Original, Owned, and Shared Content

Posted Jul 23rd, 2014 in Social Media, Strategic Communications

Original Owned Shared ContentWhat is the difference original, owned, and shared content? And how do I integrate each of them into my marketing strategy?

"nihil novi sub sole" ("there is nothing new under the sun") – Ecc. 1:9

Original Content

No idea may be truly original, but you can bring all those ideas together and create something new. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT.  When you take that original content and post it on your owned media channels than it becomes OWNED CONTENT.

With the proliferation of information now available to us through the internet, how can you be sure your ideas are original?

If you are anything like me, you are reading/watching/listening to the latest news and trends all the time to stay current.  So how do you keep sorted out what are your own ideas and what you've learned from someone else. Many people within each industry experience similar situations, read similar articles, and connect with the same people, so it is likely their thoughts and ideas will cross paths.

The Oxford Dictionary Definition of Original says original is...

  1. Present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest:
  2. Created directly and personally by a particular artist; not a copy or imitation.
  3. Not dependent on other people’s ideas; inventive or novel

Examples of Original Content

A case study / success story is the work that YOU did.  There may be similarities to what other people have done, but this is YOUR story to tell.  It will give your reader an idea of the work you do, and they may be interested in hiring you to do something similar for them.

A book review – You may be offering some insights on what you gleaned from reading the book, but typically you highlight the key takeaways from the book.  This is mostly a regurgitation of someone else’s work. What are the Pros of this type of review?  You are a resource to your audience.  If they trust your opinion they will appreciate you screening the book for them. What are the Cons?  You are not telling YOUR story.  Your readers will leave your website to learn more about the book.  Unless you are selling the book through your website, this won’t be the deciding factor for the reader to become your client.

Owned Content

Owned Content is when you create something unique (original) for your audience (e.g. written article, video, graphic, podcast) and publish it on your owned media channel (such as your website, a microsite, your Social Media profiles).  This content cannot be a carbon copy of something else, but it may be similar or contain information from another source [1].

You can have original content that is put on someone else’s website (i.e. as a guest blogger). You own it as an author, but since it is not on your website, you have limited access to it after they post it.  It is recommended that you discuss who ‘owns’ the rights to this information once you press send.

Shared Content

Sometimes you can have someone else’s original content posted on your website.  This is considered shared content (you are sharing their content).  If you share a post on Facebook, or Retweet something, this is also considered shared content.

An example of this would be a supplier creating a YouTube video about one of the products you sell.  There have been questions about whether you own your videos when you post it to YouTube / Vimeo.  As per their terms [2] it is my understanding that you still have ownership of your videos.  Know your rights. Check the terms and conditions when posting content to any Social Media or 3rd party site.

What are the advantages to having someone else’s content on your website? One is that you didn’t have to pay for the production of the video.  The down-side is that when they click on the content it may take them away from your website.  Be careful, if the owner decides to take down that video from their YouTube account, you will have a broken link [3].

For those with Wordpress Websites - If you do have quite a bit of shared content on your Wordpress website, there is a plugin called Broken Link Checker that will scan for broken links.  This also pertains to reference links that you may have at the end of your blogs or pages that you have deleted on your site.  For SEO, it is important to keep your website up to date.

What type of content should you include in a content marketing strategy?

  1. First, review your business goals and then have a look at your entire communications plan (traditional & digital, public relations, internal, social media, etc.). 
  2. Always think a balance of all three to get the best results.
  3. Measure KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) & keep track of how you are using your various department budgets. 
  4. Sales, HR, PR and Marketing need to work together!  This takes strong leadership and clear two-way communications (internal & external) to make sure you aren’t being redundant, and you are efficiently using the resources available from all business units.
  5. And last but not least, stay agile so you can respond to the needs of your stakeholders and the demands of this fast-paced market.

Integrated Content Marketing Flow Chart Sample

Some suggested shared and original content, and how to share them on your owned media channels (email, website, social media). Integrated-Content-Marketing-Plan-Chart


  • [1] Give credit where credit is due.  If you do know your source, make sure you reference it.
  • [2] YouTube terms of ownership -  For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your Content. However, by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.
  • [3] What is a Broken Web Link? Text or content that you want people to click on to go to for more information (either another page on your website, or another website) has an embedded hyperlink put in when designing the webpage content.  If for some reason the page that this link is directed towards is no longer available, it will go to a blank page often with an error message.  This is considered a broken link.
  • Related Research Paper - The Converged Media Imperative (Altimeter Group, 2012)

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