Content Creation & Web Copy

Owned, Paid, Earned, Social

The four basic types of content and how to use them for the tourism industry

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Ines Eschbacher

We present: Owned, Paid, Earned and Social

Did you know that there are different types of content? Yes, content isn’t just content. Leaving aside the fact that there are different forms of content (text, image, video, graphics, etc.), we also differentiate between four basic types of content: owned, paid, earned and social content. These types of content can be found across various channels. 

Let’s face the truth! The reader doesn’t care about the channel he or she finds your content on. But the form of the content still impacts credibility, influence and reach – and, of course, also the costs. 

We’re happy to elaborate on what the differences between the individual content types are and what that means for your tourism marketing. 
Content that’s created and managed by you

Owned Content

YOU and only you get to decide what this type of content looks like – it’s all yours. You decide which image, which text, which position is used. What you can’t influence is the reach your own content achieves! And whether your readers believe what you’re writing is the truth. 

Owned content is the basis for everything else. It helps you to strengthen your brand. You can design and spread your content and position it on search engines. 

Keep in mind: Generally speaking, the levels of acceptance and credibility of OWNED CONTENT are lower than for editorial content. 

Where to find owned content in tourism: 
  • on a website 
  • on a blog (magazine, journal) 
  • in a newsletter 
  • on Facebook
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Paid reach for your content

Paid Content

Paid content is a type of content that gives you full control of its reach. For instance, via: 
  • Facebook ads 
  • Google Adwords 

Of course, as the name suggests, this costs ready cash. A good placement on Google and Facebook costs money – it’s as simple as that. 

Keep in mind: As is the case with owned content, the level of acceptance and credibility is low when it comes to PAID CONTENT.

Where to find paid content in tourism: 
  • Google Adwords 
  • third-party newsletters (tourism associations, umbrella organisations) that have you pay for featuring your content 
  • third-party campaigns that you pay for 
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Content you need to earn

Earned Content

This type of content is created by others. For instance, bloggers and editors. This is why you benefit from good blogger relations or good public relations. Even though the reach that “earned content” achieves might be higher, you also lose control over your content. But don’t get scared. You should put your own interests on the backburner in this case. What matters is what bloggers or editors are interested in – because they are the ones who can spread your content or not. So, help them find all the info they need. 

Where to find earned content in tourism: 
  • travel blogs 
  • magazines & newspapers that publish stories about your region or product 
  • apps 
  • travel guides 
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Content that’s created by the public

Social Content

Social content has to be earned as well – and it’s a hard graft indeed. On top of everything, it’s a lot more chaotic. You might be able to moderate your content but forget about having any control left whatsoever. 

Where to find social content in tourism: 
  • review sites
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • blogs 
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Now what?

What do we do with all this information?

Well, we decide on the types of content we need for our content strategy and what we want to do with them. One thing’s for sure: Your own content is the basis for everything else. The disciplines are closely interlinked and, for the reader, the various types of content blend into a coherent whole. Because in the end, readers don’t care what the content types are called – all that matters is that they get the information they need. 

The companies that succeed in managing the individual disciplines are going to be the ones ahead of the game in the world of media (and thus in public relations). The more companies that fail at this, the better for you! 

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