Let us tell you a POEM: Paid, Owned, and Earned Media

Have you ever heard a marketer talking about POEM? Well – if not – surprise your colleagues with this lovely acronym that stands for Paid, Owned, and Earned Media. But before you speak verse and prose let’s make the definition of these three terms crystal-clear.

Paid, Owned, and Earned Media are the different media types you can leverage in your marketing mix. Marketers usually combine them in their multi-channel approach to maximize the impact of their content and marketing activities.



Paid media refers to advertising space that – as indicated in its name – requires a payment. Online paid media can take the form of paid search (keyword bidding), display ads (banners), video ads, or sponsored content.

Using paid media can be very powerful in driving and boosting exposure, which is especially important at a launch moment. For example, invest a budget X in paid search during a defined period as you launch a new website and want to amplify its reach and scale traffic quickly. In general, a timely good use of paid media will help further fuel organic (non-paid) exposure.



Owned Media refers to the content and channels a company is in full control of. We are talking about the company’s website and blog, its Facebook and other social accounts, its newsletters etc. Basically, everything that the company has directly at its disposal for pushing out communication at no extra publishing costs.

Owned media are the principal reflection of a brand image and thought leadership. It is therefore very important to focus on quality when it comes to creating your owned content. With relevant and useful (not overly-promotional) publications you can gain trust and interest from your prospects and move them down the lead funnel.



This is what you get as recognition from your quality communications! Earned media are for instance press mentions, customer reviews, shared articles, recommendations. These are the most trusted media available (as people tend to give more credit to their peers than brands themselves), but you can’t control earned media – you can just do everything possible to encourage this to happen. The key is to reach the right persons with quality content; then word-of-mouth can start.



1. Write an excellent article and post it on your Blog (Owned).
2. Share a link to your article on a social account – for example, LinkedIn or Facebook – to increase reach (Owned).
3. Invest a budget X in sponsoring your post on this social account in order to boost visibility (Paid).
4. Look for shares and report that will ultimately indicate the quality level of your article and grow your audience (Earned).