Once content is published, brands have multiple options to get the content seen by various audiences. A brand can post the content on their own social media platforms or send it as an email to a relevant list of contacts. These are examples of owned media.
To distribute content to new audiences that are not part of a brand’s network, a payment is usually required. This method is called paid media.
When a form of owned or paid media is shared by a user or is published by a reporter without a form of payment, this is an example of earned media.
Today, many marketers combine the three media strategies to get the largest reach and to make the most out of their content creation efforts. Paid media, especially, has risen in popularity as it has become harder to reach an online audience with such a high saturation of other content.
Forms of paid media allow you to get your content directly in front of a user. For example, Google’s AdWords, a type of PPC (pay-per-click) campaign, allows brands to bid on keywords for the chance to display their ad to users who search for that keyword. The ad, which usually leads to a related landing page with helpful content, is shown at the very top of the search results or on the side of the page.
Other forms of paid media include:
- Native advertising methods such as in-feed ads on social platforms and content discovery platforms like Taboola and Outbrain
- Sponsored content, or brand-sponsored articles that are posted to publishers’ websites
- Traditional offline media such as TV and print advertising
Both native advertising and sponsored content methods fit the form and function of their hose. They look “native” to the page, so to not disturb a user’s experience as they are consuming digital content. Learn more about the differences between sponsored content and native.