Media is essential for brands that want to get their name out there. Brands must initiate and nurture conversations around their business to attract the attention of existing and potential customers.
Growing new audiences and engaging with them is the number-one goal of marketers worldwide. To do this, one must use a diverse mix of media and content under a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Earned media is an integral part of any content marketing mix. Keep reading to learn about earned media and how you can incorporate it into your strategy.
Understanding Earned Media
In marketing, you can have three types of media: earned, paid, and owned.
Paid media refers to advertisements that require payment. These ads can appear in print, broadcast, and online avenues. The process is straightforward: You buy an advertising slot and provide your desired assets. The advertiser then places your media on their platform.
Owned media refers to the media and platforms you create, control, and own. This media type includes your website content, white papers, social media posts, videos, etc. You get to publish these pieces of media on your platforms.
In comparison, earned media covers content or material about your brand that you don’t own and can’t control. It includes those that other creators, publishers, and users post without any request or compensation from you.
Earned media may include the following:
- Features by other writers
- Social media comments
- User-generated content (UGC)
It comes without any monetary costs, but you must first get the attention of these individuals or firms to get them to produce content for you.
Paid and owned media like the ones you get from services offered by companies like Grey Smoke Media are essential parts of your content strategy. However, they might be unable to access a significant portion of your target audience.
People can easily spot intentional advertising or promotion as they gain more access to media content and marketing tactics. For this reason, they might ignore blatant advertisements and promotional content that comes directly from brands.
In contrast, earned media helps you reach this subset of your target audience. People are more likely to trust external or unbiased sources and their peers when making purchasing decisions.
It’s vital to nurture your reputation and craft a strategy that can help you get more earned media.
Examples of Earned Media
Earned media can take different forms. Some can be positive, while others can be negative. Developing a presence that can help you gain these media pieces takes time.
Here are some examples of earned media that can help your overall media presence.
Reviews posted on review sites or individual blogs or platforms are typical examples of earned media. Positive and honest reviews could do wonders for your reputation. Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and similar platforms are common places to receive earned media.
Having a collection of good reviews on external sites can benefit any business. Many consumers do their research online and read reviews before making any purchases. Seeing honest reviews can help them form their decisions.
Media coverage can sometimes fall under paid media, especially if you place an advertisement or a sponsored post. However, you can also earn media coverage, especially if you have built a solid reputation and have something interesting to contribute.
This type of earned media can be particularly valuable, especially from a reputable and popular outlet.
Gaining positive media coverage can bring your brand to the attention of the publisher’s readership. It’s also easier for new people to find and recognize your brand once you have the implied endorsement of a well-known and trusted publisher.
Social media posts
Another way to get earned media is through social media posts and user-generated content (UGC). Social media has afforded ordinary people a platform to create and publish their own content.
Some of this content can include reviews and documentation of their experience with a particular product or service. Like reviews, these posts can gain traction and influence other people’s purchasing decisions.
You can also consider strategizing with social media influencers. These individuals possess significant online followings that they could influence to buy products or take specific actions. If your brand makes it to an influencer’s feed, you could experience a significant boost in audience attention.
Tips for a Successful Earned Media Strategy
Earned media comes with significant benefits. However, gaining a substantial earned media portfolio takes time. When developing and executing an earned media strategy, it’s essential to acknowledge the work and time needed to achieve success.
Below are some tips to help your earned media strategies gain more traction and become more successful.
Create engaging content
While creating content falls under owned media, a successful marketing campaign centered around content production can help you gain earned media.
Here’s the key: Create content and run your business in a way that engages audiences. This approach makes audiences, including new and existing customers, feel compelled to share your content and talk about your brand.
While earned media significantly differs from paid and owned media, these different media types can complement each other. You can craft an owned or paid media strategy to attract and engage audiences who can create earned media for you.
Establish and nurture media relationships
Having writers and other media people on your side can significantly boost your chances of earning complimentary exposure. Building and nurturing relationships with journalists, reporters, columnists, bloggers, and the like is vital for publishing and earning media opportunities.
Make sure to forge genuine relationships, especially when working on earned media. A journalist might not write a promotional article for you immediately. However, if an opportunity or relevant topic comes up, your brand will come to mind.
Positive earned media is often a sign of trust. For this reason, you will need to demonstrate the expertise and trustworthiness of your brand to earn external acclaim.
Print, broadcast, and online journalists often consult experts when writing articles or creating multimedia pieces to lend credibility to their work.
If your brand has proven its expertise and credibility in your field, writers and journalists will likely go to you for expert quotes. You could discuss your industry and how your brand contributes to it.
Provide excellent customer service
Fifty-nine percent of customers worldwide have a favorable view of brands responding to social media questions and comments. Engaging with customers and answering their concerns are excellent ways to improve customer service practices.
New and existing customers are an excellent source of earned media. Through social media and word-of-mouth, they can easily share their experiences with your brand, whether positive or negative.
Thus, providing excellent customer service and experience is critical to building your reputation. Focus on improving your operations, offering quality products and services, and providing helpful customer service experiences.
Enrich Your Earned Media Credibility To Boost Business
Building your brand’s good reputation takes time and effort, and both are necessary when trying to get earned media. However, these efforts are often worth it. Earned media can help you create a favorable presence and impression with audiences that can translate into tangible business growth.