In marketing circles, the discussion around earned media vs paid media is often heated. Yet, this conversation doesn’t have to be black and white and, as David Meerman Scott points out, this is not an either/or proposition.

In some cases, paid media in combination with your inbound marketing efforts can make a lot of sense. In this episode of the Weekly Marketing Cast, we are taking a closer look at this discussion:

What Is Earned Media?

Earned media is the content you create to get others to share it. “So, you are earning the attention of your buyers,” says David. This can take the form of blog posts, webinars, reports, videos and other compelling content. In other words, this is all inbound marketing is about.

What Is Paid Media?

Paid media, on the other hand, is when you are spending money for somebody else’s media property. An example of that would be Google AdWords: you pay for ads that show up next to specific search results. Paid media encompasses a range of formats, including banner ads, GroupOn emails and even press releases.

Where Paid Media Makes Sense

Press release circulation is actually one form of paid media that makes a lot of sense for marketers. When services like Marketwire and PR Newswire distribute your press releases, you can earn great inbound links and increase your SEO authority and ability to get found online.

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make

Spending too much effort on paid media is a mistake, says David. “Your primary should be the earned form,” he says. Maintaining a healthy balance between earned and paid media results in a great marketing combination. So revisit your paid marketing initiatives and if you are spedning too much money or effort on them, think about ways to cut back and invest more in earned media.

How do you leverage paid media?


Originally published Jul 25, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016

Topics:

Inbound Marketing Advertising Public Relations