How the PESO Model Can Improve Your Content Strategy

To ensure your communications programs are a success, you must first create a diverse content strategy.

Pete Kidd

March 14, 2019

To ensure your communications programs are a success, you must first create a diverse content strategy.

A popular communications blueprint is the PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) model. PESO was coined by Gini Dietrich, CEO of Chicago-based firm Arment Dietrich, to put a name to the integrated communications process engaging audiences using a mix of paid, earned, shared and owned media tactics.

Maximizing your audience reach across these four areas can increase your exposure and discoverability and position you as an authority and subject-matter expert.

Let’s look at the PESO model to see how it can support your programs. If you want to go even deeper on content creation best practices, you can check out our on-demand webinar, How to Create Scroll-Stopping Content for Marketing & PR.



Paid Media

Filling the sales funnel is often supported with paid content programs. Advertorials, search engine marketing and third-party email blasts fall into this category. Paid tactics also include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, display ads, influencer marketing programs and social media promotions.

To put this into practice:

  • Use high-value thought leadership content to support demand generation campaigns, gating assets behind a form to capture downloads and marketing qualified leads.
  • Work with partners and third-party sites who can promote your branded content to their audiences and subscribers and provide you with resulting leads.

To measure success:

  • Track and report on leads resulting from paid efforts as they move through the sales funnel.

Earned Media

PR is best known for earned media or a credible third-party endorsement. When someone else talks about your company’s products or services, those comments carry much more weight than when you try to convince others of your company’s worth. Earned media can be editorial coverage in print or online, through reviews and ratings and in comments resulting from your media and blogger relations.

To put this into practice:

  • Craft a media and influencer list, identifying the top blogs, media outlets and individuals to target.
  • Pitch this list with the goal of gaining a link back to your website in the content they share.
  • The content you provide them should contain anchor text and a link to a specific part of your website.

To measure effectiveness:

  • Monitor social and online media for mentions of your brand resulting from your outreach.
  • Track new audiences through increased social followers or visitors to your website, and track share of voice and sentiment across social media.

Shared Media

Here’s where your organization’s social media channels come in to play. Whether it’s your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn properties, your shared media is a collaborative effort with your customers who are commenting and participating actively on your channels. They are openly giving their ideas and feedback to you and having conversations in these shared communities.

Shared media is a great opportunity to interact, learn, and forge deeper relationships, ultimately building trust with the people who will advocate on your behalf.

To put this into practice:

  • Find out where people are already talking about you, your competitors and industry topics and engage them there. Social media listening platforms can help.
  • Create a social media editorial calendar and regularly publish relevant content where your audiences are most active.

To measure effectiveness:

  • Track interactions, comments and engagements in addition to shares, retweets and posts.
  • Track specific activities related to your efforts. For example, webinar registrations or whitepaper downloads resulting from a social post.

Owned Media

When your company creates and hosts its own content, you have control over it. This content can be in the form of: videos, blogs, website pages and brochures, e-books, whitepapers and tip sheets. Owned content lets you tell different types of stories to see what resonates. You can use different content to interact with and more deeply engage your stakeholders.

To put this into practice:

  • Avoid dry, boring, jargon-filled content. Write in a conversational and engaging tone while using examples and testimonials.
  • Create a content plan that is focused on a main topic and related keyword—content that makes sense for both humans and search engines.

To measure effectiveness:

  • Track unique visitors, time spent on website and bounce rate.
  • Track downloads, registrations for webinars and events.

If you’d like to learn even more about PESO and the media mix, check out our recent broadcast, How Owned Media Can Drive Strategic Communications & Brand Growth. Watch our panel of experts discuss how it owned media can drive strategic communications and brand growth.

Author Name
Pete Kidd