1. Definition Earned Media?
Earned media refers to any publicity or brand exposure gained through organic or non-paid avenues. Unlike advertising (paid media) where brands pay to have their message displayed, earned media is essentially “free” coverage that comes from third-party sources. This could be in the form of media coverage, word of mouth, customer reviews, shares on social media, mentions in blog posts, or any other organic mention of a brand or its content.
2. How does earned media differ from paid and owned media?
Understanding the difference between earned media, paid media, and owned media is crucial. Each type of media in marketing plays a distinct role in a successful digital marketing strategy.
1. Earned Media: The Organic Champion
Earned media is one of the most valuable forms of media. It’s essentially free media, the exposure you earn through word-of-mouth, social media mentions, or media coverage. Examples of earned media include positive reviews, social media shares, or articles about your brand. This form of earned media is not paid for and is considered more trustworthy by consumers.
2. Paid Media: The Purchased Exposure
In contrast, paid media involves any marketing that requires payment, like paid ads or paid social media posts. Paid advertising allows for more control over the placement and audience, but it’s often viewed with more skepticism by consumers.
3. Owned Media: The Brand’s Personal Platform
Owned media encompasses all the content a company controls, such as its website, blog sites, and social media accounts. It’s the content you create and publish on your own platforms. Owned media is essential for sharing across your social networks to boost your earned media.
4. The Interplay: A Balanced Media Strategy
A balanced media strategy often includes all three types. For instance, you can use paid media to promote your owned media properties, potentially generating more earned media. Influencer marketing can be an example of earned media, but if you pay influencers, it becomes a mix of earned and paid media.
Earned media offers authenticity and trust, paid media provides control and immediacy, and owned media gives a permanent platform for brand messages. Understanding these distinctions is key to formulating an effective media strategy that leverages the benefits of earned media while also utilizing the strengths of paid and owned media.
3. Why does earned media matter in today’s digital marketing world?
Earned media refers to the buzz created organically without any direct payment. Think of it as the chatter on social media platforms, media coverage, and even social media mentions. It’s essentially the media that’s earned its spot. So, Why does earned media matter in today’s digital marketing world?
The Trust Factor
One reason earned media matters? Trust. In a world overrun by paid ads and branded content, positive earned media offers authenticity. When someone shares a post on your brand’s social channels or when there’s real-time social media coverage about your product launch, it’s genuine. This trustworthiness is gold in digital marketing.
The SEO Boost
Another advantage? Earned media efforts can amplify your SEO. Social media shares, blog sites, and social media channels discussing your brand can improve your rankings. It’s not just about traditional media outlets; digital media plays a massive role.
Integrating with Other Media Types
The synergy between earned, owned, and paid media enhances the overall media strategy. For example, using the insights from social media mentions to inform paid advertising or adapting owned media properties based on feedback from social media sites like Facebook. It’s a harmonious dance.
Influencer marketing is often seen as a form of earned media. When influencers genuinely love a product and share about it, that counts as earned media. It’s a testament to the brand’s value.
3. What are some examples of earned media in the marketing sphere?
Earned media is considered a jewel in media marketing. It’s that invaluable media coverage you didn’t pay for, but it’s worth its weight in gold. But what does it look like in practice?
Organic Social Shares: The Digital Word-of-Mouth
When users passionately share a brand’s content across all their social channels, that’s earned media. Think of viral tweets or trending TikTok videos. These are powerful forms of earned media that organically spread a brand’s message.
Customer Reviews: The Unsung Heroes
Ever stumbled upon a product review while browsing online? That’s right, that’s earned media. Genuine reviews, whether on e-commerce platforms or social media sites, play a pivotal role in shaping brand perception.
Media Coverage: When the Spotlight Finds You
Whether it’s a feature in a prominent magazine or a mention in a news segment, media coverage is a prime example of earned media. No paid ads here – just pure, organic media coverage.
Influencers’ Organic Mentions: The Modern Endorsement
Not all influencer partnerships involve money. Sometimes, they genuinely love a product and talk about it. These organic mentions, free from the trappings of paid promotions, are technically earned media and have a unique charm of their own.
Engaging in the Earned Media Game
Earned media takes effort, but the payoff is substantial. Enhance your earned media opportunities by creating valuable content and building genuine relationships. As the media landscape evolves, the lines between the three types of media – owned, paid, and earned – may blur. Still, the essence of earned media remains: it’s the media that’s genuinely earned, loved, and shared.
4. What benefits does earned media offer over other media types?
Often hailed as the “earned media gold”, this form of media stands tall among the three types of media. But why is it considered so valuable? Let’s dive deep.
Authenticity: Real Voices, Real Impact
Earned media is content genuinely created and shared by fans, followers, and critics. Unlike paid ads, earned media comes organically, bolstering its authenticity. When consumers rave about a product on their social channels, that’s earned media in its purest form.
Cost-Effective: Big Impact, Small Spend
Though earned media tactics require effort, they often bypass the hefty price tag of paid media. Think of it as word-of-mouth in the digital age; it’s usually free but immensely impactful.
Diverse Reach: Across Platforms and Beyond
Earned media opportunities extend across all of your social platforms and beyond. From mentions in blog posts to entries on your social media, the reach is vast and varied.
Building Trust: Credibility is King
When a brand’s message is shared organically, especially on platforms like social media, it’s seen as more credible. Earned media is usually perceived as more trustworthy than media that’s bought.
Flexibility: The Ever-Evolving Game
The earned media game is dynamic. With the right social media management strategies, brands can pivot, adapt, and enhance their earned media efforts.
The Confluence of Media Types
While earned media offers unique benefits, it’s essential to remember that the most successful media marketing campaigns often combine earned, owned, and paid media. Each type has its merits, but earned media’s genuine nature sets it apart.
5. How do brands measure the impact of earned media?
Brands often grapple with a pivotal question: how do we measure earned media? It’s not as straightforward as counting clicks from social media ads, but it’s crucial in refining media marketing strategies.
Quantitative Metrics: Numbers Speak
One common approach is tracking quantitative metrics. For instance, monitoring social media mentions provides a snapshot of your brand’s earned media coverage. Likewise, tallying entries on your social media platforms can give insights into consumer engagement.
Qualitative Analysis: Beyond the Numbers
But it’s not just about numbers. The value of earned media is often gleaned from the quality of content. When a consumer crafts a detailed review or shares a product experience across all of their social platforms, that’s earned media gold.
Comparing Media Types: Earned vs. Paid vs. Owned
Brands often compare earned media against paid and owned channels. This allows them to discern where their audience truly engages. For example, a viral post (technically earned) might outperform a paid ad in terms of engagement and reach.
The Digital Footprint: Tracking the Untrackable
Some earned media examples, like word-of-mouth, are hard to track. Here, brands might use surveys or employ social media management tools to gauge sentiment and reach.
The Ongoing Game: Adapting and Enhancing
Remember, the earned media game constantly evolves. As platforms change and consumer behaviors shift, brands must adapt. Regularly measuring the impact of earned media ensures strategies stay relevant and effective.
In essence, while there’s no one-size-fits-all guide to measure earned media, a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses, coupled with regular strategy refinements, can help brands gauge their success effectively.