Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media: What You Need to Know to Build a Successful Strategy for Your Fashion Brand

Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media: What You Need to Know to Build a Successful Strategy for Your Fashion Brand

Managing a brand online can be a challenge. 

With so many platforms and spaces available, the simple task of keeping your brand up-to-date can be daunting. 

The issue however lies in the fact that many brand managers fail to see the “bigger picture” while developing a web presence for your fashion brand. With no understanding of the ultimate goal of your strategy, investing time and money to create a digital presence can lead to disappointing results.

When it comes to using the internet to connect to your customers, some invest in advertising and display ads, some use influencers, some build endless blogs. 

All of them however can easily fall into the trap of “churn and burn” creating content without really pursuing a strategy. If you end up here, you may be wasting a lot of time and money. 

In order to understand how your online presence can really serve your brand and support your sales, and customer loyalty, we need to set the record straight. 

In this post, we’re going to discuss how your online presence is actually a mix of three main media typologies, which can create a powerful synergy and support the growth of your organization. 

By understanding the purpose of each, we’ll be able to understand exactly what kind of content to create and why.

We’re going to look at Owned media, Earned media, and Paid media. 

With no further ado, let’s dive into it!

#1 Owned Media: Content is King.

Owned media is the type of media that a brand creates for itself. It is entirely managed by the company and usually, it is developed in-house. 

This type of content is extremely important for your brand because it allows your company to convey to your audience what the product is about, what value it provides, and who it is for. 

Essentially, by developing good content you are positioning your brand both in the market and in the minds of your customers as this content typology allows you to explore how your brand can solve your customers’ problems.

Use Owned Media To Tell a Story

Owned media is an essential piece of your web presence as it allows you to tell a story, create a narrative about your brand and connect to your customer by emphasizing those points of difference that really matter to your customer. 

By creating content, you are making sure your website is ranking on search engines organically. This will help you create awareness, as your website shows up in internet searches, and will also allow you to push customers down the “conversion funnel” and drive profitable customer interactions, with no advertising cost.

Use Owned Media To Inform, Educate, and Entertain. 

Moreover, your owned media presence can help your brand build a tone of voice that helps to build relationships with your customers. 

Some of the most adventurous brands have gone the extra mile and have developed new and exciting partnerships across different industries (for instance fashion and gaming) to keep their brand relevant and exciting. We discuss this further in this post where we look at some of the unique benefits of developing a content marketing strategy to overcome the limitations of other media typologies (such as earned media and advertising).

As a result, by developing organically-ranking content you are gaining two important results: on the one hand, you are making your brand relevant to customers who are seeking what you have to offer, and on the other hand, you’re building the first steps in your customer journey.  

These first steps are called “awareness” as you are essentially making your products and services visible to your audience. 

On the other hand, as you are developing content that is created by your brand for your brand, customers may not be persuaded by it. You are going to present your products in the best possible way, but what customers want are honesty and authenticity. 

That’s why they will go to social media to find unbiased and transparent opinions before making a purchase. 

This is why creating a persuasive social media presence is what we’ll be discussing next in our post.

#2 Earned Media: Your Key To Persuasion

As we discussed, owned media is a very versatile tool, but as fashion brands develop branded content, they may not appear completely transparent to their customers. 

This is why the next step in your customer’s journey is to check out your company through the perspective of your previous customers on social media. Social media and is usually considered a great example of an earned media space.

Earned media represents all of the media that your brand has acquired because of associations with other companies or causes,  through communications that come from third-party sources. 

Because of the fact that your company cannot control what other media sources say about it,  customers perceive that these types of communication are more effective and persuasive. 

This type of media is in fact the most conducive to sales and that’s why startup brands should always start developing their business from a solid public relations office.

What customers are able to identify through social media is not simply the functional value of a garment or accessory but its social currency or even its emotional value.

By experiencing the product through other people, customers are able to connect to it and see the full value of the purchase.

The customer journey step that takes place during the earned media stage is what we call the “evaluation of alternatives”. 

In this stage, customers are looking at different purchase options and they are choosing the product or service that better fits their needs.

Because of the persuasiveness of this content typology comprised of reviews, social media posts, tweets, and so on, it’s extremely important for your brand to manage social media in a way that protects your brand’s reputation.

Still, at this stage, customers have not bought anything from us yet. So whatever amount of money we may have invested in media development so far has brought little returns. 

This is why in the next section of our post we’ll be looking at Paid media or the type of advertising we need to put in place in order to sell. 

#3 Paid Media: The Trigger to Sell

Paid media is the term that describes all of the promotional and advertising content a fashion brand develops to sell its products. 

After what we’ve discussed in the previous sections of this post, it is clear how this type of content can be really successful in driving sales home only if we’ve built strong support for it with organically-ranking owned content and a good social presence.

If the awareness and “evaluation of alternatives” stages have been fully developed we can move in for the sale. If customers are still unconvinced or even unaware of the existence of your brand, no commercial advertisement can get them to buy your products.

Paid media is going to act as a trigger and draw customers in a sale, by taking advantage of a brand that is already well-known and trusted. 

As we’ve seen then, developing a brand strategy requires us to really take advantage of all of these three steps to make sure that our media presence can create a strong synergy capable of driving strong results home. 

If you’d like to see how to build a successful brand strategy following this approach, we discuss this in more detail in this post.

Great, now that we’ve covered all three types of media, it’s time to draw some conclusive remarks.


There you have it. In this post, we looked at the three categories of media your fashion brand should plan on developing to create a web presence capable of attracting, converting, and retaining your customers. 

Developing a strong media presence is essential, as both digital and physical customer journeys are able to influence our prospective customers as they collect information and make up their minds before buying. 

To continue learning about the ways in which your fashion brand can develop a digital marketing strategy able to drive profitable customer interactions, we advise you to read this post, entitles: Customer Journey Mapping: Tips to Increase Sales and Retention.

Don’t forget to explore our blog where we’re providing a wealth of high-quality content discussing fashion business and fashion marketing.

If you’re interested in learning more about Content Marketing, don’t hesitate to take a look at our course “Content Marketing for Creative Rockstars“. Our short and to-the-point, online class covers a wide range of topics spanning from developing blog posts capable of driving profitable traffic to strategies for getting strong conversion rates on your landing pages. Here’s a link to the course, if you use the discount code BLOG20 you can access a 20% discount. Enjoy!

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Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media: What You Need to Know to Build a Successful Strategy for Your Fashion Brand In this post we're looking at how your can leverage the power of three distinct types of media to create a successful brand strategy.
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