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What is Earned Media?

a man pointing at a positive five star review concept

When it comes to marketing your brand, there are a lot of different strategies and channels to consider. You’ve got paid advertising, where you shell out some cash to get your message in front of your target audience. Then there’s owned media, which includes all the content and platforms you create and control yourself, like your website and social media profiles. But what about earned media? It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot in marketing circles, but what does it actually mean? Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding Earned Media

At its core, earned media is all about the recognition and exposure your brand receives from third parties, without you having to pay for it. It’s the buzz that’s generated about your products, services, or company through word-of-mouth, social media chatter, press coverage, and other forms of unsolicited promotion. Essentially, it’s when other people are talking about you and your brand in a positive way, without you having to twist their arm or grease their palm.

What’s so great about earned media is that it tends to be more authentic and credible than other forms of marketing. When someone outside of your company says something nice about you, it carries more weight than if you were to say it about yourself. People are more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend or a third-party review than a slick ad campaign.

Types of Earned Media

Earned media can come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own unique benefits and challenges. Here are some of the most common types:

Social Media Mentions

In today’s digital age, social media is a huge driver of earned media. When a customer tweets about how much they love your product or an influencer gives you a shoutout on Instagram, it can lead to a surge in visibility and engagement. The key is to create content and experiences that people want to talk about and share with their followers.

Public Relations (PR) Coverage

PR is another big piece of the earned media puzzle. When your brand is featured in a news article, magazine spread, or TV segment, it can give you a major boost in credibility and exposure. The trick is to have a compelling story to tell and to build relationships with journalists and media outlets that cater to your target audience.

Reviews and Recommendations

Online reviews and recommendations are another powerful form of earned media. When a satisfied customer leaves a glowing review on Yelp or a trusted industry expert recommends your product, it can go a long way in building trust and driving conversions. The key is to provide exceptional products and services that people can’t help but rave about.

Take a look at our cross-channel marketing guide for more info.

Benefits of Earned Media

So, why should you care about earned media? What’s in it for your brand? Here are just a few of the benefits:

Third-Party Validation

When someone else vouches for your brand, it carries a lot more weight than if you were to do it yourself. Earned media provides that all-important third-party validation that can help build trust and credibility with your target audience.

Social Proof

words social proof written on a clip board

Earned media also provides social proof, which is the idea that people are more likely to take action when they see others doing the same. When people see their friends and peers talking about your brand in a positive way, it can be a powerful motivator to check you out for themselves.

Amplifying Brand Reach

Earned media can also help amplify your brand reach by getting your message in front of new audiences; when an influencer or media outlet with a large following mentions your brand, it can introduce you to a whole new group of potential customers who might not have heard of you otherwise.

Free Exposure

Perhaps the biggest benefit of earned media is that it’s essentially free exposure for your brand. Unlike paid advertising, you don’t have to spend a dime to get your message out there. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy – earning media coverage takes time, effort, and a solid strategy.

Higher ROI

Because earned media is essentially free, it tends to have a higher ROI than other forms of marketing. When you’re not paying for every click or impression, you can get more bang for your buck in terms of brand awareness and engagement.

Long-Term Benefits

Finally, earned media tends to have longer-term benefits than other forms of marketing. While a paid ad might generate a quick spike in traffic or sales, earned media can continue to pay dividends long after the initial mention or feature. As long as the content is out there and people are engaging with it, your brand can continue to reap the rewards.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, earned media can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness, credibility, and engagement. In creating share worthy content, building relationships with influencers and media outlets, and monitoring and engaging with user-generated content, you can earn valuable exposure and recognition for your brand.

If you’re looking to take your earned media strategy to the next level, consider working with an expert digital PR agency in UK like us at Clickslice! Our team of PR pros can help you identify opportunities for earned media coverage, craft compelling pitches and story ideas, and build relationships with key influencers and journalists in your industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you earn the recognition and exposure your brand deserves.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.