ads, Google AdWords, sponsored content, etc.

While it offers instant visibility, it’s important to note that once the ad spending stops, so does your exposure. This is where owned and earned media can help — they position your brand in the spotlight even after the ad campaign ends.

Earned Media

Earned media is the word-of-mouth currency of digital media — any content about your business that you didn’t create. It includes all the positive mentions, shares, reviews and reposts your audience generates about your brand.

In contrast with paid media, earned media is the organic result of your brand’s credibility and reputation. It could be a glowing review, a viral tweet, or an influential blog post that spreads like wildfire.

Just because this content doesn’t come from you, doesn’t mean you can’t influence its creation. By building strong relationships and delivering exceptional value, you can earn the trust and admiration of your audience, leading to invaluable word-of-mouth marketing.

Examples of earned media:

  • News coverage

  • Reviews and recommendations from content creators or social media influencers

  • Backlinks from websites

The Power of the Trio

Let’s explore how earned, owned and paid media work together to ensure digital marketing success.

Sustained Presence

Think of a fire — paid media is the initial spark that ignites the flames; earned and owned media are the logs keeping the fire continuously burning.

While paid media offers instant visibility, owned and earned media build lasting engagement. Engaging blog posts on owned platforms may spark conversations and encourage earned media through shares and comments, ensuring your brand remains top-of-mind.

Credibility and Trust

Trust is the currency that fuels conversions. While paid media raises awareness, earned media fosters trust. Positive reviews, user-generated content (UGC), and endorsements from thought leaders or social media influencers contribute to your brand’s credibility. Once earned, this trust will translate into long-term customer relationships and organic advocacy.


Spending your marketing budget solely on paid media puts all your eggs in one basket. The digital marketing trifecta diversifies your approach, resulting in better resource allocation.

Owned media, while it requires an initial investment in building and platform maintenance, eventually becomes a low-cost, high-return channel for communication. Then, your earned media, resulting from delivering value and nurturing relationships, comes at no financial cost.

This digital marketing trifecta propels your brand to the forefront and keeps it there, even when the paid campaigns conclude. Dream Local Digital can craft a digital marketing strategy that puts the power of earned, owned and paid to work for you, now and in the long term. Schedule your free consultation today.

The post Earned, Owned, Paid — The Digital Marketing Trifecta: Finding Your Winning Mix appeared first on Dream Local Digital.

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