The difference between owned, earned and paid media is an important distinction which should be understood by every real estate professional hoping to make a digital impact and generate online exposure and leads. Ultimately, you should think about if and how to address each of these types of media in your annual or ongoing marketing planning. Factors to consider in your overall plan are the budget that you’re willing to invest (such as for online advertising) and time that you have to spare (such as for writing a blog). Below, we’ll briefly explain what the different types of media are, and give some examples of each.
Owned Media – This type of media you have complete control over and typically expend effort to create yourself. Examples include:
- Video is a rich method of communication. Video can be used for many different types of messaging and storytelling, such as testimonials, education, buyer tours, virtual community tours, interviews, and “just-moved-in” announcements.
- Photos are an excellent way to showcase your community without having to write a lot of content. Walk your community, and let your photos capture the essence of where you live and work.
- Blogging can require a significant time investment on a weekly basis, and results will not be immediate. Success through blogging or any other social media channel comes from consistency and repetition over time.
Earned Media – This type of media is “earned” through the good work you do and your reputation, and comes about through the analysis, voice, comments, and opinions of others. Examples include:
- Productivity rankings compiled by franchises, associations, individual firms and websites developed specifically for this purpose
- Consumer-focused rating and review sites, such as Yelp.com and Angie’s List, and at major portal agent profiles, such as realtor.com®
- Companies that send surveys directly to clients on behalf of real estate professionals; these surveys actually generate testimonials for agents that they can leverage
Paid Media – This type of media you pay for and uses placement to bring traffic and visitors to your web properties.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) encompasses all kinds of search engine–centered marketing strategies. At the heart of SEM, you’re paying so that your website appears when someone searches for a keyword or several keywords that you feel are relevant to your site.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to efforts (often fee-based) to make your website organically place or rank higher in the unpaid results. SEO is important because search algorithms are constantly changing, making it a challenge to stay up to date and relevant so that potential customers can easily find you.
- Unlike traditional forms of media advertising, online advertising gives you a lot more options. You can pay by impressions (or views), traditionally measured in pay-per-mile (PPM) or pay-per-impression (PPI). You can also use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Each model has its place.
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