Go to Google and type “how to create a marketing plan” and you’ll return over 380 million results. After reading through all of these, we can state with confidence that strategies to generate earned media are few and far between. The predominant attitude seems to be, “if my brand earns free media, great, but if not, hopefully, it will happen next year.”
Wrong, wrong and wrong. Not only should earned media be a part of EVERY marketing plan, but it should also be seen as an essential component of the ongoing campaign to win the hearts and wallets of your audience.
Here’s why it’s time to start paying attention to earned media.
Builds Trust With Your Audience
Data shows time and time again that consumers trust earned media. Data also shows that while it still can be effective, people are skeptical of traditional paid advertising. By some measures, each of us is buried under thousands of marketing messages every day, so it’s not surprising that we build walls to insulate ourselves. Earned media is accepted because we trust it – like advice from a friend or neighbor. As you build company credibility through content marketing and other initiatives, earned media is like a dividend on your investment which can be reinvested into your marketing campaigns.
Social (Earned) Media
Years ago, generating earned media was a very long, involved process because there were so few media outlets where it could manifest. If you wanted to get your company mentioned in the newspaper, usually you had to develop long-term relationships within that organization. Today, it is still a process that requires a great deal of effort and planning to bear fruit, but now there are literally thousands of websites, social media channels, blogs, digital newspapers, online awards, webinars, and more where your product or service can be publicly featured and endorsed. The process has been accelerated, and you can quickly put your earned media to work as well.
We think you’ll agree that given this evidence, earned media needs to be a major goal of all companies.