Video Essentials

Paid, Earned, Owned, and Shared Media: A Guide to Distribution

You’ve made a video to show off your company’s products or services. Now what? How are you going to get that video in front of the right online audience?

Media distribution is broken into four different types. Social media agency Room 214 does a great job of explaining them in its latest quarterly industry trend report.

Paid Media

Paid media is distribution that you pay for. It’s advertising. For video, you might pay for a certain number of views, or pay to have your ad run before or after premium content. Try starting with Google Adwords for Video to have your video shown on YouTube. YuMe, SpotXchange, and TubeMogul offer video ad placement options.

Understand exactly where views are coming from before you buy video ad placement. Some services sound like they’re offering deals, but they’ll show your video on lesser known sites and in bad page locations.

Owned Media

This means distributing your video on properties your company owns, such as your site, blog, and microsites. Link to your video from your social networking sites and in your press releases.

Learn how to get more from your social networking sites. When posting to Facebook, ask questions that encourage an action from the viewer. Promote your video multiple times from your Twitter account, since most people won’t look at every tweet you send.

Shared Media

This refers to social media, but it’s how customers comment on or tweet about your videos. Have accounts on all the popular social networking sites to encourage conversations, and keep your accounts current. Monitor the social media mentions your videos get and respond to them.

Earned Media

This is high-quality word-of-mouth traffic, what happens when a respected influencer tweets or blogs about your video, for example. While you can’t guarantee earned media, you can work toward it. Work with the bloggers who cover your industry and pitch them your videos. Offer an exclusivity window to entice influential bloggers to show your video.

Download the full Room 214 industry trend report for free (requires registration).


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  1. The “owned media” is a great aspect to this conversation and one I don’t hear a lot of people talk about. All aspects seem to work together (or should) in the example of launching a new product: paid media drives initial awareness of the product, owned media is where people go to find out more, and earned media is where they tell people about it and spread it around.

    Posted by Shamelle | September 18, 2012, 2:36 am
  2. Oh! great concept about social media its not only social media.

    Posted by john | February 1, 2013, 7:19 am
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