Paid, Owned and Earned Media – In Action!

April 22, 2011Uncategorized

Last week we wrote about the difference between paid, earned and owned media and how these terms work within the framework of online media. We gave an overview of how an online marketing professional can approach these three aspects of media and make them work together.

We also gave a quick oversight of the things that consumers tend to look out for (they are savvy when it comes to paid campaigns and can see straight through overly salesy content) and the things that a marketing professional should not take for granted (earned media does not mean easy media!)

This week, we will show two examples of owned, earned and paid media in action – from the buzzing corporate boardrooms of international businesses to the humble roadside café.

No matter the size of your company; owned, earned and paid media should be a huge part of your marketing campaign. A well-strategized marketing plan will indicate just how, when and where to implement each type of media in order to capture the attention of various demographics within your target market.

Take Expedia for example…

As one of the world’s largest online travel companies they have a massive reach. Their owned media is therefore quite substantial and they use their online site to promote various aspects of their own business. You may head to their site to try and find a cheap flight but as soon as you land on the homepage you are also just one click away from Car Hire and Travel Insurance (there’s a post here somewhere about accessible clicking but we’ll leave that for next time…)

The point is, they use their owned media to feed ALL aspects of their business.

However, they do not ignore the fact that paid media can also mean capturing a target market which they would not usually be able to infiltrate. Take Ninemsn for example, an equally large online company which hosts its own travel content. Through a very clever paid ad-campaign, which integrated interesting and engaging travel content, they placed their brand within the framework of the site. One thing to remember here is that paid media does not mean you can be uncreative and still gain hits – Expedia was only successful in capturing the attention of Ninemsn’s audience as they used quality content (key to ALL paid media campaigns). Otherwise they would have been throwing their money away.

Next comes earned media and here Expedia clearly like to have fun. In the past they have launched campaigns for the next Expedia ‘travel blogger’ and used facebook to host competitions and share stories. Now they are currently using facebook to create a ‘Expedia Friends Trip’ App in which they are giving away flights to group of friends…. Note: The fact we have just linked and blogged about this is an example of earned media in action. Expedia may have the budget to turn their owned media (facebook page) into earned media quicker than others but it does not stop it from still becoming earned media – in fact, the greater the incentive the more earned media you will gain (in this case 529,000 and counting!)

If you’re the owner of a smaller company with a modest budget then do not be disheartened – all of the above options are available to you and should most certainly be implemented.

Next take Vargabar Espresso in Newtown, Sydney…

The use their website (owned media) to advertise opening hours, menus, gallery etc. This is quite a standard approach to owned media and gives the basic information in quite a clear-cut way – however, what is really interesting is they have decided to focus the majority of their efforts into facebook and link straight form their homepage to their facebook profile. Again, this is owned media (they own their facebook page of course) and they have clearly decided that this is the way to earn more media.

And they are correct. They may not be able to give flights away around the world but they do give all of their followers who have a birthday coming up a free meal. VargaBar is therefore working with what they have. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to give away millions to attract attention. It’s more important to be able to work with what you have to offer (be it a $5 voucher) in a creative and attention-grabbing manner.

By messaging their followers on their personal facebook walls, they are advertising this birthday deal and encouraging more people to ‘like’ them – this is also shared by the customer who may know of fellow friends with birthdays coming up – therefore earning free media.

Compare this to one of their paid media options available – flyering the local area. In their case, this will probably have a negative effect as they are placed in an environmentally conscious student area. VargaBar does not opt to do this as they work within the realms of what they know will capture the highest amount of interest within the time and budget that they have.

Which is one all important rule to remember – you can try and utilise all aspects of media when you’re a large company with huge budgets but if you’re not, then it’s wise to know your business capacity and work within the media framework that suits your business and customers.