Do you know POEM? We are not referring to a poem by a random author. We’re talking about a framework for your digital marketing strategies.

Although you’ve probably seen this term somewhere before, and it’s no longer a mystery for you, this has changed now. It has an additional element – shared media and POEM is now known as PESO. 

Shared media came along with its various media channels, as people react to posts, leave likes, comments, and share the content with others.

What makes them so important for your brand, and why do you need to learn about them more? PESO is a useful concept for anyone attempting to measure the effectiveness of marketing communication. Are you in the same boat? Read on.

What is shared media?

Shared media is intended for user-generated distribution. Essentially, it’s any content shared about your brand on social media, including word-of-mouth marketing content. 

Shared media is completely dependent on factors beyond your direct control. A lot depends on the algorithms, reach, the mood of your audience and current trends, etc. It’s the customer who has control over this communication, not the brand.

Much of the content shared on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., falls under shared media. For example, how often have you seen a viral post because your friend leaves a comment under it? Or, how many times have you seen a post that was shared through a bunch of Instagram Stories?

All of these are shared media, and they often flood the internet so that you no longer know who the author of the post is, or who it originally belongs to. They can, however, give your brand incredible publicity.

Take a look at this example:

In 2019, Spotify launched end-of-year marketing campaigns that were based on individual music tastes and favorite songs. As a result, more than 60 million users started sharing and comparing their results with friends. With over 1.2 million mentions on Twitter, this campaign was a huge hit on social media.

Source

Content can become shared media coincidentally, but the most effective campaigns aren’t the result of chance. It’s not rocket science to use self-explanatory examples like “click to share.” The real challenge is to integrate it into the content so that it is undetectable, and people will share your content without any pressure, just like Spotify.

PESO: Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned Media – key differences and similarities

Okay, but how can you distinguish shared media from other types of media? There is (and should be) a slight difference between the two. There’s a good chance you’re using one of these types of media without even knowing it belongs to one of these particular categories. So, let’s go over each of them.

Source

#Paid media: 

Paid media has changed over the years, and traditional TV commercials, ads in newspapers and radio have become more digital and personalized. They didn’t fully disappear, but they became more recognized as social media campaigns, Google Ads, and paid publishing. In short, paid media includes all advertisements that a brand spends money on.

source: instagram.com

Most countries require clear and prominent disclosure of advertisements, such as using #Ad, #Sponsored, or any other particular footnote stating the content aims to promote. Even though it may not be convenient for some brands, this makes paid media the easiest group to distinguish.

#Earned media

Generally, this refers to content that your brand acquired from others, such as journalists, bloggers, or influencers who have written about your brand. Nevertheless, it also applies to all the mentions about your brand – online customer reviews, recommendations, etc.

The organic nature of earned media makes it the most desired lead generation method. The more people talk about your brand, the more traffic will flow to your content and website.

Even though this type of media is challenging to control, tools such as Mediatoolkit can be utilized to your advantage. This tool monitors social media sites constantly to spot any mentions of your brand. As a result, it makes it much easier to control what people say about your brand and, as a result, better maintain its positive online image.

#Shared media

In addition to the detailed description above, it’s worth pointing out that there is typically a moderate level of control over shared media outcomes. However, the addition of earned and owned media helps boost its effectiveness.

How? As you can see on the model above, shared and earned media overlap. Thanks to that, they create another two influential groups: Shared/Earned media that contains UGC (user-generated content), influencers, charity partnerships, and CSR; and Shared/Owned media containing publishing platforms, content curation, and distribution. 

#Owned media

This describes any content or channel over which an organization has complete control. Once you get to know your audience and establish your purposes, you will create effective and engaging owned media that brings great results.

You can use GIFs, videos, infographics, and anything else that will grab your audience’s attention.

When writing content for your blog, keep SEO (search engine optimization) in mind so that your content will be visible and appear at the top of search results.


PESO is all about practicing a holistic marketing strategy. All these media types blur together to form a coherent whole. As a business owner, you should strengthen each of these components to make your brand marketing successful.

Comparison table

We prepared a comparison table to summarize all PESO elements and make things clear.

PaidEarnedSharedOwned
DefinitionThe brand pays to leverage the channelCustomers become a channelSocial media posts are a channelYou fully control what the channel is
Examplessocial media ads, sponsored content, boosted content, paid publishinglink building, blogger networks, media and PR, word of mouthorganic social, reviews, social forums, private social, media sharing sitescontent marketing, videos, webinars, blog, website
PurposeIncreasing visibility, reaching out to many new potential customersCreating publicity for your brandEngaging many people (especially those in your target audience)Building  long-term relationships with the customers
Proshigh scale, high level of controltrustworthy, low/medium costhigh trust, low costlow risk, low/medium  cost
Consexpensive, low trustno control, hard to monitorunscalable, unpredictablelow trust, low scale
source: smallbiztrends.com and wadds.co.uk

Learn more about PESO and methods of measuring and tracking it
by reading our other article 👉🏻  here!

Why is shared media important for your business?

Have you ever tried estimating how much time you spend each day browsing popular social media apps? Probably not, because social media has become an integral part of our daily lives.

Every second, about 16.5* new users join social media. 57% of the world’s population already own accounts on Instagram, Facebook, or other platforms, and this number continues to grow. No wonder social media has become one of the most important channels to communicate with customers, and so has shared media.

Shared media is now a valuable tool to build brand awareness and community around the brand. It reaches a large group of people, and as a result, drives greater brand recognition.

Source: undraw.co

You are able to direct contact with customers, promote your brand, and build an engaged community around your business with social media. It also lets people discuss and share your social media posts to get noticed. Shared media is a powerful tool to reach out to potential customers. Make use of it.

To achieve these benefits, you will definitely need compelling and exciting content. But what motivates people to share the content? Research shows that, firstly, they’ll share when they find the content interesting/amusing. Secondly, they think it will be helpful to their recipients. 

When people come across content that shows they feel has informative value and cheers them up a bit, they want to engage with it – they leave comments, like, or just react to them.

See if this works for you, too.

Which channel should I use? 

Even though shared media is essential, it cannot be your sole focus. A successful marketing plan involves taking care of all the components of the PESO model. By using a variety of media, you can create well-planned activities.

One channel can’t reach all your potential customers. In many cases, channels are determined by the client’s preferences, who sometimes use social media, while at other times, only a browser.

Does having more channels mean better results? Not exactly. As such, we need to select channels based on a thorough analysis of the specific sources of user acquisition and diversify the strategy appropriately. Moreover, to maximize profits, you have to choose channels that are within your budget.

Why is balance so important? 

Since each media has its strengths and weaknesses, combining them into a single communication strategy will make the marketing activities more effective.

The digital world has such fierce competition that organic traffic is a rarity. In such a setting, getting noticed can be tricky. However, you can enhance your communication by optimizing the value and effectiveness of shared media and integrating it with other channels such as referral marketing.

There is also one more thing that you can do to optimize the media and find out which ones work best. Track them all and see what works for you. Media monitoring tools are the simplest and most effective way to do so. Because the tracking and measuring are automated, these tools take care of all the work for you and offer an abundance of advanced features.

To wrap it up

In today’s world, shared media plays a significant role, and your customers’ reactions to your social media activity act as a third-party validation for your message. Therefore, make sure you use the PESO model as a roadmap of your marketing efforts and diversify your content using different channels.

As a result, you can reach out to your potential customers more effectively and, in turn, make your digital marketing more successful.


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