What Are the 3 Types of Digital Media?

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Digital marketing can feel complex with a lot of moving parts, but it all comes down to needing just 3 types of digital media to attract, engage, and retain the attention of prospects and customers.

The three are:

  • Owned Media
  • Earned Media
  • Paid Media

Do you have to incorporate all three into your digital marketing plan? No. But we strongly suggest that you do. And here’s why …

Just like you aren’t at your optimal health if you only eat one type of food, your digital marketing isn’t at its best if you focus on only one type of digital media.

For best results, your body needs a well-rounded diet that provides a complete array of nutrients. Your digital marketing also needs to include a thoughtful mix of owned media, earned media, and paid media.

Let’s look at each in a little more detail …

Owned Media

Owned media is just what it sounds like — digital assets that your company or brand owns and has full control of. This includes your own website, blogs, email marketing, and the content you publish on social media.

Through your owned media, you tell your brand story, create a customer experience, and build your authority.

Earned Media

You don’t have any direct control over earned media. Examples include customer-generated content, reviews, online mentions, backlinks, social media mentions and shares, etc. You can think of earned media as being free word-of-mouth advertising.

Earned media — because it’s what others are saying about you — increases your credibility and builds trust.

Paid Media

Paid media also is what it sounds like — digital media that you directly pay for. This includes both pay-per-click social media and search engine ads, as well as display ads in website banners and sidebars, pop-up ads, podcast and video ads, etc.

Paid media can quickly increase your company’s visibility and reach. It’s measurable, targetable, and scalable. The ROI is easily calculated, and you can start and stop paid media as easily as opening and shutting the valve on a garden hose.

Putting the 3 Types of Digital Media Together

Ideally, as we said before, your digital marketing plan is a blend of all 3 types of digital media. That’s because this is a case of the whole being more than the sum of the individual parts.

Paid media puts your brand in front of new people and drives traffic to your owned media. To get the most from these new people coming to your website and/or being added to your email list, your owned media needs to be done extremely well so that you can capitalize on conversions.

And while you don’t have any control over earned media, you can influence it by delivering exceptional value and providing an outstanding customer experience … both in the products and services you provide, as well as your owned media.

Wrapping your brain, not to mention your resources of time and money, around these three types of digital media and how they can fit together into a cohesive marketing plan is worth the effort of doing so.

Because when you can get the three to click into place with each other, you create a very efficient and effective digital marketing machine for your business.

We’re Here to Help

Deciding to incorporate all three types of digital media into one comprehensive plan can feel like a lot. It may feel overwhelming.

If you’re feeling that way, you’re not alone. We hear it all the time from people who come to us for help. 

At WorldLight Media, we help our clients eliminate the overwhelm and make all three types of digital media work for them. We’re here for you, too, if you need help.

Contact us today to start the conversation.

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