Many companies in search of reaching a wider audience are looking to social media. There are are other reasons to participate in all the blogging, tweeting, chatting, and the like happening on-line as well, such as better engagement and dialogue with consumers. To really see the value and power in Internet marketing and social media, it’s beneficial to understand the concepts of bought, owned, and earned media and where social fits in to those constructs.
Bought media is exposure delivered through a paid-for channel or advertizing. Good old fashioned billboards, print, and television ads fall into this category, as do the newfangled digital sort — banner ads, sponsored links, paid search, and so on.
Owned media is a channel controlled (and often owned in the conventional sense as well) by the firm (or brand). Examples include the signs on a company’s buildings and vehicles, their web site, and company publications (like a magazine, blog, or newsletter, print or digital). Official brand Facebook, Twitter accounts also fall into this category.
Earned media are the highly effective word-of-mouth that not only transpires in meatspace but also in places like on-line forums, chat rooms/IM, Amazon reviews. Sean Corcoran from Forrester says viral videos are classified here too but a clarification is in order — viral videos produced and promoted by the firm are, in essence, bought media. Videos produced by consumers are more clearly seen as earned media.
Check out the sources links below for more information. Stay tuned for a post on stimulating earned media through your digital presence.