Inbound marketing: earned media and content marketing grow hand in hand


Marketers increasingly talk about earned, paid and owned media. Paid media is basically advertising, owned media, for instance, your website and earned media is more or less the same as social media, including blogs.

As always, these definitions and their exact meaning are not perfect reflections of a more complex reality, but they do help look at some of the ongoing evolutions in marketing.

Furthermore, lots of research is done regarding the growth and impact of mainly earned media.

Adobe today sent me a report by Econsultancy in which the evolutions regarding earned media are analyzed.

The report shows that nearly one third (31%) of respondents says the impact of the evolution towards earned media is "highly significant" for their business. 51% says it's quite significant. Obviously, the word "significant" can mean many things, but it's clear there is an increasing focus on earned media in the overall marketing strategy.

Inbound marketing is a correction of the status quo

Inbound marketing in general, and social media marketing (including blogging) and all tactics that involve people and communities, specifically, are gaining traction because of many phenomena, including changing media and buying behavior but also for reasons of cost reduction and increased ROI.

Earned media will obviously not replace paid media (and certainly not owned), it's simply getting more attention in the overall mix that is being adapted to a multichannel and integrated marketing reality with people in the middle. And inbound marketing in the end is a correction of the status quo that existed too long in marketing.

inbound marketing and the evolution of earned media

Econsultancy also found that the impact of content marketing is growing. However, for many businesses, it's really not that clear yet what content marketing is and, obviously with all the "new terminology", including content marketing, earned and owned media, inbound and outbound marketing, it's not always easy for marketers to understand what is exactly what.

In the end, it doesn't matter though. Only the customer and - thus - your bottom-line does.

The growing importance of inbound, earned media, content, social, etc. is a natural evolution whereby the behavior of people is simply taken more into account than before.

It's part of the shift from channel-centricity, product- centricity, etc. to people-centricity.

Do you want to engage the multi-channel consumer?

Today's customer is cross-channel and he/she is at the centre of sales and marketing.

Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.

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