What is earned media?
Earned media is publicity that your company hasn’t paid for. Instead of traditional marketing strategies and promotions, earned marketing is usually created organically, from sources such as online articles, reviews, shared social media posts, word of mouth, or unpaid print articles. While earned media is free in terms of paid advertising costs, it has a huge impact on your company’s credibility, reputation, and sales. Like its name suggests, earned media can’t be paid for – it has to be earned.
Let’s get into how earned media affects your business
Earned media can be frustrating for businesses used to sticking to traditional marketing and advertising methods. It requires more flexibility and creativity as well as a deeper understanding of your target market. However, there are demonstrable benefits to increasing your company’s earned media.
Let’s explore 5 ways earned media impacts your business.
1. Earned Media is Considered Unbiased and Trustworthy
The most important reason why you need to pay attention to your company’s earned media is that it’s not only a reflection of consumers’ opinions of your brand, it’s also incredibly persuasive to new audiences. People consider unpaid third party information to be more reliable than paid advertisements. When your earned media is positive, it results in higher conversion rates, and significantly benefits your brand’s reputation.
2. Increases Brand Awareness
People are constantly inundated with ads, and standing out as a brand is a constant challenge. Earned media is noticed much more often than paid advertising, because it is being shared and talked about organically. This means that people are not only paying attention to earned media, their opinions about your brand are being powerfully influenced by their friends and people they look up to
3. Invaluable for Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization places a high level of importance on link building. Organic traffic to your website is crucial to increase your search engine rankings. The more earned media you attain, the more links will lead back to your website, helping you achieve higher search engine rankings.
4. Earned Media Builds a Following
If you want to build a loyal following, earned media is the way to create a fanbase that is excited about your brand. When your brand is featured on an unpaid post or review, the excitement can be contagious. Earned media is the fastest way to create a culture surrounding your brand, and that leads to brand loyalty. It can also help you discover what customers like or don’t like about your brand, so you can create content they are excited to share.
5. Earned Media Generates Conversions
Conclusively, what every company is concerned about is their bottom line. Earned media has a significantly higher conversion rate than traditional paid advertising and marketing. Creating marketing and advertising strategies that encourage earned marketing is incredibly important in today’s competitive digital age.
So, Can Earned Media Be Cultivated?
The short answer is yes. Earned media can be cultivated by implementing a marketing plan that incorporates creative techniques that encourage an organic response. This may be in the form of shares, reviews, videos, or blog posts.
Network with People Who are Influential in Your Industry
One of the most common ways to cultivate earned media is old-fashioned networking. Many radio stations, print journalists, bloggers and influencers are always looking for new content. By networking with them and creating meaningful relationships before you have something to promote, you are able to get their attention when it is most needed. Go to industry events, and participate in community activities. The more connections you make, the more earned media you will gain as a result.
Produce Content Customers Want to Share
Shareable content is essential to obtaining as much earned media as possible. In order to get people talking about your brand, you must create content your customers want to share with their friends. Pay attention to what is trending with your target market, so you can stay ahead of the curve. The better you know your customers, the more earned media you will have.
Make Social Media Marketing a Priority
Social media marketing isn’t always taken seriously as other types of marketing and advertising, but it is tremendously important for earned media. Your paid marketing should complement your earned media and vice versa. If you don’t create a reliable social media strategy, your earned media may never take off. Create daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals so that you have a straightforward plan and schedule you can stick to. The more reliable your schedule is, the easier it will be for customers and fans to find and follow you.
Cater to Your Target Audience
You should be able to narrow down exactly what your target audience likes and dislikes, as well as what evokes feelings of anger, loss, sadness, and happiness so that you can design compelling content that caters to their tastes as well as emotions. Since earned marketing tends to snowball, the more shareable content you have, the further your reach can go.
Create a Compelling Story
When you make shareable content, focus on creating a compelling story for your brand so that people root for your company. Hone in on the issues that your target market cares about so that your brand begins to represent their point of view. When developing stories for your marketing strategies, creating an ongoing series or collection of ads that people love is a great way to get the ball rolling with earned media when you don’t have anyone reviewing your products or services.
Earned Media: Worth the Effort
Earned media is more than a series of reactions; it is valuable feedback from your customers, basically in real time. Don’t forget to track the results of each earned media campaign, whether it was encouraged by your company or emerged on its own. This allows you to fine-tune your content, in order to create more effective content marketing campaign strategies as time goes on.