How to make the most of Earned Media
What is earned media?
Earned media is media that is created by others about your company – and this type of media can have a major impact on how you are perceived online. Often, it is earned media that appears higher up the rankings than company-created content, which is why it is so important and influential. It also can have a major influence on buying decisions.
There are five main types of earned media to be aware of that can greatly influence your brand reputation.
- News stories
Media coverage generated on your behalf is extremely important. As a B2B PR agency, we create press releases or news stories and they are covered by the trade, regional or national press. This press coverage can be redrafted by the magazines, tweaked to suit their editorial style or run verbatim.
It's worth pointing out here that you don’t normally get the chance to proof earned media – ie the journalist that placing the copy online may add their own individual slant to a story to suit their audience.
This type of earned media really does amplify your brand’s profile and generates brand recognition across multiple channels.
A great way to generate interest through online articles is by using questions that people are searching for online to write press articles. For example, what is the best type of ventilation system for a new home? We then base our content around answering the question and utilising quotes from our customers and testimonials from their clients, as well as tips from experts to explain the concept as fully as possible.
- Bylined thought leadership articles
We write many bylined articles every month for trade media on behalf of our b2b clients, which position them as an authoritative voice and the experts in the industry. These magazines are seen as a trusted source of information and, for that reason, have a high Domain Authority.
Some publications accept external bylined articles, so we are often asked to write 800 to 1500 word articles on a range of b2b PR topics. This provides great opportunities to secure some earned media.
We often request that these articles also appear on the magazines’ websites, which provides an even greater opportunity for them to be seen by the target audience. If you can negotiate a backlink from that publication, then that can be valuable from an SEO point of view.
Thought leadership articles also position a client as the expert authoritative voice in the industry on that particular subject.
- Reviews, recommendations and introductions
Reviews, recommendations and introductions from others are powerful forms of earned media. Businesses can benefit hugely from positive reviews, for example, Google reviews, Tripadvisor or TrustPilot. Research has shown that leads from referrals have a 30 per cent chance of being converted, which is much higher than with other marketing channels.
Your customers can become your best advocates if they are prepared to provide positive reviews for your business, therefore generating more sales
Customer research has shown that 92 per cent of consumers trust the referral or recommendations of people they know personally, therefore it’s important to encourage happy clients to spread the word. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your clients and contacts and ask for reviews and referrals. Positive reviews give your business added credibility.
- Social media posts
While some customers will choose to review your business online, others may prefer to do this via social media posts.
If you receive positive recommendations via social media, it can be a really valuable source of earned media, that can lead to business growth.
Did you know? 92% of consumers trust social media referrals as do 60 per cent of marketers.
- To build brand loyalty on social media, there are some important things you can do:
- Share positive feedback.
- Partner with influencers who share your values
- Acknowledge your customers with thank you messages and shout-outs
- Ask customers to share their experiences and tag you in their posts, ie on Instagram.
- Entering – and winning - awards
Earned media coverage as a result of entering Awards can make a huge difference to a business. Awards really do build brand credibility and trust.
It is important to work proactively to seek out the most relevant awards to enter on behalf of your business. Enter quality not quantity of awards, start small, entering maybe just a couple per year, then once you are in the flow of things, double your efforts and the number of awards you enter the year after.
The reward is more earned media – with an extensive reach, regionally, nationally and internationally, generating interest from media, employees, partners, stakeholders, customers and prospects.
Dragonfly PR has a dedicated award writing team and we would be happy to discuss with you your objectives for awards and to prepare content for entries on your behalf.
Ultimately, the reason why earned media is so important is that it can have a really positive impact on your website ranking.
For more information on securing more positive earned media for your business, email email@example.com or call 0114 349 5341.