Why You Need to Focus on Earned and Owned Media in Your Healthcare Marketing


“Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.” – Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey

In a Nielsen global survey, word-of-mouth, recommendations from friends and online consumer reviews are the most trusted forms of advertising. Althought ad spending in paid media is on the rise, consumer trust in these mediums continues to decline.

“Although television advertising will remain a primary way marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach compared to other media, consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible. As a result, successful brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.” – Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen

The terms “earned, owned and paid media” have become popular as a way to categorize and prioritize all of the media options available to us. To be sure we are speaking the same language, I’ve provided a summary of how each is defined below.

  • Owned media: Owned media are the channels your hospital brand controls, such as your website, mobile site, blog and Twitter account.
  • Earned media: Earned media occurs when consumers become the channel. It includes word-of-mouth, buzz, “viral”.
  • Paid media: Paid media are the channels you pay to be on, such as television, radio, display ads, paid search and sponsorships.

Earned media is a result of listening and responding and can be achieved through a well-executed, well-coordinated owned and paid media campaign. One of its drawbacks is the lack of control when it comes to negative feedback or comments. But this shouldn’t prevent you from being in this space because the reality is that you can’t stop it.

The most important thing to remember is that earned media is an opportunity for your hospital or health system to engage with its healthcare audience. And a big part of engagement is responding to any and all comments you get – the good and the bad. You will want to treat every interaction as an opportunity to convert a consumer into an advocate for your healthcare brand, even if the reason they contacted you was a negative one.

To review more insights from the Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey, click here.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK

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