A guide to owned, paid and earned media for content amplification

February 14, 2014Uncategorized

Creating engaging, timely and relevant branded content is the first step in any content marketing effort, but many organisations stop here. The overwhelming amount of content available online means it can be more and more difficult to get seen by the right audience. The second step involves content amplification, and this guide to owned, paid and earned media will get you heading in the right direction.

Promoting content through paid, owned and earned channels gives the content you are producing the best chance of reaching your audience and getting people to engage with it. It can’t be a ‘set and forget’ system. By harnessing the amplification channels you have at your disposal you can really work your content and give it the leverage it deserves.


Owned media are the marketing assets that belong to your business. As such, you can dictate what content is shared and across which channels, while also being able to manage, moderate and track how users engage and share it.


Owned media includes:

  • Your blog.
  • Your website.
  • E-newsletters, such as member or subscriber databases.
  • Branded content, such as e-books, white papers and SlideShares.
  • Social platforms spanning Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Tip: Don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to content amplification. Rework content to each channel and its users for the best results. The way readers consume a study conducted by your business on SlideShare will vary greatly to how they would read it in an e-newsletter or blog post.


Paid media is when you pay a third-party channel to host, promote, sponsor or link to your content.rsz_paid_media

Paid media includes:

  • Google AdWords and retargeting.
  • Content delivery services such as Outbrain and Taboola.
  • Social media advertising such as Facebook ads and LinkedIn Sponsored Updates.

Tip: Know your audience. Paid media will allow you to get your content in front of the right people, especially with the vast amounts of cookie data that can be harnessed to target your audience.


Earned media is the most valuable type of amplification, but also the hardest to acquire. Earned media is when customers, media and related industry bodies share your content. People tend to trust independent third-party sources.rsz_earned_media

Earned media includes:

  • Brand buzz.
  • Viral content.
  • Reviews.
  • Word of mouth.
  • Testimonials.

Tip: The key to earned media amplification is to create content that has value to people outside your organisation. For example, creating an engaging infographic that is shareable and suitably branded will set you up as a thought leader in the space and encourage your audience to push it out to their networks.

How are you amplifying your content?

By Lisa Cugnetto and Louisa McSpedden

Find Louisa on Google+




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