Earned, Paid and Owned Media for Hotels


Alex Corral

Jul 14, 2016


category folder



Earned, paid, & owned media?

Getting into the digital space can be confusing.

You know that you need to be there, but there are so many places you need to be.

Which will be the best for your bottom line? Which one has the best lifetime value?

It’s Facebook!

..no, wait, its email marketing!

Is it the website, or could it be PPC?

Don’t have a panic attack just yet! The fact of the matter is that every person tasked with marketing has felt this at one point or another, because every business is different. This means that the “important channels” could be different for you, and your colleague that works at the hotel down the block.

Since every case is different, I can’t tell you EXACTLY what to do (unless you would like to contact us to see what your opportunities are ;)), but I can group these channels together to make your life a little bit easier.

I will start with the one that you are all probably the most familiar with, paid media.

Paid Media

Paid media can come in many forms, but the one that you are probably most familiar with is pay-per-click. Most of the big platforms out there i.e. Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. all offer some type of paid media.

It is easily the most quantifiable. You pay the various platforms a set amount of money and they promote your particular piece of creative. This could be a blog post, a picture, a white paper etc. You set the parameters, and they promote it until you hit your money threshold. Most platforms offer analytics dashboards to check your performance.

The days of using this channel in a silo are over. It is no longer about putting your promotion in front of customers and they magically flock over to your site. Your paid efforts need to compliment and enhance your other efforts.

Owned Media

Enter the owned media examples. You follow a simple rule when determining if something is owned media. If you have full control over it, then there is a high probability that it is owned media. Owned media for hotels can come in the form of blog posts, white papers, etc.

This media is important because you can use it to reinforce your unique selling proposition with your customer. As a hotel, you should be using your owned media to turn a colder lead into a warmer one. The way that you would do this would be to marry it with your paid search efforts. Use your paid search to emphasize your better performing owned content, to get it some more exposure.

If you find something that is performing particularly well on your blog because of your SEO efforts, then my suggestion would be to use your Owned media and promote it on paid media on a site such as Facebook, LinkedIn.

Earned Media

My favorite. This one is the toughest, but it is the realest. It is baked right into the title. You have to earn what you get. Think of it like recognition. If there is someone else that is willing to stand behind you piece of x, y, or z. Then you have earned media. It is the digital form of word of mouth. It is user-generated and it means that you are earning real estate on another website that is not yours.

I’d be interested to hear what mix you think would work well or has worked well, for your hotel. What challenges do you think you will face? I always love to hear others creative approaches.

Ready to Grow Your Business?