All You Need To Know About Paid, Owned And Earned Media

by Koussey

“When you say it, it’s marketing. When they say it, it’s social proof.” - Andy Crestodina, Author, Speaker and Co-Founder of Orbit Media Studio, said.

With consumer demand for custom content greater than ever, it’s critical that brands design an effective and comprehensive content marketing strategy. Marketers talk about earned, paid and owned media all the time, yet the combined value of the trio is very often misunderstood.

In this article, we will explore what are the different types of media, and why it is critical to combine them in order to generate enough content and to keep things fresh and exciting.

Owned Media


Owned media consists of branded content that you own, produce and publish on a channel you control. It includes content for your website, your blog, your social media channels, the white papers you publish, etc. Owned media helps in building long-term relationships with potential and existing customers and its primary goal is to provide valuable and educational content. Owned media strategies are especially important for brands that want to create direct relationships with their customers. However, owned media takes time to scale and brand communication is often not trusted.

Paid Media


Quite simply, paid media refers to any media exposure that you have paid for. It includes search engine marketing, display ads, sponsored posts, print advertisings, TV commercials, celebrity ambassadorships etc. Brands adopt marketing strategies that uses paid media channels to convey their messages and promote their content to targeted audiences.

One of the key advantages of paid media is that it is highly controllable: you can decide when to start and when to stop, costs are predictable, and you can target specific audiences at will. However, in recent years, trust has been on a downward slope between consumers and brands. As a matter of facts, 84 percent of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. On top of this or as a result, the use of ad blockers has increased significantly over the years, especially in Southeast Asia (50% of Indonesia Internet users has an ad-blocking tool (Hootsuite - 2018), reducing dramatically its efficiency.

Earned Media


Earned media refers to media coverage that you have not paid for and that is not produced by you. It’s recognition you receive as a result of your effort to generate interesting content, to offer products that exceed your customers’ expectations and to deliver great customer experience. Press mentions, positive reviews and recommendations from your customers, reposts of your own content by third parties… Earned media can take many different forms, but it’s definitely something that will benefit your business.

Let’s be honest, earned media is the holy grail from a marketing perspective because it’s basically word-of-mouth. Your potential customers, millenials in particular, make purchasing decisions based on their digital peers and what they have seen on social media platforms. Earned media, because it’s not bought or solicited, because it represents instant authority, is trusted significantly more than paid media. 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions (Collective Bias).

You can definitely facilitate earned media by helping journalists and content writers when they reach out for quotes or insights. At Capssion, we can also help you scale your earned media strategy by sending your products to relevant influencers in exchange for an authentic review. Visit our website or reach out directly at

Key Takeaways

All three elements are key to build a comprehensive and multi-layered digital strategy that will grow your brand awareness and generate sales. Each of them is equally important and should not be underestimate in order to perform well.

Owned media is essential to build long term relationship with your existing and potential customers. You fully control your content and the message you want to share with your audience which is very powerful. Paid media is a great way to promote your brand and products and to drive traffic to your points of sales (websites or retail stores), but its efficiency is decreasing. Earned media is perceived as the most credible source of information when it comes to making purchasing decision. People might think it’s hard to foster earned media and to scale your strategy, but we’re here to help.


Whether you are looking to increase brand recall or more generally build trust in your brand, content marketing should be at the heart of your strategy. Earned, owned and paid media are three key elements of your marketing mix and all contribute to a comprehensive and efficient digital marketing strategy.

Want a free diagnostic about your digital marketing strategy? Reach out directly at and we’ll give you a call!

Written by Koussey

Koussey is a cofounder of Capssion