What are Media Strategies? Types and Tips

Updated March 10, 2023

Most businesses use some form of media to advertise or market their company's products and services. Being aware of the different types of media strategies and how they work enables marketing professionals and business owners to better choose the best options for their unique goals and needs. In this article, we explore what media strategies are, the primary types of media strategies and tips to keep in mind when implementing a media strategy to increase success.

What are media strategies?

A media strategy is a type of strategy that implements the use of a particular media to achieve advertising or marketing goals. Media strategies are frequently used in advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness and interest in a company's products or services. However, media strategies often don't solely center around promoting a product or service; rather, they work to get the right message in front of the right people to draw in more of a company's target audience both in the short term and long term.

Today, many media strategies implemented by businesses are done so on social media platforms. This is because most people spend a significant amount of time on social media and even shop for and make purchases on these platforms.

Related: Creating a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Types of media strategies

Understanding the different types of media strategy is key when deciding which one to implement to achieve your desired outcome. The following are the primary types of media strategies:

Media concentration strategy

A media concentration strategy is an approach that focuses only on a select few types of media to reach a distinct target audience. Whereas some other media strategies incorporate the use of several media types, a media concentration approach narrows down the types of media used based on a specific target audience's trends. For example, a company may choose to only advertise or market on a specific social media platform rather than divvying up its resources to market on multiple social media platforms.

This type of strategy is ideal for companies that only want to attract a particular audience rather than a broader customer base. For example, a company that makes pool tables likely doesn't want to market to a broad audience as many people aren't in the market for purchasing a pool table. So, the company is more likely to use a media concentration strategy to reach a select group of consumers the company knows is interested in purchasing this type of product.

Related: 20 Marketing Tactics That Work and How To Use Them (With Examples)

Media dispersion strategy

A media dispersion strategy is an approach that uses a large variety of media types to reach a broad audience. This approach is most frequently used when a company's target audience can't be reached by marketing on only a few media platforms. A company using a media dispersion approach may place advertisements in several different media categories such as radio, social media, television and search engines. Using this strategy allows a business to reach a mass audience that may or may not be interested in its goods or services.

Earned media strategy

An earned media strategy refers to a marketing and advertising approach that aims to gain media or publicity organically. This is considered one of the best types of media strategies because it requires no payment or commission and is generated by a third party. Earned media strategies work because they increase trust in a brand or company through the promotion of that brand or company by others or third-party credibility. For example, a customer is more likely to purchase a product they see their favorite social media influencer using than they are a product they see a paid ad for.

Examples of earned media include:

  • Blog posts

  • Social media shares

  • Customer testimonials and reviews

  • Social media mentions

  • Newspaper and magazine articles

  • Social media reposts

Paid media strategy

A paid media strategy refers to a media approach in which the company promotes its content, services or goods through paid advertisements. These paid ads can be placed on various platforms, including social media, TV and radio. For example, pay-per-click advertising is a type of paid media that charges the company a small fee every time a user clicks on its ad.

Other examples of paid media include:

  • Paid ad placements

  • Branded content

  • Display ads

  • Influencer collaborations

Paid media often works best in tandem with other types of media strategies such as earn media. It's a good way to attract potential customers but typically isn't used as the only media approach. Too much paid media can have more of a negative than a positive effect on target consumers as it can come off as pushy or forced.

Owned media strategy

An owned media strategy refers to an approach in which a company uses its own media to advertise or market its products or services. For example, posting information about an upcoming product launch on your company's blog is a type of owned media strategy. Owned media is any online property that is owned by the company or brand. Examples of owned media include social media platforms, websites and blogs. Having more owned media channels allows a company to have a larger digital footprint and reach more potential customers.

Related: 10 Types of Social Media to Promote Your Brand

Tips for marketing with media strategies

The following are a few key tips to consider when implementing a media strategy for your company:

  • Learn what you can about your ideal audience: Before you can choose the most appropriate media strategy, you must first understand your ideal target audience. If your audience spends most of its time on Instagram, you may want to focus much of your media strategy efforts on this particular social media platform. The better you know your audience, the more successful you'll be at identifying which strategy will be more effective for your goals.

  • Get clear on your goals: It's important to have a solid understanding of what you wish to accomplish when using a media strategy. Knowing your goals will help you determine the best media strategy to use. For example, if you only want to reach a small target audience, you'd likely want to consider a media concentration strategy. If your budget is limited, you may wish to use an earned media strategy.

  • Look at what your competitors are doing: Analyzing what your competitors are doing in terms of media strategies allows you to assess what is and isn't working for them. Conduct a competitive analysis to see who your competition is, how they are using media strategies and what they're doing well in terms of media strategies. Use this information to find any opportunities your competitors may have missed and consider focusing on networks your competitors aren't on or doing well on.

  • Analyze your current media strategy efforts: Many companies already use various forms of media, especially social media, to promote their products and services. It's important to analyze how your current media efforts perform on each platform to help make informed decisions and find any areas of improvement to focus on. Consider these questions: How does your social media efforts compare to your competition? What is the engagement rate on your social media posts and ads? Which networks do you experience the most success with?


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