A Visual Content Marketing Trifecta

If visual content strategy describes the process of planning, creating and sending the right content to the right audience in the appropriate timeframe than the next most important part is understanding the difference between adding owned, earned and paid media into your strategy. Considered each a  vital pillar in visual content marketing that merges your goals into a comprehensive content game plan. Start growing your content game plan by learning the difference of each media, below.

The Difference Between Owned, Earned & Paid Media


1. Owned

By developing owned content in your visual content marketing plan, you will spearhead online conversions while guiding clients, prospects and connections back to your website or blog. This content is created by your team and is a must for growing your business. Owned content is beneficial in that your brand will have control of the messaging and the platforms it distributes upon. With guaranteed placement, your brand will utilize themes and topics to define content pieces that represent the brand message.

  • Evergreen content pertains to your audience. It holds substantial value when comprised of a larger piece. From “how-to” guides to resources and lists, this form will remain beneficial to your audience for years to come.
  • Newsworthy content is essentially the opposite of evergreen content; it is informative, timely and relatable to your brand, here and now.
  • Brand-centric content helps to sell, explain and exemplify your message.
  • Editorial content is more general, serving a larger audience. It seeks to entertain, educate or intrigue viewers.

2. Earned 

Earned content is anything mentioned “word of mouth” in the digital space. It shows advocacy and awareness, through engaged super fans that have a vested interested in your brand. Earned content generates conversation (with a sense of virality) and is transparent.

Types of earned content include:

  • Mentions from bloggers, press and publications
  • User-generated (UGC) featuring fan/follower photos and stories, amplifies the brand and entices conversation. In turn, UGC content may be repurposed for additional content with attribution (aka credit).
  • Crowd-sourced information from fans and bloggers helps to spread the word and drive more traffic back to the blog or landing page.
  • Reviews are proven trustworthy testimonials that solidify buyer intent and strengthen a brand’s online reputation.

3. Paid

Promoting content through paid media extends exposure, attracts a larger reach and is seen by more eyeballs to enhance your visual content marketing goals.

Types of paid media include:

  • Social Advertising for important posts/pieces of content as well as social media contests and events. Advertising will help to increase impressions and engagement for let’s say Facebook posts, promoted posts, target existing fans and/or friends of fans from a company’s news, contests, new website features or special promotions.
  • Content Syndication: “Content syndication is one of the fastest methods for obtaining more by doing less, while still delivering quality.” (sourceThese platforms may include Outbrain or StumbleUpon and other cost-per- click services that distribute content to a vast audience.
  • Influencer Outreach is the process of engaging with influencers (like bloggers) to gain awareness around a campaign, drive consumer preference and increase online influence. Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire & hire influencers to get the word out on your behalf.

Ready to get ramp up your Visual Content Strategy using the RIGHT media? Click here to schedule a meeting with our team of experts today.

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