A Quick and Easy Guide to Digital Media and Paid Advertising

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A Quick and Easy Guide to Digital Media and Paid Advertising



Considering that people are turning to their mobile devices more and more each day, it's clear that digital advertising is the way to go. From directions to your local tire shop to the latest worldwide news, anything you want to know is available in the palm of your hand, 24/7. And now that you know just how far-reaching social media is, imagine adding more digital outlets to your business’ marketing strategy. Your customer base grows, your company expands, and your business flourishes!


Welcome to paid digital advertising. There are three types of digital media as it pertains to marketing: owned, earned, and paid.


Owned media

is the digital content that your company creates, maintains and controls. In other words, anything online that is provided by you and represents your business falls into the category of owned media. Some of the most common examples include your company’s:

  • Website

  • Blog

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Instagram

  • LinkedIn


Earned media

is exactly the opposite; it’s what your company doesn’t own, create or control.  To put it simply, it’s what customers are saying about you. Since businesses cannot change or alter this type of content, it is more likely to be genuine and organic. When deciding on a product or service, many consumers are influenced by the opinions and experiences of other customers. Earned media can play a big role in your company’s success by contributing valuable information from sources like:

  • Ratings and reviews from customers on different websites, like Yelp, Google, etc.

  • Recognition or links in industry media or publications

  • Mentions, comments, likes or shares on social media platforms


Paid media

is a technique that involves amplifying your company’s owned media in order to spotlight your product or service. Basically, it’s paying to increase exposure of your product or service by promoting your site(s). If used correctly, paid media can produce fantastic results for your business, while eliciting valuable earned media as well. Some popular methods include:

  • Display Ads

  • Paid Search (search engines)

  • Sponsored/Promoted/Boosted posts on social platforms


Each type of digital media is equally important to your marketing strategy as a whole. Owned media is the information you present to the worldwide web, or the content created, maintained and controlled by you. Earned media, the genuine and organic content provided by your customers, helps to direct others to your owned sites. Paid media, the online presence your company pays for, is a vital part in not only driving consumers to your owned media, but also generating earned media. These three tools come together to increase exposure for your product or service, and create opportunities for your company. And now that you have a general understanding of what digital media is and how influential it can be, we’ll talk about how to effectively market your media next week!


In today’s online-focused society, your company must be on top of the latest digital advertising and marketing strategies just to keep up. With everyone out there diligently working to build their brand, is your business falling behind? Let us know your questions in the comments!