When it comes to traffic, having a single source of traffic is a horrible, horrible, horrible idea.
The 3 Types of Media
We call traffic like media. There’s earned traffic, owned traffic, and paid traffic. And when it comes to traffic, having a single source of traffic is a horrible, horrible, horrible idea. When we think about like owned traffic, you could own a hundred things. And when I think about earned traffic, it is the same thing, but what’s really important is that we never isolate ourselves to only thinking about one. And so I like to think of them as a tripod. All of them are there and they are super, super important for what you have in your business believe that businesses can operate. With just a bi-pod or two legs, but it’s better to have a tripod or understand the entire tripod to really, really be effective.
Owned media is the thing that you genuinely own. Like you’re not leasing it, you’re not renting it. You own it. Your website would be something that you own. So if you’re on a WordPress website, you’re basically using their platform. It’s open-source you own that website. When you think about your blog, when you think about your social media channels, they’re yours now. One caveat to that is like, we don’t own Facebook. We don’t own Instagram. We kind of lease them. There are profiles, but we don’t really own them. If Instagram went down or Facebook went down or closed, we wouldn’t own it anymore. But our website your own, I also consider your email list. Something that you own. I consider a podcast, something that you own, but owned media is generally your web properties or properties that you own then.
You have earned media and earned media is media or traffic that you earn. Well, how do you earn media? Will you earn it through sharing mentions reposting? So if you post something on your Instagram and somebody shares it, well, that person who shared it that’s earned media because you’re getting the attention of their audience because they shared your content. And so reposts reviews, influencers, affiliates, people sharing, doing giveaways and shout-outs and things like that. Those are earned media. So that’s where you’re basically leveraging somebody else’s relationship with their audience, and then they’re leveraging that relationship to bring attention to you.
And then you have paid media and paid media advertising. You have paper clicks ads, you have Google ads, you have retargeting Facebook, Pinterest, you have paid influencers, and you have paid content promotion. You have podcast ads and social media ads, and all of it, anything that you spend money on to reach people is paid media.
So owned media is that destination, it’s the home. It’s something that you own that you’re sending people back to your website, your Instagram, your podcast, your Facebook, your email list, you own those, and then you will produce a piece of content or something of value or a sale or something, and you will send it out on all of those properties that you own. That’s what you’re doing then now that you own those, you have two ways to get more people into those properties that you own.
So earned media is you’re going out because you’re creating things of value or you have existed building relationships and people are sharing your stuff because you’re creating quality content. They’re sharing your product because they’re actually getting results with your product, whether it’s a service or a physical product. And in sharing, they are basically advertising your owned media for free. They’re saying this person has helped me so much with their content or with their product or my results with my life. I’m going to utilize my platform, my influence, and my reach to bring awareness to what it is that they’ve done for me and then send these people back to me.
Then you have paid media and paid media, you can then take your own property, right? Like your own content, your own product, your own lead, magnets, your own, whatever it is that you create. And then you can invest money. To help amplify your properties. So to take what it is that you’ve done, and then go buy eyeballs in other places to introduce those eyeballs into your property, to then bring them back.
We understand that you can’t just have paid media. Because if you have paid media, you’re basically just running advertisements in magazines and in mailers, but there’s nowhere for people to go. So what you’re really doing is saying I’m spending all of this money to get a hundred people’s attention. Knowing that maybe one will buy, but then the other 99 just disappear. And I wasted all that money. Like you have to have somewhere to send the same thing with earned media. You can’t just go out and do shout-outs and things like that for free. If people don’t have somewhere to go like your job is to own your property. The biggest thing here is that people know that you have a home and that’s where your owned media comes in.
You have to be very strategic and very intentional about how you introduce that home to people. So the first thing that I always recommend is that you own your stuff, right? You might own your website and maybe you don’t want social media, maybe social media isn’t supportive of you, but you still have to have a place to send people. So maybe that’s your website or a contact form. Because somebody, when they promote you with earned media or you pay for attention has to have somewhere to go to develop that relationship, to come to your open house per se. But if you just had earned media, well, then these people will be shouting out something, but they wouldn’t be able to come into your ecosystem or come into your world. There’s nothing in this tripod called accidental media. All of this is measurable. All of this is intentional. All of this has a plan and can be utilized to support you. But none of it is accidental. And no one out there in the earned media world creates a meme or a piece of content for you, posts it, and then says it’s yours and gives you credit. None of its accidental. It’s all very, very, very intentional,