A beginner’s guide to earned media: High impact, low-cost marketing
Modern businesses are saving money on marketing by using earned media. They aim to provide high-quality products and services to encourage their audience to share or discuss their offerings online for free.
Unfortunately, marketers cannot wholly control the earned media they receive online. By creating an effective earned media strategy, they can spend less of their marketing budget and invest in other business areas. In this article, you will learn high-impact, low-cost marketing tactics that can help increase your earned media.
What marketers must know about earned media
Earned media refers to any publicity or exposure that brands gain from campaigns that are not paid advertising. It is online word of mouth, usually demonstrated in the form of viral posts, shares, mentions, reviews, reposts, recommendations, or content.
One of the most influential driving forces behind earned media is a combination of effective organic rankings on search engines and high-quality content. These two factors are typically the most significant drivers of earned media.
High rankings on search engines can effectively position your brand to receive higher shares and engagement. This fact highlights the importance of an effective search engine optimization strategy (SEO) for brands that want more earned media.
How brands get earned media
There are several types of earned media, and they all take effort and time to build up. Below are the most popular sources of earned media today.
- Media coverage
Some people may consider media coverage as paid media, which can be true for certain types. Ad spots online or sponsored articles are media coverage that brands pay for and control.
However, the media coverage that serves as earned media are the ones that mention a brand even without any payment.
For example, a gift guide that includes your product or your company launches something newsworthy, and news sites cover the event.
- Review sites
Earned media from review sites includes feedback from TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google My Business (GMB), for example. Remember that positive and honest reviews can be earned media gold for most brands.
According to a survey from tech firm PowerReviews, 99.9 percent of buyers read reviews when looking for products online. The numbers highlight the importance of reviews to a buyer’s purchase decision.
If you want to boost conversions through earned media, creating an effective online review strategy is a must.
- Social media shoutouts
There are many ways modern brands can receive social media shoutouts or user-generated content (UGC). Previous customers who had a fantastic experience doing business with you will be encouraged to promote your brand on social media.
They can also recommend your product to their friends and followers online, which is also a form of social media shoutout. Another form of this earned media is posting a viral video and having your audience repost it.
Although you cannot control what people post online about your brand, you can still encourage them to say something positive about your business.
Remember that you can control how you want to present your brand online, your product quality, and your content’s relevance. These three factors can impact what your followers say about your brand on social media.
Consider reposting a brand mention on other networks to capitalize on brand shoutouts. For example, a Twitter user made a short thread highlighting how your point-of-sales or POS system helped make their payment process easier for their business. You can take screenshots of the thread and post them on other sites, like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- Search engine results
Remember that search engine sites take note whenever you create public content for your website. If a blog post you recently wrote answers a search query, you can appear on the first page of the results.
Although you can use paid search advertising to guarantee placement, you can use SEO to obtain free placement organically.
There are many factors to consider when developing an SEO strategy, including keyword research and technical site creation practices. However, one critical foundational element is publishing high-quality and valuable posts that address your audience’s needs.
Make sure to align your content with your marketing personas’ interests and search intent to create relevant content for your audience.
Tips and tricks to boost earned media
The type of publicity earned media can offer can be more valuable than paid advertising because behind the messages are human voices. Moreover, it can be more personalized and targeted to your audience.
This section outlines tips and tricks to help you get more earned media. After reading, you will know how to start a successful earned media campaign.
Boost customer satisfaction
A survey published in 2022 shows that 59 percent of customers from all over the world have a more favorable view of companies that respond to queries on social media.
Unfortunately, only a few brands have mastered the art of social customer care. However, when executed correctly, social customer care can inspire social shoutouts.
Remember that people notice when you go above and beyond for your audience. If you want regular shoutouts, ensure your customer experience team takes care of your buyers by providing unique and positive experiences.
Remember that the key to a successful media strategy is consistency. Establish your brand as the go-to for expert resources and insightful commentary by providing the same high-quality services.
Make sure to deliver on your promises to look credible in front of your audience. Otherwise, you are wasting the time and effort you invest in boosting earned media.
Develop media relationships
Media relationships can also help brands get more earned media. These connections are like any other relationship, and they need constant nurturing. Members of the press may not need your product immediately. However, if you have successfully established a working relationship, they might consider it when an opportunity arises.
If you want to boost your earned media strategy, take the time to foster media relationships. Doing so can help increase brand mentions naturally.
Publish engaging and exciting content
Sharing engaging and interesting content is a must in content marketing. If your content strikes the right chord with the audience, readers will feel compelled to share it. Reposts, retweets, and reshares count as earned media, so post something that resonates with your audience.
Spend less on costs while boosting conversions
If you want to spend less on marketing, you should have an effective earned media strategy. This tactic lets you get the most out of your content and SEO campaigns.
By creating an effective earned media strategy, you can get more attention and boost conversion without spending much of your marketing budget.