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What The Heck Is Earned Media?

By: Kelly Bolton   Date: March 29, 2017

In the world of online marketing, there are generally three types of media involved in marketing strategies for the internet. There are the “owned media”, which is basically the same thing as branding. These are things like your websites, your mobile sites, your blogs, and the social media sites you are on. There is also “paid media”, which is your paid advertising efforts. This would include your PPC ads and display ads, your social media ads, your retargeting efforts, paid influencer and paid content promotions. Basically, it’s any promotion you pay for. Then there is what is called “earned media”. Just what is that?

Earned media is any promotion you have “earned” online from your other marketing efforts (owned media and paid media), particularly your social media marketing.

Earned media includes all sorts of “free” promotional advertising you have earned online from others. Sort of like an online “word of mouth” advertising. This can include things such as social media shares, re-posts, reviews, user generated content and other online mentions of you, your company or your products online.

Earned media is important because it is what really drives the traffic, engagement, and sentiment for a brand. Social media shares, re-posts, reviews, and other online mentions, as well as their reactions, are what will get people to visit your site and, hopefully, purchase from you. All this online activity is what will give you third-party credibility and expand your audience reach.

You can’t just post and hope for shares, though. You need to put some effort into getting earned media. With that in mind, it’s important to know that SEO and good content marketing are key for getting earned media. That means you will want to make sure that you have them up to par. You will want to have the right sort of content that will give you high search rankings as well as content that is interesting and informative, not just for the search engines but also for your audience so they will want to share it online.

As much as the content is important too earned media, there are other things that you can do to help get earned media. One way is to be active on social media. Interact with your followers so you’re not a stranger to them. Use tools to monitor your social media and conversations about you and your brand, and jump in when you can add something to them. Ask your followers about their daily lives or their experience with your brand. Give shout outs to your biggest fans. Show your followers you care about them, about their experiences, and your brand, and they will think positively about you and make you shareworthy in their eyes.

Another way is to make your customers really happy. Customers who are just mildly satisfied won’t be true brand promoters. You need to make them really happy and exceed their expectations in order to get them to really talk about you and refer you to their friends and family.

Put out good content online that people will want to share, and interact with your followers and customers to make them so happy about you that they will want to share your posts and refer you to their friends, and you will have earned media coming in. But don’t forget to include owned and paid media, too, to truly have the best online marketing strategy you can.

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