How to create a converging content marketing strategy

Hayley Dawson

Senior Account Manager

Posted on June 9, 2017

With so many consumers participating in the content creation and distribution processes, the distinction between who ‘authors’ content and who ‘publishes’ it is becoming increasingly unclear and complex. Paid, owned and earned media simply categorises these different forms of content.

Paid media

Paid media is the content you pay someone else to publish. You own the content but the publisher (i.e. TV station or magazine) owns the channel on which it is made accessible to your target audience.

Owned media

Owned media is the content you create and publish yourself, owning both the content and the channel (i.e. your company website). Company social media pages are also included in this category, but are not fully ‘owned’ as your target audience can interact directly and share their own views.

Earned media

Earned media is the content others post about your company – its digital word of mouth. In this case, you own neither the content nor the channel.

Marketers have traditionally viewed paid, owned, and earned media as separate strategies, utilising paid media to blast their messages, owned media to showcase their own marketing messages, and earned media to provide third-party validation about their products.

Today, the walls between paid, owned and earned media are being teared down and integrated to better serve consumers. This flow of content across multiple platforms is known as converging media. For example, you can publish a whitepaper on your website (owned), which you pay to promote on LinkedIn (paid) and others share (earned). The process is not linear but cyclical, one of constant measurement and optimisation and in turn making a company’s content strategy more sophisticated.