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What is digital media?

By Boom Editorial

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From product images through to TikTok videos, businesses use an increasingly varied mix of digital media to showcase their brands. Discover more about the different categories of digital media, and how a new generation of digital media management tools such as BOOM Worksite can help you achieve maximum returns from media in your marketing mix.

‘Digital media’ refers to any type of content that is created, delivered, consumed and/or shared via digital devices. These devices include not just the obvious ones (computers and mobile) but also things like specialist display equipment such as video wall screens and interactive digital displays. 

What are the different types of digital media? 

Owned digital media

‘Owned’ digital media means any digital material or channel that’s directly under your control. Examples include your website and company apps, ecommerce storefront, social media feeds, webinars, promotional and advertising videos, banner advertisements, email marketing campaigns, eBooks, infographics and brochures. 

With owned media, you decide how, when and where you publish the content. These media tend to form the foundations of a marketing strategy, making it possible to stay in control of your brand message and tone of voice. 

Paid digital media 

This covers media that you have to pay to execute. Examples include affiliate marketing, banners and videos hosted on websites other than your own, pay-per-click ads on Google and paid advertising on social media. 

A paid media campaign often uses owned media as a starting point; for instance, a promotional video on your own website that you repurpose for a YouTube ad. With a digital asset management (DAM) platform such as BOOM Worksite that actually includes video and image editing capabilities, this reusing of owned media for paid purposes becomes a lot easier, quicker and cheaper. 

Earned digital media

Earned media refers to any content about your brand that you haven’t paid for, produced or published yourself. Examples include situations where your product is featured in a social influencer’s unboxing vid, ‘best of’ roundup, customer review or mention. 

These types of independent endorsements are like marketing gold for building customer trust. Especially when it comes to social media, if you can split longer-form content that you own into bite-sized chunks, it can massively increase ‘shareability’, boosting the likelihood of positive mentions. 

Types of digital media 

Digital media content categories include the following: 

Visual collateral. The most widely-used items are logos and photographs (including user-generated images), and especially with the growth of social media marketing, items such as screenshots, gifs and memes. Visual collateral forms the bedrock of most marketing campaigns, which usually means a lot of individual image files to manage. You can find out more about online image management here. 

Video. Video can be super-effective for explainers, video ads, promos and testimonials, as well as for capturing the attention of social media audiences. 

Audio. Examples are branded jingles or theme tunes to boost or reinforce recognition across multiple channels, spoken content to accompany videos (including localized voice tracks in various languages), podcast content and podcast advertising. 

Reports and whitepapers. These include explainer-type reports designed to educate and inform audiences (while also demonstrating your authority), through to much more ‘salesy’ guides showcasing your specific products and services. 

Advertising. Everything ranging from static banner ads, through to videos either created or reformatted for paid channels, through to content optimized for digital billboard or video screen displays. 

Social media. This can include existing images, videos or text extracts cropped or reformatted for different social media platforms. 

Digital news and digital editorial. Examples include blog posts and ‘help center’ type content hosted on your website, as well as similar content created for external sites (often excellent for building brand authority). 

What’s the difference between digital media and digital marketing? 

Digital media really refers to three things: 

  • The digital assets that you use (e.g. images, videos and audio files) 
  • The digital collateral you create from those assets (an Instagram post or landing page, for instance)
  • The digital platforms used to host the collateral (e.g. social channels, website or Amazon Store). 

Digital marketing refers to all the actions you take to produce, distribute and target digital media to your intended audience. 

In other words, digital media mostly describes the assets, content and channels you use, while digital marketing describes how you use them. You can’t have one without the other. 

Why is digital media so important for brands? 

Successful marketing involves understanding how your audience gathers and consumes information and their preferred ways of interacting with brands.

Whatever your specific market, it’s almost certainly the case that your audience uses digital channels for inspiration and information, so fundamentally, your brand’s use of digital media is all about giving your audience what they are looking for. 

More broadly, digital media has transformed the way brands and customers relate to each other. With social media especially, audiences are no longer just passively consuming information; they’re interacting and sharing it. So long as you can manage your digital media content and channels to build and maintain a compelling identity, there’s a massive opportunity to boost your brand. 

How to manage your digital media effectively

For your branding and marketing efforts to hit home with audiences, chances are you are focusing on multiple digital media channels. It’s a lot to keep track of – especially if you want to avoid inconsistent messaging and costly duplication of content production. 

This is where BOOM Worksite proves so valuable. Through a single, cloud-based platform, you get an easy-to-use, searchable hub for storing and actively managing your digital media assets. You even get editing capabilities included, so if you need to repurpose an existing item – to switch from an ‘owned’ to ‘paid’ channel, for instance – you can do it on the fly. 

Find out more about digital asset management with BOOM 

To start realizing maximum value from your digital media, including streamlined management, greater oversight, easier editing and stronger campaigns, explore BOOM here

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