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What Is Earned Media?

It may seem that getting your business’s name out there organically is impossible. But when you break it down, it becomes much more achievable. Earned media is one of the ways your brand can get more reach. You may not know it but you are probably already cultivating earned media through your current social media posting strategy. In fact, you personally have probably participated in earned media before without realizing it.

What Is Earned Media?

Earned media is the organic coverage and promotion of your business or brand. Earned media is unique because you don’t have direct control over it as you do with owned or paid media. It can be the toughest kind of media to get but for that very reason, it is highly coveted. This is because consumers trust their friends and family, third-party review sites, and unpaid social media posts when they’re looking for product or service recommendations.

Examples of Earned Media

There are many different types of earned media, but all of them will need to build up over time. These are just a few examples you could start encouraging today.

  • Reviews Sites: Honest and positive reviews from sites like Yelp and Google My Business are extremely effective pieces of earned media. Nearly 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a company’s website, making them an important part of the purchase decision.
  • Media Coverage: The type of media coverage that counts as earned media is any time you receive media coverage without paying anyone for it. For example, a beauty company’s product might get mentioned in an online gift guide. 
  • Social Media Shoutouts: Social media shoutouts can happen in a variety of ways. First, a customer could have had such a great experience with your company that they felt they had to share it with their friends. Or maybe your product solved a customer’s persistent problem, so they knew they wanted to recommend it to others. As with all types of earned media, you can’t control who posts shoutouts or when, but you can certainly influence them with your online behavior. The more you share past shoutouts, the more it encourages others to do so in the future.

Tips to Get Earned Media for Your Business

Now that you’re familiar with different examples of earned media, we’ll give you some tips to help you increase the chances of gaining earned media.

Maintain Relationships Online

Whether you interact with other businesses, journalists, or influencers, you should maintain positive relationships with every person you interact with online. Even if they don’t need your services at the moment, they may think of you when someone else needs what you offer or when they need it in the future.

Create Great Content

A starting point for receiving earned media is creating content people want to engage with and share. Remember a share or a mention is a form of earned media. The most shared content online is entertaining or informative. Promotional content is good for getting more sales, but those posts are rarely shared. Make sure you have a good mix of both, so you are able to reap the unique benefits of both.

Expose Your Business on All Channels

You should try to reach as many people across as many different platforms as you can. For example, don’t rely on social media exclusively. You should also try methods like newsletters, TV commercials, and more. This will help reach different audiences who might not be active on social media.

Demonstrate Your Expertise

If your goal is to be named in publications, you need to showcase your authority in your industry. Make it clear why people should trust what you have to say about the industry. Some ways you can begin doing this is with blog posts and social media posts. Over time, you will become a go-to source for anybody interested in your industry.

Create an Earned Media Strategy

Earned media is something every business wants but doesn’t always know how to get. They may quickly become discouraged when they don’t see immediate results, leading them to abandon the strategy altogether. While the efforts above don’t guarantee that you will receive earned media, they definitely increase your chances. It is worth the effort to create an earned media strategy because it is some of the most influential coverage you can get.

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