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.

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Topics: Content Strategy, Paid Media & Advertising

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