There are 3.8 billion social media account holders worldwide, which is almost half of the world’s population. Your social media channels offer the chance to reach your target audience through owned media and, more crucially, to gain earned media. While paid media can lead to short-term traffic spikes, it’s earned media that has the greatest impact on your brand awareness and generates long-term traffic.
Earned media, also known as free media, refers to any unpaid content published by a third party about your brand. This type of content marketing is done voluntarily by your audience, influencers, bloggers, and others and helps drive traffic to your site through “word of mouth.”
Earned media not only expands your reach to your target audience, but it also provides a significant boost to your Google SEO rankings. Incorporating earned media into your marketing strategy can potentially double your reach, as 25-40% of traffic comes from this source.
Here are some of the different types of media you can use as part of your earned media strategy.
While social media accounts are technically owned media, your followers sharing your content transforms it into earned media. Social media platforms provide a valuable opportunity for brands to connect with potential customers by creating informative, engaging, and shareable content.
For instance, a coaching brand may post an infographic on Facebook that resonates with its followers and is highly shareable. Even if the infographic does not explicitly mention the coaching service, its engagement and shares can attract potential customers and create a buzz around the brand.
When devising your content marketing strategy, prioritize creating videos, blog posts, and infographics that offer valuable information your followers will want to share with their networks. With each social share on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you’re broadening your reach and increasing your chances of attracting potential customers.
92% of consumers trust recommendations from third-party sources, such as word of mouth, over forms of advertising. Having a blogger or influencer write product reviews, testimonials, or simply mention your brand on their social media can establish your brand as reputable and trustworthy, ultimately driving traffic to your site.
While influencer marketing is often a form of paid media and part of many brands’ content marketing strategies, you can also earn free media mentions by targeting the right influencers. By collaborating with influencers who align with your product, believe in your brand, and would benefit from the partnership, you can generate organic mentions and increase your brand’s visibility. In fact, the global influencer marketing budget is expected to reach $10 billion this year.
SEO is a form of earned media since it involves providing content that ranks in search engine results without spending money on PPC ads. By implementing SEO, you’re earning organic traffic and therefore, it’s part of your earned media strategy even though it’s obtained via owned media. Boost your organic search results ranking by optimizing your keywords, publishing quality content, regularly updating your content, and encouraging community engagement.
With the knowledge of the available types of free media outlets, it’s time to put in the work to earn them. Begin implementing these strategies and start reaping the benefits of earned media.
Sharing content effectively is a science with complexities, and without a long-term media strategy, your posts may fall flat. The content medium, timing, and other factors all impact the potential for earned media.
Keep these things in mind when building a social media content strategy:
Using social monitoring tools will enable you to track the content that generates the most engagement, allowing you to improve your new content based on data. Below, Facebook Insights show how much engagement the most recent posts have gotten on a brands feed.
Take advantage of tools and software like Spitche to boost your earned media efforts. With Spitche, you can turn your followers into brand ambassadors by rewarding them for engagement and mentions.
The platform is an all-in-one tool for lead generation, community engagement, and customer loyalty. You can create custom incentives and reward tiers based on engagement levels to motivate your followers to share your content and increase your organic reach.
Influencers can have a significant impact on your brand awareness and sway the purchasing decisions of their followers. Research shows that 49% of people depend on influencers for product recommendations. They tap into the “bandwagon effect,” where their followers are instantly interested in a product when they see the influencer sharing it.
To use influencers as part of your earned media strategy, connect with relevant authorities in your industry or niche. Before pitching to an influencer, do your research on the type of content they post and what resonates with their followers. This will increase the likelihood of a successful collaboration at no cost.
Working with influencers is a two-way street. Be prepared to actively engage with their content and share it on your social media channels when appropriate. To increase the chances of free collaborations, you should also cultivate relationships with influencers by sharing and engaging with their content.
Creating a successful earned media strategy is a continuous process. Social media platforms and their algorithms are constantly evolving, and so are the preferences of your audience. Regular testing is necessary to adjust your strategy based on your posts’ performance and make changes as required.
Earning media is the most reliable and trustworthy way to promote your brand and drive long-term growth. It helps you attract loyal customers who will stick with you for years to come.