The PESO marketing model is a great way to organize your efforts in your strategy to make sure all of your bases are covered.

This framework identifies the four types of media: paid, earned, shared, and owned. It is designed to help you see how each of these works together to maximize your strategy and identify any weak points you need to strengthen.

The PESO model was proposed by marketing expert Gini Dietrich in 2014 and was well received by PR and marketing professionals. It was recently updated to integrate some of the more current trends in the marketing and PR world. Here is a breakdown of the PESO model and how it can be used to boost your marketing strategy.

The Four Media Types

The PESO model has identified which media types exist in the digital marketing world and what you need to do to merge them successfully.

  • Paid Media can be social media ads, sponsored content, email campaigns, influencers, big commercials and printed ads.
  • Earned Media is your publicity, getting your name in print. This can be through guest blogging, having a company write about you, and more.
  • Shared Media is social media. This is the content you post on your social media accounts that is then shared by your users. Shared media has become one of the most important forms of marketing, as social media has become such a huge part of our lives.
  • Owned Media is your content that lives on your site. This can be your blog, testimonials, videos, and more. It is completely your content and it gives the message you want your brand to have.

These can be integrated to give your brand authority and boost your reach. Let’s take a closer look at each media type and its pros and cons.

Paid Media

This form of media has long been one of the most mainstream uses for marketing. Long before the digital age, people and companies could pay to take out an ad in the newspaper, buy a billboard, record a radio ad, or make a TV commercial. While these are still viable options that marketers still use, there is much more to paid media now. With how social media and search algorithms are designed these days, you need to have at least some paid content to help you reach your audience.

You can put out ads on social media now, or “boost” a social media post that seems to be outperforming others; putting ads in search engines is also an option many choose. When it comes to social media, hiring influencers to help spread the word to your target audience is common, and people tend to trust those more than a paid advertisement, even though they are essentially the same thing.

Sponsored content is another form of paid media. You write out a blog or article that is essentially an advertisement for your brand, and you pay other companies to post it for you.


  • Guaranteed exposure
  • Spreads quickly
  • Scalable to broaden distribution


  • People are skeptical of paid ads
  • This can get expensive
  • When you stop spending on ads, you will see a drop in returns

Earned Media

This kind of media can be a press release, guest blogging, organic influencers, reviews or testimonials, some user-generated content, and media relations. While you can write some of this content yourself, a lot of earned media is completely out of your hands. This means it may not always be favorable media, but the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity may hold true, depending on your industry. This can also be accomplished by an established PR firm such as Bellevue Public Relations


  • Increases your brand authority
  • It is inexpensive
  • These can boost your SEO in the long-term


  • You cannot guarantee getting mentioned in the press or that your guest blog will be published
  • It is hard to scale in a high volume

Shared Media

Social media is a vitally important part of any marketing strategy. It is no secret that if you want to reach a bigger audience, you need to be active on social media. Shared content is just that, people enjoy whatever you posted, and they share it with their friends, getting your message out to more people. As a result, we now have boosted posts available on many social media platforms. You post something that has a huge response, much bigger than your usual posts, so you can then pay the social platform to boost the post and reach an even bigger group. Word-of-mouth has always been an important strategy, and that is what shared content is all about, it is your digital word-of-mouth.

There are tons of social media platforms these days to choose from, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They all have a different demographic, so spending some time researching that before you post is a good idea.


  • A higher trust between the message and audience
  • Since this is shared from your social media, it is a low cost


  • It is unreliable; you cannot predict what will be shared or go viral
  • This is not scalable; more content does not mean more shares

Owned Media

This is any content that your organization has complete control over — like apps, websites, videos, podcasts, marketing communications, and emails. This is where you shape the message you want to share with your audience.


  • Works in the long-term if you can keep your content relevant
  • Lower risk
  • Higher predictability


  • It can take time to build trust with an audience

Putting PESO to Use

One of the big benefits of PESO framework is that it shows us exactly how channels can work together to make our marketing strategies more successful. They can encourage you to step out of the marketing channels you are most comfortable with and look at how to make those channels interact with some you may be less comfortable working with. Overall, this can help make you a better marketer.

You can start small; you do not have to tackle every piece of media in a day. Pick something that overlaps with something you are more comfortable with using and work on mastering that. Take your time, rushing your strategy will only lead to headaches, and it will be less successful overall.