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What Is Paid Media: Types & Examples

The term ‘paid media’ is commonly used in the marketing industry.

Some use the term paid media interchangeably with PPC advertising, but oftentimes it relates to a broader advertising scope.

This comprehensive guide will teach you what paid media is (and what it isn’t), the difference between different media types, and offer in-depth examples.

What Is Paid Media?

Paid media is any marketing effort that contains a paid placement.

While paid media is often used interchangeably with the term cost-per-click (CPC), it’s important to note the differentiation.

Paid media is used broadly to describe a channel, tactic, or strategy within the digital landscape. It does not specify certain channels or even necessarily between search, social, or other awareness advertising.

The Difference Between Earned, Owned, And Paid Media

Paid media is not the only media to drive awareness and demand. Earned media and owned media are vital pieces of a successful brand strategy.

It’s important not to confuse the three types of media, as each serves its own purpose. Let’s take a look at the key differences.

  • Earned media: Any type of brand exposure gained from methods other than paid advertising.
  • Owned media: Any type of content your brand creates and controls.

Some examples of earned media include:

  • Social sharing from customers.
  • Customer reviews.
  • External media coverage (public relations).

Owned media examples include:

  • Your website.
  • Social media channels.
  • Blog posts.

Types Of Paid Media Channels

Now that we’ve identified the definition of paid media, let’s take a look at the different types of paid media channels and the purposes they serve.

Before we dive into the different paid media channels, it’s also important to note the difference between ad formats and ad channels.

Ad formats are the type of ads shown in a…


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