You’re a business owner and, no matter the size of your organization, you make every penny count. One important aspect of keeping your current and future clients or customers in-the-know is earned media.
“Earned media, or earned content, is any material written about you or your business that you haven’t paid for or created yourself,” according to HubSpot. “Although this type of media is always published by a third party, there are ways marketers can position themselves for earned media opportunities.”
Oftentimes, another name for earned media is publicity. While you don’t pay directly for earned media (that’s considered an advertisement), you can invest money and time in professional marketing and public relations services that put you and your organization in the spotlight. At Proven Media, we’re leaders in implementing communication, public relations, and marketing plans. This includes securing earned media that helps our clients grow.
Read on to learn why earned media is crucial to business success and efforts to secure it should be an important part of your marketing mix.
What counts as earned media?
Earned media is any media or content that your company did not directly pay for. Some examples include:
- A newspaper, magazine or online article in a reputable news outlet on your company or one where you’re quoted or interviewed as an expert source.
- A TV news segment or radio interview about your company or one of your events, initiatives, or areas of expertise.
- An article in a trade publication.
- A customer review – one that comes up organically, not a paid one.
- Word of mouth.
- Social media mentions that your company did not sponsor.
What doesn’t count as earned media?
Essentially, anything you pay for. Your own social media, a paid media placement, an advertisement, a paid influencer promoting your product, etc.—all of these are important elements of marketing and paid media but are not the same as earned media.
The Importance of Earned Media (Even if Money is Tight)
According to research, 92 percent of consumers trust earned media. This means each piece of earned media—each newspaper article, TV segment, or unpaid review—bolsters your company’s expertise in the minds of current and potential customers and clients.
“Earned media comes down to who has more expertise. As the owner of a business, your expertise is extremely valuable, even during a recession,” cites this expert blog post on the importance of earned media, even in a recession.
When the economy experiences a downturn, oftentimes marketing and public relations budgets are the first to get slashed. But experts note that a recession is a bad time to go silent in communication efforts. According to PR News, focusing on earned media even during tough financial times, can often be an alternative to paid media efforts if needed, continue to build the public’s trust, and cement brand loyalty.
“Companies need to project confidence in their strength and stability as consumers become more risk averse,” according to PR News. “The best way to do this efficiently is incorporating more earned media into their marketing strategy. Best of all, when done correctly, it will have an even bigger impact on the public consciousness than traditional paid advertising.”
How to Secure Earned Media
Just like you’d want another business or individual consumer to hire you for your expertise, a great way to secure earned media is to hire publicity experts in the form of public relations professionals.
According to this Forbes article, investing in public relations expertise can help your organization to:
- Craft your organization’s story to stay on point and true to your mission and brand.
- Stand out of the crowd, especially in your sector or area of expertise.
- Support your credibility.
- Reach out to the media to keep you in the spotlight.
- Many other functions, including building your bottom line.
In addition to PR efforts, other qualities that can help your business stand out and be considered for earned media include quality customer service and products; stand-out sharable content; and an active, dedicated social media presence (which a PR pro can help with).
No matter the size of your organization, earned media is a valuable tool to help keep your company in the public eye and in the mind of current and future customers and clients. Ready to attract earned media to put your company in the spotlight? Contact Proven Media today.