WTF is the PESO model? A look at our digital marketing and PR strategy

PR Strategy

As a digital marketing and PR firm, we want our clients to be seen. In order to do so, we showcase their brand in every way possible. This means that every platform, medium, and the network is addressed in our digital marketing and PR strategy.

But there’s a lot of content out there. And, wow, there are a lot of platforms too.

We frame our strategy by using the PESO model, which essentially breaks down every aspect of media communication into four categories. 

When working with clients, we show them how our strategy for their brand works within the structure of this model. And while PESO is certainly practical, it’s also an innovative way to understand the values of society in terms of digital communications.

What does it stand for?

PESO is an acronym that stands for “paid,” “earned,” “shared,” and “owned” media. Each of these four categories represents both types of media and communication methods.

What is “paid media”?

Paid media is, well, exactly what it sounds like. It’s advertisements, influencer marketing, social media ads, PPC (pay-per-click) content, sponsored content, or even email marketing. In a digital marketing or PR strategy, this requires honing in on your target market and finding how to reach them through paid advertisements.

Paid media is important in a digital marketing strategy because it can extend your brand’s reach to audiences that would not have been able to find you organically. Paid media helps brands target the right people at the right times, so they can cut through the noise online and increase brand awareness.

Here at Zen Media, we use paid ads on social media advertisements, PPC and email marketing to extend our reach (read: we practice what we preach). 

Zen PR Ads
What is “earned media”?

When you think of traditional public relations, you’re probably thinking along the lines of earned media. Within the scope of earned media you’ll find mentions in newspapers, trade publications, magazines, podcasts, radio, TV and so on. “Media hits” are earned media, anything that draws the attention of the press so that your brand visibility is increased.

Earned media might seem like a very traditional or typical strategy, but it’s certainly not outdated. A comprehensive PR and marketing strategy relies on elements of earned media because outlets — like newspapers, trade publications, magazines, podcasts, radio, TV, and more — have credibility and reach that most companies don’t. A feature in an earned media outlet both augments your brand’s reputation and trustworthiness, while also extending the reach of your brand.

Here’s an example of earned media: Our client Kamua — an AI video-editing company — was recently featured on Yahoo! Finance as one of the top 5 innovation trends in 2021

Anyone can buy an ad, but when you earn the right to be featured in an article you’re elevated to an entirely new level of credibility and recognition.

Continue reading: Actionable strategies to make the most of B2B sales and marketing in 2021

What is “shared media”?

Social media, baby! Shared media has become a huge component of digital marketing and PR strategies because the majority of consumers use social media. This includes branded content, original content posted on brand platforms, as well as the content that brands share from other outlets.

Shared media has two components, though. It’s about putting content out there, but it’s also about the exchange you have with your audience. Interacting with audiences through shared media, or social media, can boost a brand’s trustworthiness. This could be through Instagram or Facebook Live sessions, through discussions in the comments on LinkedIn, and so on.

What is “owned media”?

Owned media is everything that the company or brand has full control over. Think of a website, a blog, original content, videos, streaming sessions, infographics and white papers. These are the assets that fuel the other three types of media, and they’re equally as important in building a successful marketing strategy.

Owned media is essential because it is the most direct way that potential customers come in contact with your brand.

Specialist ID’s blog is a great example of owned media. The content created on their blog is something they have total control over, and it’s something they can share on their other owned platforms.

SPID Blogs
How does the PESO model work together?

Each element of the PESO model relies on the others. For example, in order to create social posts that drive sales, brands need content to share online — what we would call owned media. In order to grow a following for this owned media, brands need earned media to direct potential buyers to the content. And to direct potential buyers to the content, companies and brands need to share their work online, which is shared media.

Each element is connected. 

Zen PESO Model

Building a successful digital PR and marketing strategy requires all of these facets because,  when combined, they have a greater success rate of reaching the target audience.

Is the PESO model effective? 

We wouldn’t use it if it wasn’t, *wink wink*… It breaks down the different media outlets that companies need to address in order to be seen by potential customers. 

Curious about what this could look like for you? Send us a note — let’s talk it through

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    We work with clients around the globe and turn their brands into industry titans utilizing strategic marketing and PR initiatives. We’d love to help you next!

    Ready for your moment?

    We work with clients around the globe and turn their brands into industry titans utilizing strategic marketing and PR initiatives. We’d love to help you next!