What is Paid, Owned, Earned Media in content marketing ?

online media mix, what is Paid, Owned, Earned Media,

If you are a fan of content marketing, then probably somewhere you come across the term “Paid, Owned, Earned Media” or “online marketing media” on the internet. 

Also, you may be wondering what is that? And you can apply in your content strategies?

That’s what we are about to discuss in this post. 

What is Paid, Owned, Earned Media?

Paid, Owned, Earned Media are the online marketing platforms or media that lets you distribute your content and uniquely promote your brand message. Depending on factors such as control, time and budget you can differentiate your online strategies between them.

Indeed, content marketing provides a great exposure to a brand, when done in an optimum way. 

Online media mix you better to look for before writing and marketing your content. This is also part of your content strategy process.

Owned, Earned and Paid media, have a significant role in content marketing.  

Each media has its content requirements and benefits to the businesses. That supports the individual stage of the sales funnel. 

While creating content, you need to look for on which platform your content will be promoted. Considering your business goals and marketing needs, you have to opt for the content media you have. So let’s discuss each one media, in detail. 


Owned Media

Owned media are your online properties. That is created and managed by you only. That can be your company website, Business blog, Social media profiles, Gated contents and all. 

Owned media are your brand assets and help you achieve long term business benefits. Apart from that, it also lets you create your audience base and have a direct interaction with them anytime. 

The greatest benefit of the owned media is that it is a cost-effective marketing solution. Whereas, it also takes more time and effort than the other media such as paid media. For that you also need to have a seprate marketing team to run the process.

The reason to have an owned media is, due to its long term benefits and supports the other media as well. If you don’t have your media, probably there’ll be no other media to get support from. 

As most of the time Paid and earned media ultimately connects to your owned media. Where do paid ads lead your audience, when you don’t have your website or a landing page? Or Where you get the online mentions and reviews, when you don’t have an online presence to refer?


  • Fully controllable
  • Cost-effective
  • For long term
  • Branding advantages
  • Direct interaction
  • Industry authority

Side effects: 

  • Takes a long time to build
  • Require maximum efforts
  • No guarantee of accurate results
  • Can damage the brand image
  • Involves teams and experts to implement


Paid Media

As the name suggests, in Paid media you have to pay to feature your name and content to the platform. Paid media includes, PPC ads, social media ads, paid promotions, third party advertisements, sponsored posts and all.

The great thing about the paid media is that it is highly result-driven and shows the outcomes too quickly. As paid media have built up authority and traffic on properties, you better have a chance to acquire the marketing benefits instantly.

If you don’t have the patience to wait for marketing outcomes and want results instantly and are ready to spend a budget, then paid media are for you. Whereas owned media and earned media takes time and have many factors to consider, paid media are fully functional and offer the outcome in the click. 


  • Result-driven
  • Saves time
  • Easy to operate
  • Immediate impact
  • Enough control
  • Targeted marketing possible

Side effects:

  • Required marketing budget
  • Channel analysis
  • Prior research
  • Expensive
  • Kind of push marketing


Earned Media

Earned media is not built manually, but earned from third parties channels. 

Especially when someone like the audience, customers, brands or anyone mentions your Brand name and content to their channel. That can happen due to finding quality information or offers from your content, that they like to share with their network. You have no direct control over the earned media, as they are purely a suggestion from the other media owners.

These are kinds of online word-of-mouth in the form of mentions and recommendations. The most common earned media includes social media shares, profile sharing, brand suggestions, service reviews, content sharing, PR, testimonials, and earned links. 

A high ranking of particular keywords leads to the maximum content shares and mentions. But to get that, you better have a clear idea about content marketing and SEO to do it properly. Also, you have to aim to provide the quality content and on-page plus off-page seo ranking factors to attain the highest ranking. 

In order to earn that mention, you have to deliver the quality. Here quality in terms of services and contents. As high-quality content earns backlinks from other sites, better service experiences to customers let them share with their network. 

Earned media known to be the most trustworthy media form, that is highly effective in content marketing. Also, that supports the decision making in product purchase. As service experience and review form already customers, matter the most for potential customers. They prefer actual experiences over creative advertisements and good looking sites. 


  • Trustworthy media
  • Maximum marketing impact
  • Supports the marketing
  • Improves sales
  • Online word of mouth
  • Highly effective

Side effects: 

  • No direct control
  • Needs to take care of negative comments
  • Difficult to measure and find
  • Depends on the reviewer’s interest and mindset
  • Can damage Brand reputation

Also Read: Copy writing vs Content Writing: What is the Difference?


Close contents: 

All discussed media have their pros and cons when it comes to its actual implementation in the content strategies. Not every channel drives you the same results, also not having the same content needs. Before applying any one media type it’s a better idea to look for which online marketing mix fits your business and service type. 

Have a customized approach to create and promote the platform-centric content on that. Or else you can try with the one to your campaign as a test, to figure out which suits your business best. And another way to follow owned and paid campaigns together. Same as SEM, here you attain the benefits from both search engines (Free) and social media ads (Paid).

Like the content marketing elements, you also need to consider the other marketing aspects, such as your business goals, industry type, targeted audience, marketing budget, human resources, reporting time and many more while following the one in your content system.

Confused in the content media and can’t decide which one fits your business? We can help. As a content marketing agency, we at wordzyx help a business like yours in making a solid content strategy that fits custom business needs. Feel free to contact us for content marketing consultation and we will present you a plan to achieve your business goals in your budget and given time frame. Inquire now.