Internet Media Planning Strategy - The Pros and Cons of Paid, Owned, and Earned Channels
Media planning on the internet can be much different than on other traditional channels. We’d love to be faced with the challenge of figuring out which TV show will give us the best ROI for the insanely creative 30-second commercial we’ve created, or be charged with the task of evaluating which magazines will best showcase our brilliant full-page, full-color advertisement. Instead, we’re faced with the challenge of navigating the ever-changing ins and outs of the internet. But don’t worry! Internet media planning is awesome because your options are essentially endless.
The media planning process usually entails setting objectives, developing a strategy for implementing your objectives, deciding on and implementing tactics, and measuring the results. When developing your strategy and tactics, you can separate your available media channels into 3 categories--paid media, owned media, and earned media. With these 3 categories, you can easily weigh the costs and benefits of your proposed media planning tactics.
Let’s discuss some examples and the pros and cons of these categories on the internet.
Paid media channels on the internet are your PPC advertising campaigns on Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter. You could also consider paid Facebook advertisements and sponsored tweets a part of this category as well.
- PROS: Paid media channels are beneficial because you are in complete control of your message. You decide what it says, where it will be placed, and who will see it.
- CONS: You’re competing for keywords with competitors who may have bigger budgets and greater ability to bid high on valuable keywords. Due to this competitive environment, you can’t guarantee your ads are going to be seen 100% of the time.
Owned media is exactly that, content that you own. Your website and your social media profile pages like Twitter, Facebook Timeline, and LinkedIn are owned media channels that are important to consider in media planning strategy.
- PROS: Like paid media, you have control over the content you share on the web. Since you’re in charge, you should carefully consider your target audience, how you want to position yourself in their mind, and how you want to market your website and social media profiles to them.
- CONS: Very minor, but you have to be willing to invest the time, effort, and resources into producing quality site content. Quality content is a key to establishing trust and credibility with your audience.
Earned media placements come from outside sources that share your brand and your content with others. These are things like re-tweets from Twitter, shares from Facebook posts and other viral content, links on external websites, and mentions in press releases, articles, reviews, forums, or blogs.
- PROS: Earned media placements are great for SEO because they can build powerful links back to your site. You have countless opportunities to explore when deciding on a link-building and social media strategy. The best part about earned media is that it doesn’t cost you anything!
- CONS: Unlike paid and owned media, you don’t have control over the message. You can’t predict what others will say about you, so you must monitor earned media closely to combat any negative publicity.
To sum it all up, when developing a strategy for how you’re going to tackle the task of establishing and building an online presence, think of your tactics in terms of paid, owned, and earned media, as well as the costs and benefits of each. This will help you organize the available options and allow you to develop a comprehensive and well-balanced internet strategy.