Owned, Paid, and Earned Media on YouTube - what do those terms mean for brands and marketers? What does owned media mean when it comes to YouTube? How about earned media? And what is paid media for YouTube? We answer these questions and more this week on ReelSEO TubeTalk: YouTube Video Marketing Tips, with your hosts:

Tip #1: What is Owned Media on YouTube?

Aaron Wysocki says that owned media is your distribution pipeline - how you deliver your product to market. On YouTube the primary place for owned media is your channel page, but he would also add playlists and InVideo programming and branded intros. Owned media is constantly changing on YouTube, so you need to stay ahead.

The first thing you need is great content. Without great content you could do every earned media optimization trick and still not be very successful. You should know your targeted community to reach them. Understand where they are and where to find them. The most important part is to develop a plan and stick to that plan long-term. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Some brands, such as Red Bull, can be successful acting as a content creators. But you should know the best practices of YouTube before going all in. Some brands think it’s TV, but YouTube is an entirely different media platform - you really need to understand the rules of the road before moving forward.

Off of YouTube, your website is your most important owned media platform, social media can be owned, but it’s more like rented media. Every day it’s getting harder to reach your audience through social media. Companies like Facebook have their own goals for their platform, but you control your website. If you don’t have your own website, you’re not using owned media efficiently. Your website should be linked to your YouTube channel using the associated website link, and you can use annotations and info cards to link to it.

Jeremy Vest says that it's getting harder that while much social media could be considered owned media, more and more you need to use paid media with it. According to his research a year ago into the top 100 YouTube viral videos, most went viral on Facebook. So YouTube and other social media aren’t independent of one another. But if you have subscribers on YouTube, that’s very helpful. Jeremy will distribute videos to more than 200 sources, so social media for him is just one component in video distribution.

Some brands fail miserably on YouTube because they think of it like TV. It often takes them a year or two to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Brands should so what they do best, which could be how-to videos, or finding their niche like Red Bull. But finding their authenticity and having really content that people care about is the most important thing. Jeremy believes that every company in America should think of themselves online as a publishing company. It’s the only way to build a real audience. Sometimes brands see YouTube channels like Red Bull and they want to go be something they’re not. It’s good for Red Bull because they’ve integrated themselves into that culture. Content that is not authentic is very bad on YouTube. But if brands can make content that has authenticity and passion and can help people, then they can win if they find the right audience.

Tip #2 What is Earned Media on YouTube?

Dane Golden says that Forrester research defines earned media as "When customers become the channel." Earned media is often, but not always, the result of well-executed owned and paid media.

Dane's company Octoly thinks of earned media on YouTube mainly as fan videos which talk about the brands, but are not hosted on the brand channels. They just finished a report about YouTube and automotive and found that 90% of YouTube videos about automotive brands are created by fans, reviewers and others in YouTube the community. They've found this dominance of earned media to be fairly consistent across YouTube categories. For instance, in Octoly's YouTube and video games report, 96% of videos about brands on YouTube were created by fans rather than the brands themselves.

What what else could earned media be in relation to YouTube? Remember, earned media is "When customers become the channel." So in what ways do the customers become the channel on YouTube? Well, comments could be earned media. They amplify your message. Or they can sometimes create problems for brands. You might even consider it earned media when people add your video to their own playlists. They are amplifying your message. And it's a good question as to whether when people share your video on their own Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest account or blog - is that owned media, or is that earned media?

Aaron said that branded media can be shared or repurposed in a negative way. At TYT they have an 80/20 rule: If a peice of content about them 80% negative or positive they respond. If it's less, they do not respond.

Tip#3: What is Paid Media on YouTube?

Jeremy Vest says that paid media on YouTube has a few different parts to it. One part of paid media is TrueView, Google's AdWords for Video platform. TrueView comes in two forms:

  1. Commercials: These are called InStream, where the viewer watches the first five seconds of an ad before a video they've clicked on.
  2. InDisplay: This also includes InSearch, where people are shown an ad on the right side of the page or at the beginning of search results. You can choose to watch or not. So you get results typical of organic views. This can work out quite well for most brands.

Paid media is when you invite people to watch your content through ads. AdWords Video works well for a lot of brands but Jeremy recommends that brands "slow down" a bit. He says that if you have 10 million views and 9 million of them are paid, it can kill the effectiveness of they channel very quickly. He recommends instead going with $50-$1,000 of investment in coordination with creating authentic content. This will kickstart the organic (free) views. This traffic growth may not be sustainable indefinitely, but it does demonstrate a method where you can drive authentic visibility through paid ads.

Jeremy says that people should know that views don't actually mean that much. Views can have different meanings and values. Some companies use services against YouTube's terms of service to build up "fake views." Eventually these types of services will significantly harm your channel. In addition, fake views don't help you make money, they just give false prestige.

Dane emphasized that often views on brands' YouTube videos have been amplified by paid campaigns, such as pre-rolls and search. A view is not always a view.

Aaron added that when you do paid views on a small scale you have access to a Call To Action overlay, which can help direct them to your website or somewhere else, which is valuable. At TYT they use pre-rolls (InSream) when they want to introduce their content to certain kind of audience that isn't yet following their channel. But authenticity is really important. If you see a video with a million views but 100 likes and five comments, people can smell that it's not authentic views. But the Call To Action overlay is vital.