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Zyro Glossary eCommerce

Owned Media

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What is owned media?

Owned media refers to any online property that is under a brand’s control. That includes any channel, like social media, websites, video streaming, and emails. Even if a brand doesn’t own a platform, it owns its accounts and all the content it puts out.

Main benefits of owned media

It pays for a brand to have a range of owned media within its control. This is the best way to get maximum reach to approach new customers. 

It all starts with a company website, which is where a business can truly show off what it does.

But the more owned media a brand has, the more opportunities it has to increase its presence. Here are some of the key benefits of using owned media:

  • Greater brand presence. A diverse portfolio of owned media will ensure that your brand is as visible as it can be.
  • Content diversification. While a consistent tone of voice is important, owned media enables brands to post different content on different platforms.
  • Cost efficiency. Social media is largely free to use, unless you opt for paid advertising posts.
  • More control. Being able to create, schedule, and manage content gives owned media a big advantage over traditional marketing campaigns. 
  • Guaranteed longevity. Content posted on social media or sent via email marketing will stick around for as long as the platform exists.

Differences between owned, earned, and paid media

In marketing, there are different terms for the different ways media is utilized by brands. 

If you’re looking up ‘owned media,’ you may have also heard of ‘earned media’ and ‘paid media’ too.

Paid and earned media are different to owned media, although it can be easy to find crossovers between each media strategy.

Let’s have a quick overview.

What is earned media?

Earned media is where the press or the public does the work for you. They share your content or promote it by word of mouth. 

You might be most familiar with the concept of marketing going viral if it’s particularly hilarious or resonates with a huge number of people. 

The crossover between owned and earned media often happens on social media. When users generate content that showcases a brand’s product in use, that post is earned media. 

A great marketing strategy is for brands to repost that user’s photo – known as user-generated content – onto their own owned media accounts to demonstrate their popularity or trustworthiness.

Content creation like this is a really useful, organic version of word of mouth marketing. 

So, to summarize: when people repost your images, retweet your announcements, or review your products, that’s earned media. 

What is paid media?

Much like earned media, this type of marketing often connects to owned media.

Paid media is considered more of a content strategy that helps boost brand awareness whether or not a customer is searching for you.

Paying to promote a brand, product or service is probably one of the most familiar forms of marketing. Paid media is available on almost all social media channels, whether or not we’re aware of it.

To drive traffic to a website, a company can use paid media through targeted ads on social media or by display ads and pay-per-click advertising. 

This marketing strategy has been perfected to seem almost organic, often blurring the line between paid and earned media. 

Employing influencers to promote your business is also a paid media strategy. Using a content creator to push your brand out to their own followers can almost guarantee a boost in traction for you.

Most common examples of owned media

There are plenty of options for brands looking to extend their reach via owned media. 

If you’re looking at promoting your business with this media strategy, here are some of the key examples.

Website

This is where it all begins. Your website is your primary source of owned media, and any blog or forum that you have within the site can be utilized in this way, too.

Your website is also where all traffic from other channels, earned media, and paid media will be driven. 

It should, therefore, completely reflect what your brand is and what it stands for. Make sure it’s set up for success by:

  • Getting the visuals up to standard. Your website needs to be visually enticing and any product photography should be professional-grade.
  • Putting your value proposition front and center. You want people to see who you are and why you’re there as soon as they land on your homepage.
  • Making sure the journey to purchase is unobstructed. The objective of any marketing tool is to lead a customer towards buying something. Make it easy for them with clear pricing, solid info, and no annoying pop-ups.

Using a website to its fullest potential as a source of owned media will guarantee success for your brand. 

Blogs and forums

By setting up a blog, you have an immediate extension of your own website where you can start to really define and add personality to your brand voice.

Use a brand blog to explain the background to new products or services you’re offering. 

If you’re a retailer, add listicle posts that promote products within a theme. Think about what people would like to see around the holidays – this is a great tactic for bringing older products up to the surface.

Your blog can be where you showcase collaborations with other businesses, influencers, or customers who have been championing your brand.

