Back in the day, PR folks primarily focused on story placements and impressions. Marketers and PR professionals eventually combined forces to enhance brand storytelling across owned and earned media efforts. Eventually, online advertising made an aggressive upward shift to add a third layer of support to the integrated marketing mix. Needless to say, the convergence of paid, owned and earned media has come about in full force.

Jeremiah Owyang recently posted some great insights, findings and vision detailing how this conversion has come to life:

Any agency or content marketer worth their salt tackles each and every new project with this integrated approach top of mind. From audience targeting and insight strategy through creative platform development, tactical execution, measurement and analysis – a marketer’s toolkit must now seed across all three areas of earned, owned and paid media.

The current challenge for many brands is understanding when, how and why to use paid support around the content you publish. From an external support perspective, integrated communications agencies are the ones that sit at the core of a brand’s story. They are the force behind the messaging and development of targeted content that is intended to engage a select audience segment and ultimately, to drive an actionable result. That being said, it’s grand thinking to assume that your content will always be so fantastic that it needs no additional boost to draw eyeballs and engagement beyond organic reach. In today’s environment, media outlets are moving quick (or have already moved) to restrict the purely organic reach of your content. If you’re not strategically planning and budgeting to use paid support to amplify the reach and engagement around your content, you are missing out on maximizing your investment in creating content in the first place.

Facebook ads, promoted tweets, video ads, paid search, sponsored content, banner ads…it can feel like a full time gig to continually make sense of this changing landscape and keeping up with the current trends around paid content. I’ve listed a few resources below to get you started on staying on top of trends:


Insightful and timely posts brought to you by the folks at GigOM.

2. Ad Age Digital

Needless to say, a highly credible resource with excellent trend insights for social advertisers.

3. Inside Facebook

Check out the advertising category to stay on top of breaking news and insights around Facebook advertising (hint, lots of recent changes on the platform).

4. Outbrain Blog

Outbrain is a content discovery platform that works with publishers to increase audience engagement or amplify content. The team recently put forth a great post helping put parameters and definition around native advertising.

5. Sharethrough Blog and

Solid data around native advertising. is also a great content trend tracker to see what’s driving engagement in real-time.

Have other favorite resources for tracking paid content trends? Be sure to add below.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Thanks Scott! Great blog post… it illustrates why I wanted to make a career change to PR. Exciting integration and ways to make our client’s message more effective.


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