Sponsored posts, product reviews, earned media, paid media… UGH, what do they mean and what is the difference?
With all the terms we hear in the blogging world, sometimes a term will have more than one phrase to describe the same thing and other times there are words which sound the same but have a 180 degrees definition.
Earned media (or free media) refers to favorable publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, as opposed to paid media, which refers to publicity gained through advertising. Earned media often refers specifically to publicity gained through editorial influence, whereas social media refers to publicity gained through grassroots action, particularly on the Internet… Critically, earned media cannot be bought or owned, it can only be gained organically, hence the term ‘earned’.
Earned Media is an article which is written without the request of a brand and a fee was not received by the blogger.
- Since the brand is not initially involved, you are not required to modify it at their request.
- Didn’t like the product, venue, etc. — that’s okay! Not all articles have to be positive. TIP: If you do post a negative comment, try to add some positive suggestions on how to improve.
- You are not obligated to post links to social media, their website, etc.
Paid Media is what bloggers prefer to write about, which is also known as sponsored posts, paid giveaways, etc. Before you start working with brands, ensure that you have a sponsored post kit available to let them know what the rules are to work with you.
- Heard of the FTC? Yea, they like it when you disclose to your readers that a brand paid you a fee to write the article.
- Brands may ask you to link back to their website, social media, etc. Three words – NO FOLLOW LINK. Learn how to do this either with a plugin or manually. With all the Google changes, you need to ensure that you are not penalized for not informing the search engines that the article is paid media.
Example of both:
Since I live in Las Vegas and there is a new Wet ‘n Wild in town I want my readers to know about it because it’s a place my family enjoys, this is an example of earn media.
If Wet ‘n Wild gives my family passes to the park, free parking ticket, meals for the family and pays me a fee to develop content around my experience, this is an example of paid media.
If you have any questions about paid media vs earned media, please comment below or email us – we are here to help you!