This piece of owned media is an amazing first step in helping customers learn more about your business and empowering them to speak directly to you.

A forum could be your primary source for building a community around your brand. You can monitor what users are discussing, and maintain visual consistency with your other platforms.

Mobile apps

An app is just as important for an eCommerce store as it is for a service-based business. 

You want your customers to find you and purchase from you at every opportunity, and a mobile app is a great form of owned media for putting your business within reach of your customers.

Like all owned media, your mobile app should be consistent with your website in terms of visuals and tone of voice. 

Social media profiles

It’s easy to integrate social media with your website, and there’s no reason why your brand shouldn’t have some kind of presence on social platforms.

While your brand identity should always be unified across all owned media, you can implement different strategies and put out a whole variety of content across each channel you use.

Social media will give you the opportunity to connect with your audience on a much more personal, direct level, and it ultimately gives way to both earned and paid media.

You don’t have to have a presence on every social media platform, but it pays to choose a few key channels that feel appropriate for your brand.

Here are some of the biggest social platforms you could bring under your owned media umbrella.

Instagram

This highly visual social media platform is suitable for a wide variety of brands, from stores selling apparel to banks, pharmacies, and well-known individuals.

With Instagram, you’ll have a number of opportunities at your fingertips. Whether you want to inspire, educate, or even make a profit from this platform, it’s all possible.

Instagram is about photo sharing at its core. But you could also post how-to videos, share user-generated content, and set up a shop.

Pinterest

This platform is actually more similar to search engines than to social networks, but it has some clear similarities to channels like Instagram and Facebook.

For starters, you can share images – Pinterest is all about visual discovery. You also have the opportunity to gain and nurture a following, and to use this as an extension of your website.

While it is a free platform, you could also start to implement paid media strategies to your Pinterest account, just like other social media outlets.

LinkedIn

The professional choice for your owned media, LinkedIn is more suited to sharing updates with words rather than pictures.

While you can use this platform to gain a following, using LinkedIn is less about simply being aspirational and more about letting your network know what you’re up to.

You can post content about job openings, new store locations, industry news, and your inspiring company culture. This is also a great resource for finding content that inspires you, too.

Facebook

This is one of the original social networks and it’s still the biggest by far. Your brand can really benefit from Facebook’s massive global audience.

It’s easy to set up a free business page on Facebook and you can generate really varied content to share with your followers.

You also have the option to post content from your Instagram page onto your Facebook feed, although you’ll appear far more engaged if each post across your owned media is individual to that channel.

Twitter

There are some brands that really thrive off sharing content on Twitter. This platform can sometimes be known for more opinionated users though, so you need to find your audience.

Twitter is a great owned media tool for getting across your brand’s personality and tone of voice. You’ll be directly engaging with followers, so make sure you know what you sound like.

Some of the most recognizable brands allow themselves to be a lot more personable on Twitter, which can really help them come across as more trustworthy and human.

YouTube

This video streaming platform could be a great way to help your customers become more familiar with your brand.

YouTube is ideally suited to brands who want to share instructional videos, post behind-the-scenes content, or give some more personality to their identity.

Generating content for YouTube can take a lot of time, though. It’s definitely a lot less immediate than owned media channels like Twitter or Instagram.

Emails

Everything you put out to customers via email marketing – and the contents of your email list – is considered to be owned media.

There’s a lot you can do with email marketing to make it work hard for your brand. As long as you don’t spam your mailing list contacts with too much information, you could:

  • Send out personalized content. Use purchase history and data from wishlists to provide customers with information that’s tailored to their preferences.
  • Share relevant business updates. Keep your contacts in the loop by mailing out exciting news that will impact their experience of your brand.
  • Offer discount codes. This is particularly great to use on customers who haven’t shopped with you for a while and aren’t actively browsing your website.

Written by

Author avatar

Olivia

Olivia is a writer for Zyro and an eCommerce know-it-all. Having spent many years as a retail buyer, she loves writing about trend forecasting, brand building, and teaching others how to optimize online stores for success. She lives in London and spends a lot of time exploring the city’s parks with her whippet.

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