Marketing know-how: What’s owned, earned and paid media?

Posted by Creative and Communications on 03.18.2016
Creative and Communications

And why do I need all three?

Smart marketers know not to put all their eggs in one basket. So when it comes to digital marketing, we need to use all three types: owned, earned and paid. So what’s the difference, why do I need them all, and when should I use them?

Let’s first start with a quick definition of each.

Owned media is what we actually own: our websites plus Arrowhead Exchange, along with our blog and social media pages. It also includes any other digital assets such as case studies, tip sheets, eBooks, videos, etc. that we have produced. We use these digital assets to lure traffic to our website when we post about them on social media. These are also tools we offer when we nurture prospective producers and non-active producers.

Earned media is the exposure we’ve earned via word-of-mouth: it’s the retweets, press releases that are picked up by other sites (other than Insurance Journal, whom we pay to publish our press releases), positive reviews on social media, recommendations, reposts, etc.

Paid media is pretty obvious – it’s media we pay for: ads in insurance digital publications. Digital storefronts. Pay-per-click ads and Google adwords are two other popular examples.

As you’ve read the definitions, you’ve no doubt come to the conclusion that you need all three – one isn’t enough to reach your audience on a continuous basis.

So what are some ways to add to and mix these up to get the results you need?

  • Paid: If your product is an Arrowhead product, we’ve reserved a series of ads in Insurance Journal’s Daily Headlines e-newsletter and MyNewMarkets’ daily email, along with Program Business and Target Markets email ads. They’re available first-come-first served to all Arrowhead profit centers. March’s are taken; there’s one available in April. Let us know asap if you want to reserve one. You are charged only for the creative time required – not for the ad itself.

  • Paid: We also have available additional product storefronts on, and that list details on your products. Again, these cost you nothing except a little creative time to get them up online. I want one! 

  • Owned: Let’s build SEO on our company websites by adding helpful content in the form of blogposts, articles, tip sheets, marketing materials for your producers, and more. As we add these items, we also post about them on social media. A steady plan of adding content does two things: it builds SEO (which improves your SERP – search engine page results, moving you up to a higher ranking) and it also alerts Google that we are subject matter experts (SMEs) on many areas of P&C coverage. That, too, will increase our SERP.

  • Earned: Where can we solicit speaking engagements for you? What website(s) can we create a guest blogpost in your name, to build your reputation as an SME?

  • Owned: When we create really great content for you that’s informative and helpful but not overly promotional, that’s the perfect content to sponsor on LinkedIn or boost on Facebook. Those actions cost $25-$50 for each post, so they’re quite inexpensive – but you can target producers in a specific geographic area.

  • Earned: Get active on producer forums. Join the conversations, adding helpful info. You’re NOT there to sell – not at first. Post at least 8-10 times before you post anything about our company or our products. Then leave it. Post more informational posts again before you mention our product. You’ll lose credibility fast if those in the forum realize you’re there only to sell. (OK, that IS why you’re there, but you’ve got to build up chips in your corner first!)

  • Owned: Did you know LinkedIn lets us have 10+ Product Showcase pages for free? We can highlight individual products online – and believe us, everyone checks out our LinkedIn pages. The only cost to you is for Creative to build your page – and it takes no more than a couple of hours.

Ready to take your marketing to a new level? Contact Creative and Communications. 

Topics: Company Growth