Types of Media: Paid, Earned, Owned

Owned media?is a website, blog or other web entity that you control.

Earned or Organic media is content that organically travels across the web based on its popularity and inherent value, such as reviews and social media comments.

Paid media, on the other hand, is closer to traditional marketing, whereby you pay a third party to broadcast your message to other individuals.

Though it was once possible to firmly categorize all media as either paid, earned, or owned, the?cross-channel marketing?experience is blurring these lines.

For example — social media is technically earned media, but it allows for paid placements. This makes it a platform that supports varying strategies, techniques, and campaign types.

Why Use Paid Media?

At first glance, paid media might appear archaic or and unnecessary.

After all, one of the strengths of web marketing and social media is that it allows you to avoid the typical pitfalls of paid advertising by exposing different users to your brand in new, different and engaging ways.

While this is true, paid media still has a valid usage and can work in tandem with earned & owned media to help an online business grow.

Paid media is one of the quickest ways to drive traffic.

Paid media is a good way of opening doors, even if just a crack, that would otherwise stay closed.

For some users, a promoted post or tweet will be their first exposure to your business or brand. Whether yours is a new venture, fresh on the scene or already well established, the opportunity to?spread your brand as widely as possible?should be a top goal.

Your content, even if paid for, will still potentially get clicks and perhaps even followers, leading to earned clicks in the future.

Additionally, the results of your paid content will be easier to track than organic content.

Social media typically provides statistics on how many Impressions, clicks and Leads your paid content receives while viewing the same information about organic content can be trickier.

Finally, just because content is promoted doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. As many social media experts will tell you, the ways of the Internet and social media are mysterious, and there’s often no way to explain or predict why one piece of content becomes more popular than another.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of the moment.

Paid promotions can help ensure your content – whether a promotion for a big sale, an update on a charity or cause, or an informative video aimed at establishing you as a thought leader – gets picked up, shared around and goes to the right influencers.

Using Paid Media on Social Networks

Paid media takes various forms across different social media platforms.


Chief among these platforms is Facebook, which over the years has gone from being one of the numerous social media options to becoming virtually synonymous with the term.

Facebook advertising offers a number of paid promotional options. The two most commonly used for E-Commerce are:

Carousel ads

Carousel ads are swipeable ads that allow you to view multiple images or videos in a single ad space.

Facebook allows your creativity to flow by permitting you to showcase up to ten products within one ad, each with its own link. You can also add up to 10 videos in a carousel format.

This will allow you to tell a better story, showcase a larger range of products or display a more detailed description of your products.

On average, it’s driving 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion than single-image link ads. Carousel ads help deliver a reduction in cost per lead and an increase in click-through rates.

If you are just setting up shop carousel ads are the way to go as you can select and design what you’d like to display.

According to Facebook, here are the latest requirements for a carousel ad.


  • 2-10 Images
  • Recommended format: JPG or PNG format.
  • Image file size: Maximum of 30MB
  • Image resolution: 1080X1080
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 40 characters
  • Link Description: 20 characters


  • 2-10 Videos
  • Recommended format: MP4 or MOV
  • Image file size: Maximum of 30MB
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 40 characters
  • Link Description: 20 characters

Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)

DPA’s allow retailers to showcase exactly the same products or services their shoppers are interested in.

As and when a customer browses through your website, views a product, or adds to cart, facebook’s pixels pick it up.

Facebook then showcases those products your customer has shown interest in.

Dynamic Product Ads reduces the workload of creating multiple ad units for every product/product line.

Dynamic product ads also get 3X the engagement than a normal Facebook ad.

You can get started with Dynamic Product Ads in 2 simple steps.

  1. Submit your product feed in an XML or CSV format to Facebook.
  2. Setup the Facebook pixel on your website. Configure when you want the pixel to fire i.e. add to cart, view Content, or purchase.

That’s it! You’re good to go.

Further Reading:10 Best Practices for Facebook Dynamic Product Ads

Facebook has the highest number of social media users, you can choose to take advantage of the site’s more than 1 billion users and rich database of user data by paying for a Facebook ad.

Facebook lets online businesses target their ads based on metrics such as:

  • Geographic locations, filtered by country, region, city or even postal/zip code
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Spoken languages
  • Interests, including sport, films and music
  • Behaviour, from where and how they shop to whether they’re a house hunter

This lets you tailor your product to the exact demographic of your typical customer. For instance, if you were a sports retailer based in a Spanish-speaking area of a city, you might choose to target an ad for basketball shoes to users aged 18-40 who speak Spanish and are interested in the sport.

Your ad will appear on their news feed like any other product.

You can do the same thing when it comes to boosting your posts. Choose how much you’re willing to spend,?pick an audience profile?and your post will be sent out to many more people. This is especially useful if your business is running a promotion you want to let people know about.