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Marketing insights from the leading celebrations site for moms

Money Can’t Buy Everything: 3 Ways That Brands Can Leverage Earned Media

March 12, 2014 · in Content Marketing

earned media graphic

Earned media opportunities are all around – brands just need to know where to look. It’s valuable for brands to allocate resources to research and implement earned media options. While many brands rely on paid advertising opportunities, they shouldn't neglect earned ones.

The Wikipedia definition of earned media is media that is “publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising”. However, it’s not always that simple. First, brands must understand the 3 main types of media, and when to use each.

The myriad of media opportunities at brands’ fingertips generally falls into one of three categories: owned, paid, or earned. The two former are self-explanatory; owned media is brand-created (website or a company blog), and paid media comes at a price (display advertising or a sponsorship). Earned media, on the other hand, can be less straightforward.

Here’s an infographic that breaks down these 3 media types:

Source: Hootsuite

Earned media is a highly cost-effective marketing method that can include any one of these tactics:

o   Word-of-mouth exposure
o   Guest blog opportunities that link back to a brand’s site
o   “Likes” and shares on social media
o   Press releases that are reposted outside of a brand’s website

And this list is always growing. With ever-increasing opportunities, earned media can be a tricky path to navigate. It can be difficult to measure results. Compared to owned or paid media, brands have less control over it. Despite these challenges, marketers should not dismiss earned media.

With the right approach, earned media can be a powerful tool to gain brand exposure. Here are 3 ways that brands can effectively leverage earned media:

  1. Word-of-mouth: Brand experiences, good or bad, will be shared between peers and friends. This cannot be avoided, so brands should embrace it.  In fact, up to 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations – and only 24% trust paid online ads. Brands can foster brand advocate interaction, engage consumers through social media, and encourage honest product feedback. By doing this, positive word-of-mouth messaging can go far.
  2. Guest blogging: This is a free opportunity for brands and if it’s the right fit, it can be very effective. Brands can see increased website traffic and higher lead generation when they share content on the appropriate blog. Whether it’s to communicate new survey results or contribute to the world of thought leadership, guest blogging is an invaluable effort. Here at Punchbowl, we’ve seen some great leads and reader interaction through our monthly guest post on MediaPost’s Engage:Moms column. It connects with media buyers whose brands focus on moms, who are also Punchbowl’s target audience.
  3. Social media: Treat social media as a true marketing tool, rather than simply a way to interact with consumers. Interaction is key, but more important is customer acquisition and brand loyalty. This B2C marketing effort has a sort of ripple effect. A brand shares content, which is “liked” or re-tweeted by a consumer, is shared again, and so on. This increases the chances of a general consumer becoming your brand’s next customer. 82% of surveyed consumers reported that they trust a company more when it is active on social media. This is a clear reason why brands must take social media seriously to see measurable results.

While not all brands are geared toward moms, there is much to be learned from them. To learn more about the biggest consumer trends that impact marketing to moms, download our free white paper.


Posted by Amie Reardon

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