While paid media used to be the king until recent times, earned media has quickly risen to prominence ever since the advent of social media and online public relations tactics. Communicators, marketers, and business owners are now looking to refine their conventional strategies with earned media in focus.
The aim is to reach their target customers more effectively and quickly while also ensuring optimization of resources. Earned media emerges as a relevant tool for achieving these objectives.
Understanding Earned Media
Put simply, earned media refers to the organic coverage or promotion of a brand or its products from other mouths, without having to compensate them for it. It is the toughest media type to get, though one of the most important, impactful, and genuine.
From reviews to media coverage, guest posts to mentions, social shares to ‘free’ influencer marketing – earned media encompasses all such resources of publicity that you have ‘earned’ organically, and not ‘paid’ or ‘owned’. It stands out from the crowd of different media types chiefly because brands do not own or control it.
Why is Earned Media Important for your Brand?
Marketing may have evolved from traditional banners and billboards to social media posts, but the consumer’s buying process is still the same. One of the key stages in the cycle is information search, which never restrict to the company’s paid or owned media alone.
Customers are looking for recommendations and reviews from family, friends, and even strangers online. Influencers are playing a huge role in shaping customer decisions. Earned media mentions through such sources shape a genuine brand image for your business or offering and play an incredible role in its reputation.
Types of Earned Media
Earned media itself can be classified into an array of types and examples, all of which have a common denominator – they are organic and can take a lot of time to build up. Indirectly, however, each of these types of links back to your community building and PR strategy.
It is common for users to head over to sites like Yelp, Google My Business, TripAdvisor, and so on to share honest reviews about their experiences with a brand, product, or service. A Brightlocal study suggests that around 87% of customers read online reviews for local businesses before proceeding to buy from them.
Journalists are not writing sponsored content most of the time, except for certain types of publications, advertisements. And sponsorship segments which run entirely on paid media. Most publications acknowledge stories and write about people, brands, and initiatives without being paid to do so if it is newsworthy.
Social Media Influencers
Social media shoutouts not restrict to influencers alone. An individual who has just purchased your product or used your service can go online and appreciate it within their circle. However, if this comes from an influencer with a prominent fan base. The earned media will reach many more eyes and ears within a short time.
How do You ‘Earn’ Earned Media?
An effective PR strategy can implement by businesses who want to make the most out of it. Unlike active marketing and advertising, where you reach out to journalists, publications. And influencers to tie up with them in paid collaborations for spreading the word about your service. You can promote yourself and your product’s qualities get notice.
Our PR company specializes in planning and implementing effective PR strategies for increasing your chances of getting noticed and obtaining earned media. Here are some of the common tactics that we can deploy for you:
- Creating and maintaining media relationships to keep them informed about your developments
- Creating interesting and engaging content that is worth sharing and can influence a wider customer base, possibly even influencers
- Utilize all your content and communications distribution channels to get more eyes and ears on your work
It may be entirely organic. But it can certainly ‘earn’ by placing well-crafted communication and PR strategy in place. It is one of those types of media that all businesses. And marketers can benefit from, but very few can secure. The only way out is a comprehensive strategy dotted with constant efforts to get noticed.