In today’s crowded media landscape, understanding the true value of earned media versus paid media can be a game-changer.  

Here’s an analogy to help you understand the key differences: 

Imagine you open a bakery that makes the freshest, flakiest croissants in town, and you want everyone to know it. So, how should you proceed? 

To put the word out, you might go the traditional marketing route of using paid media, like buying an ad in the local paper or renting out space on a billboard. Paid media lets you have direct control over where and when people will be exposed to what your bakery has to offer. It’s also scalable and usually predictable.  

Earned media, on the other hand, is the term used for organic growth or publicity gained through promotional efforts instead of paid advertising. This includes word of mouth, social media activity, reviews, and external media coverage. People might be inclined to share and circulate their own pictures of your croissants, write comments, tag their friends, and so on. In short, it’s about emphasizing what other people have to say about you, rather than what you have to say about yourself – and it’s incredibly effective. 

A recent study on trust in advertising found that 88 percent of participants said they place the most trust in recommendations from people they know. After all, who’s better suited to tell you where to find the best croissants than those closest to you?

Having a healthy mix of paid and earned media is a great recipe for an effective and comprehensive marketing strategy. While it is important to have precision and control over your target audience, there’s nothing quite like the credibility and authenticity of engagement you get from earned media. 

At Daisy Consulting Group, our media team are experts in creating media strategies that are specially designed to maximize reach and impact. If you are looking to create a powerful, integrated media strategy to raise awareness for what you do best, contact us for a free consultation.