The Modern Marketing Trifecta: Paid, Earned, and Owned Media

by Jason Skinner, Chief Marketing Officer - 11/15/16


When your goals involve patient engagement and acquisition, it takes three to make a thing go right. Make sure you’re considering these media categories when planning your marketing strategy and budget.

Paid Media

Formerly known as: Advertising

What it is: Buying space/time on traditional and online channels

Why you need it: To promote your owned media and generate demand for specific services


  • Search engine advertising

  • Social media advertising

  • Traditional advertising (TV/radio/print)

Here's a hospital doing it right: Barton Health incorporates paid social and search advertising in a series of service line growth strategies (examples below). These campaigns target commercially insured patients who are ideal candidates for elective, high-revenue procedures.

Earned Media

Formerly known as: Public/Media Relations

What it is: Recognition for expertise and thought leadership through unpaid placements

Why you need it: To increase awareness/preference and influence perception for your brand to generate new leads


  • Editorial placement in national publications and trade journals
  • Physician interviews on TV/radio
  • Positive consumer/patient reviews
  • "Ask the Doc" column in the local newspaper

Here's a hospital doing it right: Children’s Mercy Health in Kansas City is frequently featured in national and local media, including this article on a Kansas toddler who received three heart surgeries before his third birthday.

Owned Media

Formerly known as: Branded Content

What it is: Content that your organization controls.

Why you need it: To differentiate your brand from the competition as buyers move through the decision cycle


  • Website/Blog
  • Social media accounts
  • Email newsletter
  • Print publication
  • Mobile application
  • Direct mail
  • Community events

Here's a hospital doing it right: Phoenix (AZ) Children’s Hospital “Here to Change the World” 2016 Vision Report

Find out how a content strategy that leverages paid, earned, and owned media can drive growth for your key service lines.

Get the eBook →


Topics: Content Strategy, Paid Media & Advertising

Get Blog Updates by Email

Healthcare Insight Magazine

The latest issue of our guidebook for healthcare marketers offers fresh ideas and expert perspective to inform your consumer and physician engagement strategies. 
Sign Up and Start Reading Now!

Insight-Magazine-Winter-2020 copy


Popular Articles

Follow us on Twitter