Earned media, or earned marketing content, draws attention to branded content that promotes your organization and is earned by leveraging relationships. This brand exposure comes in the form of social media shares, reposts, and article or video features. This is the last installment of our marketing checkup podcast series, focusing on how earned media can be incredibly important to your marketing efforts.

Previously, we looked at owned and paid media and their importance. While paid and owned media remain top of mind for most, if you ignore earned marketing, you will lose brand exposure, and you could potentially harm your brand in the long run. Brett Adams, Trilix president and chief marketing officer, returns as an expert guest for our Trilix Podcast marketing checkup series. Brett is joined by Abby Bottenfield, communications director.

What are the benefits of earned media?

  • Earned media is often overlooked, but it should not be ignored. With the right story and the right coverage, your brand exposure can reach across the nation, accomplishing results that may not be possible to achieve through owned or paid marketing efforts.
  • Earned media is perceived as more trustworthy because it comes from sources that are not associated with your brand and that talk about it at their own volition.
  • A proactive approach is necessary to prevent someone else from controlling the narrative in a way that is not beneficial to your brand.

Earned media offers unmatched brand exposure.

  • Many news outlets and industry publications are part of a nationwide network, so it opens the door for your content to be shared in markets that are much different than your paid media landscape, potentially yielding greater publicity value.
  • You may also reach another audience type that you overlooked or did not originally feel was beneficial.

Measurement is key.

  • While it may be easier to measure owned and paid marketing efforts, you can still set and monitor earned media metrics using a variety of marketing and public relations tools that automatically determine reach, tone (positive or negative), ROI and publicity value of earned media.
  • Using these tools, you can set up a list of reporters with different beats in certain markets.

Leverage media relationships and public relations.

  • Allocating resources toward earned media is a great way to develop better relationships with the media, allowing you to have the first word if the earned media isn’t positive.
  • Reporters and journalists are spread thin, so providing a packaged story will make their job easier, and it allows for a higher chance of publication. Other outlets, like blogs and podcasts, also impact the news cycle. Existing PR tools include resources to utilize smaller outlets like these.
  • Mainstream media utilizes their social channels to distribute credible sources. If you are tagged in media social content, it increases your exposure and can be picked up by another outlet.
  • Invite media to your events or participate in events they host. Media tours are a great avenue to reach those markets that you don’t have as much leverage or experience with. Trade shows provide an excellent, organic opportunity to meet with local press and develop a positive, face-to-face relationship. Be sure to set up interviews at these trade shows.
  • Stay up to date with everything that is happening in your field. If a reporter or contact that you had a good relationship with is no longer available, we can use our public relations tools to research new contacts.

Earned efforts don’t operate in a vacuum.

  • Your story’s credibility is often dependent on the consistency between owned, paid and earned efforts. Our public relations packages can be developed with media pitch, video, B-roll, sources and social media content that all contain the same message, making it easier for anyone who wants to share or publish your content.
  • Instead of generating content with the goal of “finding something interesting to talk about,” brands should consider talking about what they are currently doing, even though it may not be a big announcement. Opportunities to enhance a story can happen every day.

Why positive media relations can lead to better recruitment.

  • We’ve seen an overwhelming boom in recruitment demands from companies — whether the company is constantly recruiting due to high turnover, is growing or expanding, or is changing their workforce. Having positive media relations is an important recruitment tool because it can drastically influence potential applicants.
  • Earned media of caused-based companies can be strongly complimentary to recruitment.

How to repurpose content from news releases.

  • News releases should be published on all of your own channels as well as sent to the media.
  • It is important to not overwhelm a reporter with news releases, so you should search for a different angle or creative way to share news.
  • Make content easily digestible so reporters and readers understand the important points. Media kits can be a great place to store valuable information like FAQs, videos, visuals, brand guidelines and more.

Check out the Trilix Podcast to hear our full discussion on earned media and learn how your marketing communications plan plays an important part in your earned approach. Be sure to tune in every other week as we break down marketing news and trending topics.