It's not enough to rely on a website or social media page alone if you want to be competitive in the marketplace. With a well-chosen media mix, you can build the kind of name recognition and buzz for your company that isn't possible with single-pronged approach. A mixture of owned, paid and earned media will help ensure your marketing efforts are reaching your target audience.
Sites you control are owned media. Owned media includes your website, blog and social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. The advantage to owned media is that you are completely in charge of the message and can make changes or add new posts any time you want.
Earned media is essentially free publicity. You don't own or control the sites, but you benefit from mentions on those sites. Earned media includes social media posts, blog posts or online and print articles that mention your company.
As the name implies, paid media involves a fee. Paid media includes Facebook ads, pay-per-click advertising, sponsored content, promoted tweets and advertisements in newspapers and magazines.
Putting It All Together
Although you'll probably see some results if you only have a website or rely solely on ads to generate leads, a media mix can help you significantly improve your brand presence and marketing reach. Let's say you own a landscaping business and plan to introduce a holiday decorating service to stay busy during the slow season. Placing an ad in a local newspaper (paid media) is a good start to your marketing strategy, but if you rely on this approach only, you'll never reach the many people who no longer read the newspaper.
Adding owned media to the mix will help you reach even more. Seventy-four percent of adults who use the Internet also use social networking sites, according to the Pew Research Center. And those people are constantly looking for new posts that intrigue them. Adding a photograph and information about your holiday decorating service to your Facebook and Twitter pages will help you generate the kind of buzz you need to make your new service a worthwhile endeavor.
If your photos and posts are particularly appealing, social media users will share them with their friends. If you're lucky, they'll even go viral--and you won't have to pay one cent for this type of earned media.
Combining all three types of media is essential when you want to ensure your marketing efforts will reach every segment of your potential audience.