Paid, owned & earned media: content formats at a glance

How to create the perfect content mix

Content marketing is crucial to whether or not your company can compete for the attention of potential customers. You can no longer fob off customers with classic advertising phrases. The challenge for content creators now lies in providing readers with the right content and in meeting their expectations.

But the most beautiful web copy is of no use if it gets lost in the depths of the internet. That's why you should think about how you can distribute your content – and ideally, you should do that already during the planning phase. You have several options for that.

The right content

At the right time and in the right place

Of course, your content strategy always revolves around the goal of providing interesting content at the most important "touch points" for your potential customers. Its aim is to steer the reader's decision-making process in the direction of a purchase. 

That’s why, above all, your content needs to meet these three requirements: 

  • Relevance: Your content must be relevant to your readers and help them find answers to their questions.
  • Quality: Readers expect high-quality content that is well researched and well structured.
  • Regularity: Always make your content available to your readers at a certain time. They will get used to these intervals, and this will strengthen your customers’ trust in you. 

Important: Don't make the mistake of simply cluttering your website with all the content you think is relevant! That’s absolutely counterproductive. Much better: Look at your content through the eyes of your target groups/personas

It does not always have to be content that you’ve created yourself. If you are among the do-it-yourselfers of content marketing, it’s worth looking beyond your own nose. That way you will find new sources for high-quality content. Of course, you first need to know what options you have to distribute your content.

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In the mood for a “content marketing threesome”?

No, it's not what it sounds like! Earned media, paid media and owned media: These three types of content constitute the content marketing triad. And in the middle of it all is you – or rather your company. Before you lose track of the big picture, let us first tell you what these three types of content are all about:

Content that belongs to you

Owned media

Owned media includes:

  • website
  • blog
  • social media
  • customer magazines
  • newsletter

Tip: Make sure that the content you offer on your own channels is unique to the respective readers!

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Content you need to earn

Earned media

Earned content or social content is something like "word of mouth" on the web. This includes any third-party interaction with your company – by users, other companies, or other platforms. But earned media can do even more than that: It can get your target audience to read your owned content, for instance. 

Earned media includes:

  • mentions
  • comments
  • shared content
  • reviews
  • recommendations

That's cool! In contrast to the other two types of content, earned content gives you a high level of credibility with your target group. 

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Content you push with a marketing budget

Paid media

Sometimes it is helpful to push owned and earned media by spending some of your marketing budget on them. Hence, paid media supports these other two types of content. The advantage: With paid content, you have the highest degree of control over your reach. But it costs you some money. 

Paid media includes:

  • Google ads
  • display advertising
  • retargeting
  • paid posts, tweets, etc. by influencers
  • social media ads
Icons der Social Media Kanäle Facebook, Youtube, Twitter und Co. auf einer Tastatur zu sehen

Which type of content is right for you?

All three of them! Yes, a successful content marketing strategy can only work as a complete package. The type of content you focus on depends entirely on your content marketing goals. The rule of thumb is: Whoever is the most flexible wins. Because earned, paid and owned media are all closely connected – they overlap and influence each other. 

You’re still not sure how to approach the right content mix? We’d be happy to help you! 

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