As you develop a marketing strategy for your Brand Story you’ll discover that you have 3 basic ways to engage a conversation with a potential customer: one is through Owned Media; another is through Earned Media, and the other is through Paid Media. While each of the 3 media channels help build search engine marketing (SEM) this article focuses a bit more on Owned Media for two very important reasons: it’s the least expensive channel and as the name suggests you actually own the terms and conditions of the channel. But before we dig deeper into Owned Media here is a brief explanation of the other two channels.

Earned Media refers to publicity about your company that is generated and shared by third parties such as the news media, influencers, and your customers—not because they’re paid to, but because they are motivated, inspired or simply interested in sharing stories about your business or organization. Earned Media can have a positive or negative impact on your brand story. You have no control of the content that is published by third parties, but you can influence the tone of the media’s message based on the effort you put into your Owned Media.

Paid Media is pretty self-explanatory. This channel includes any and all media that you pay for including advertisements, sponsorships, partnerships, whether it’s traditional print, broadcast, or digital advertising such SEO, pay-per-click, or the many other pay-to-play options that are available.

That brings us the Owned Media which includes all channels of communicating content with your audiences that you completely own and control. This includes your website, your blog, your e-mail blasts, your marketing collateral, your direct mail campaigns, and even the voice message on your office (or mobile) phone. Owned Media is the channel where you can freely share engaging content that is personalized and targeted and delivered as often as your audience allows. This is the channel where you can control the consistency of your message and successfully build your Story Brand. Research indicates that content that is shared through Owned Media channels is often considered more organic and relevant than paid media which equates to earning trust and respect from customers and prospects. While there are benefits to each of the three media channels, if you’re willing to invest time and creativity instead of dollars in a channel then take a good look at the channel that you already own.

If you have a good story but not sure how to tell it then we’d love to hear from you. It could lead to discovering your entity’s Brand Story which can become the single most important piece in building a focused and unified company that is prepared for success.