The Difference between Paid, Earned and Owned Media.


If you’ve been doing any research into marketing you’ve heard the terms Paid Media, Earned Media, and Owned Media.

What do they all mean and why are they important?

For starters, any successful marketing campaign employs a strategy of all three.

Unfortunately, most investor marketing firms only concentrate on Paid Media which can yield some of the smallest ROIs.

Let me explain what each of the three are and how you can use them in concert to create a top-notch investor marketing campaign.

Earned Media

Earned Media is the most valuable of the three kinds of media.  The reason being is it is the least biased and consumers/investors know this.  

Earned media is any media exposure you’ve ‘earned’ through word of mouth, SEO, or anything else that may make someone cover you.

You can earn media by getting press mentions, positive reviews, reposts, recommendations, etc. You can also facilitate earned media by helping journalists and content writers author their articles, or contributing your own thought leadership content to industry publications.

At Hilton Advisory we put together programs that help facilitate Earned Media.

Owned Media

Owned media is any content you control.  This is your website, blog, social and any other media you own.

While owned media content can take on a variety of forms — blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, etc. — the primary goal of this content is to continue providing value to investors as they move down the funnel. These assets offer a more controlled — but not overly promotional — message about your company.

This content is not necessarily going to help draw in new investors as much as it will help interested investors become committed shareholders.  This is what we do in our Inbound packages.

Paid Media

Paid Media is outreach.  Newsletters, Pay Per Click, and any other form of advertising that you pay for.   

It is the most expensive of the three, however, can yield the quickest results.  It is generally the only thing most investor marketing firms concentrate on.  However, when used with owned and earned media strategies the ROI can be exponentially higher.


Make sure that your campaign includes a strategy for Earned, Owned, and Paid Media. Contact us today for a consultation, 929.445.8667.