Influencing Through Media In Energy

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In today’s digital world, marketers now have unlimited opportunities to influence their consumers. With such wide-ranging options, it can be difficult to choose which avenues can help develop an effective media strategy. Owned, paid and earned media are all powerful in their own right, and they can be utilized in one-off cases or in a holistic way as key components of your integrated marketing mix.

Owned Media

Owned media is any medium that is within a company’s own control. This includes websites, blogs, email blasts and one of the most influential – social media accounts. According to Social Media Examiner, almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic. This shows that the power of social media in your owned media mix cannot be ignored. Though, when you use social media without a strategy, you are neglecting an important part of your integrated marketing mix that your competitors are giving attention.

The greatest strength of owned media is the ability to control messaging without being filtered through other organizations or media – though it’s also its biggest weakness because you do not have a journalist lending his or her credibility. To earn credibility with your owned media in the energy industry, it’s critical to consistently provide valuable content like industry whitepapers, blogs and informational webinars. This content is extremely useful to your salespeople as tools for them to demonstrate the value your company can bring to potential customers. 

Paid Media

The term paid media refers to advertising that companies directly pay money for. This can include traditional advertising like television commercials, however paid media strategies continue becoming more sophisticated with search engine advertising and with nearly every social media outlet having their own version of sponsored content advertising. With new advancements in digital tracking technology, companies can now ensure their web and social media content are reaching their target audiences with reasonable efficiency. This can be vital in keeping your company at the top of mind of your potential leads as you take them down the sales funnel.

The recurring cost of paid media can be a barrier to entry for some organizations when compared to earned or owned media. However paid media outlets provide key performance indicator (KPI) tracking, which can help marketers show return on investment to their executives. Paid media can be effective when utilized to complement other owned and earned media strategies; for example, using social media sponsored content to promote your company’s latest whitepaper or trade media article.

For the energy industry B2B marketers, LinkedIn can be an especially strong paid media tool. With focused targeting by job description and type of company you can be sure your content is getting in front of your target B2B audience. 

Earned Media

Earned media refers to publicity you get for your company that is not paid advertising. While earned media does not have a specific price tag, earned media requires time and effort to do properly. For marketing professionals in energy, building a relationship with trade journalists is vital. To ensure you’re developing a fruitful working relationship, it’s crucial that you pitch journalists in a timely manner – with engaging relevant content valuable to their readers. According to Cision’s 2017 State of the Media Report, 82% of journalists say PR professionals can improve by researching and understanding media outlets before constructing a targeted pitch. It is also critical to learn best practices when pitching journalists, so your stories reach them in the least intrusive, most convenient way possible.

Trade journalists have credibility amongst their readers that your organization’s owned media does not always have. According to Cision, audiences view earned media as the most authentic form of marketing.  By giving up full editorial control over your story via independent journalists, the article becomes more credible and is more likely to be trusted by the target audience. Though, with this you also have less control over your message. This is something to keep in mind when choosing which story to pitch.


An organization won’t necessarily thrive on one type of media alone. All kinds of media have their own strengths and weaknesses and to utilize them to maximum effectivity, marketers need to get creative. The best mix of owned, paid and earned can be different for every organization, but they must be integrated into a strong marketing plan to accomplish your business goals. 

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