You may know of earned, owned and paid media by another name. It is also known as bought media. It is a type of media that is used throughout the industry and a type of media that even a small business owner can appreciate. Once a “new” method of advertising, it has quickly become “the” method for doing so.

Take a look at some of these media types and what they really mean. Let’s get you up to date on what you can expect in this area.

Owned Media: It is a channel of brand controls, such as a website, a Twitter account or a blog. This type of media works to build long term relationships with customers and, although it does not offer any guarantees and takes time to work, it does provide good control, a low cost, versatility, and longevity.

Paid Media: This type of media occurs when the brand pays to leverage a channel, such as display ads and sponsorships. It allows for a shift in media. It helps to feed owned media and creates earned media. It offers various benefits, including being in demand and provides immediate results. However, it has seen declining response rates and can hurt credibility.

Earned Media: A third type is earned media. Here, the customer becomes the channel. Sounds interesting? In this type of media, which includes WOM, viral, and Buzz examples, there is a listen and respond method. In other words, this media comes from good owned and paid media. It is perhaps the most credible form and it is a key component in virtually all sales. There’s no control over it and it can be negative, though. It’s also a method that’s hard to measure overall.

As a small business, which type of media are you focusing on? If you said that you are working on all of these areas, you would be on the right track. However, many small businesses find it difficult to create this type of plan. In other words, it can be hard to focus on numerous methods at one time. However, you do not have to be the media expert. What you can be, though, is a small business owner that uses the right tools to make it work. That sometimes includes having the right professionals working on your team to complete these goals.

Mark van Berkel is Founder and President of Hunch Manifest Inc. While managing business operations he also leads the team in designing semantic technology to provide personalized online presence and reputation management services. Prior to forming the company, he was consultant in enterprise software projects to companies including Panasonic, Shell, and General Electric and was an Architect for a world leading human capital management software-as-a-service. Mark holds a Bachelor of Information Systems from StFX University and did his graduate studies at University of Toronto, getting a MEng Industrial Information Engineering and an MBA, Strategy and Innovation from the Rotman School of Management. In 2006 he published a 170 page report as a researcher at the Semantic Technologies Lab at the University of Toronto and built a semantic technology prototype for SAP Research Labs. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn or Twitter. Mark is also certified in Google Analytics.