What Is Paid Media?

Digital Marketing

What Is Paid Media?

A strong paid media strategy is essential for effective marketing. But what makes a campaign successful? In our latest episode of the Marketing Roundtable podcast, we dive into some of the biggest questions surrounding paid media with BrainDo’s very own Digital Media Director, Kelsey Benoit.

Let’s get started!

Who is Kelsey Benoit?

Kelsey stumbled into paid media a decade ago through her finance background. Initially seeking administrative roles, she joined a paid search team after earning her Google Ads certification.

After seven years, Kelsey felt unsatisfied in her prior position. Luckily, she found fulfillment at BrainDo, where she’s been for three years and can’t imagine leaving. She shared that it was an interesting experience joining the team just as global pandemic lockdowns began:

“I started March 16th,” Kelsey explained. “We started working remotely March 17th.”

But the team’s collective support made her feel welcomed, and she enjoyed participating in BrainDo’s virtual happy hours.

The Three Circles of Digital Media

We asked Kelsey to expand on what the different types of media were. She verbalized the following illustration:

“The three circles in the [media] Venn diagram are paid, owned, and earned.”

For business owners and other professionals new to the space, it may be challenging to identify which circle represents the right marketing opportunity. Luckily, Kelsey gives us a breakdown of paid, owned, and earned media.

Paid Media Defined

Kelsey states that paid media refers to paid marketing and advertising efforts including billboards, commercials, paid search, and paid social.

Now a standard tactic within marketing, modern digital ads often appear tailored to the precise needs of a given query. And that’s no accident. Digital campaigns are informed by extensive research and frequently optimized to ensure that the right message reaches a receptive audience. The paid nature of this approach, however, raised a question in our minds of whether paid media can be considered owned media in its own right.

What is Owned Media?

Kelsey quickly distinguished owned media as separate from paid media.

“Owned is something that your business owns,” She explained. “And it’s not just your website, or your blog, your podcast … it’s also your YouTube channel – things like that.”

Like many other businesses, BrainDo uses owned media assets like podcasts and company social media accounts to engage with a target audience that shares our mission and enjoys our content.

The Joys of Earned Media

Kelsey stated that earned media is “a marketing channel that’s cultivated through a brand’s credibility.” As an example of earned media, she cited word of mouth.

A strong brand image that spreads through word of mouth is invaluable to companies. When friends or family recommend a product or business, it generates free marketing also known as earned media.

If earned media is so valuable, why would anyone spend money on paid media? Fortunately, that’s exactly what we discussed next!

Circling Back to Paid Media

Before diving into the intricacies of paid media, we need an answer to this burning question: Why pay? Kelsey offered the following rationale:

“[Paid media] helps you get earned media and more owned media, as well as marketing. Your follower base and business will all grow so much faster if you’re putting money towards it.”

Paid media enables remarketing and precise targeting based on demographics, increasing revenue using buyer personas. When it comes to marketing strategies, there are various types of media to choose from. However, adding fuel to the fire that’s already burning is always beneficial.

Eager to Hear More about Paid Media?

In our conversation with Kelsey, we dive into strategy, defining audiences, geo-targeting, remarketing, and more. This is just the preamble to our larger discussion of paid media. So listen to the full episode to extract as much value as possible!

Marketing Roundtable is available on YouTube and everywhere else you get your favorite podcasts. Get started now with the video below!



Do you have additional Paid Media questions? Wondering how our digital experts can elevate your marketing strategies? Reach out to our team today!