4 Examples of Earned Social Media Tactics
Earned media is when consumers or other businesses speak your praise on their own platforms. Learn 4 strategies you can apply to increase your organic exposure.
What Is Earned Media?
Earned media refers to all the exposure you make organically, that is, without direct paid advertising. It happens when consumers, other businesses, or anyone related to your industry speaks your praise on their own platforms, whether via reviews on Yelp or through social media spots like LinkedIn.But your job as a business owner or a marketer isn’t just to sit back and let your customers do all the work. Developing an intentional digital marketing strategy that touches on activating earned media is a non-negotiable if you want to see results.
Earned Media Benefits
The value of earned media isn’t exclusive. It’s as expansive as your industry value allows it to be. It can be used to amplify the power of your owned media (content you create that lives on your website, social media platforms, or other brand-owned spaces) and your paid media (paid advertisements, PPC ads, etc.). In short, owned media and paid media are most prosperous when you have the earned media to back them up.
The benefits of a successful earned media strategy are tangible and long-lasting:
- Cost: In many cases, earned social media costs you nothing. Not only that, but earned media can outlive paid media for as long as it stays live on the web. In comparison to paid media, in which you pay directly for display ads or other marketing campaigns, or owned media, where the price of producing and hosting the initial content is your primary cost, earned media is a cost-effective strategy with high ROI.
- Awareness: The reach of earned media may seem smaller than that of owned or paid media, but that isn’t necessarily true. Because earned media can expand past the initial content, it holds the ability to flow further. For example, think of an earned social media post that gets shared and re-shared. With that, you can reach your target audience organically, increasing brand awareness in the process.
Trust: Growing brand trust is only becoming more vital for a successful strategy. Prioritizing the ongoing customer experience is essential for that trust, and one way to move new potentials past interest is through earned media. In the digital age, no one buys a product or service without first exploring its online reviews or other pieces of advocacy. When your audience has easy access to media content touting your value, you’re set.
Focuses of a Solid Earned Social Media Strategy
Like any sect of content marketing strategy, developing an earned social media strategy combines the perfect blend of data-driven approaches and expert industry knowledge. Your system should focus on:
Tending to the value of your production is one of the best ways to secure earned media. Regarding brand recommendations and referrals, customers and other businesses are more likely to promote well-executed content. Whatever type of media you’re producing should be something users relate to and want to engage with and, therefore, feel excited to promote or share.
Nothing beats a product or service with high-quality customer care. It’s been the same since the early days of digital marketing – people are ready to promote brands that care for them, and they’re equally ready to disparage businesses that don’t. Ensuring that your customers, industry relationships, and anyone else that interacts with your company has an exceptional experience will only serve you in the future.
Confirming that your branding extends to every piece of content you generate guarantees that the messages found in earned social media content are aligned with your company values and goals. You can help the individuals and teams producing earned media on your behalf get the message right by maintaining a thorough branding strategy across all social media channels, ads, and connections.
Earned media is just as analytic as other forms of media, and using the same data-driven focus on how your earned media benefits you is a meaningful way to ensure it keeps doing so. With a multitude of tools at your fingertips, like Google Analytics and Hootsuite metrics, it’s easier than ever to quantify how your owned, paid, and earned media are doing across all social networks, pages, and beyond. Learning more about the demographics of your target audience, including what sort of content speaks to them most, is equally achievable. That data can then be used to inform your social media marketing strategy moving forward.
4 Examples of an Earned Social Media Tactic
Now that you have an idea of the thoughts behind successful earned media strategy, consider a few examples of concrete tactics you can easily apply.
1. Earned Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is an interesting facet of earned social media because it can exist as both a paid media strategy and one that is made organically. Paid influencer marketing is valuable, but it doesn’t stop there. If your product or service captures an influencer’s attention, either separate from a paid relationship or after one ends, you can enjoy the earned media of posts, recommendations, promotions, and reviews from someone whom the public trusts.
Find the right influencers in whatever strategic approach you choose, including paid and earned media. On that end, it can be particularly productive for businesses to work with parties that come with a succinct and demonstrable influencer strategy in hand. For example, part of what we offer at First Media includes tried and trusted influencer marketing that pinpoints users and expertly positions products in the right hands.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Similar to influencer marketing, SEO is a unique element of earned social media in that parts of it are not earned. When we talk about SEO from an earned media perspective, we’re talking about your effort into organic traffic earnings. The content you create, which you direct traffic to through optimization, is considered owned content. You have control, you typically host it, and it’s yours and yours alone.
However, the results you see in rankings and inbound traffic after intensive keyword research and content curation are what’s earned. You put in the work to achieve those clicks and other actions.
SEO ensures customers and outside organizations can effortlessly find your owned media, making earned media much more reachable. When others want to talk about your business but can’t readily find relevant content, your chances of getting that earned media are reduced. Accessible organic media made possible through optimization makes it easy for others to reference your business, earning you more media.
3. Industry Outreach
The energy you put into relationships with other members of your industry is another fruitful tactic that builds trust and connections and offers opportunities for valuable earned social media. Concentrating on relationships in your field can help you with media coverage, industry trust, and more.
Whether you connect with bloggers in your niche, reach out to industry podcasts as a guest speaker, or something else, the more your voice is heard, your name mentioned, and your service boosted, the better your earned media results.
4. Utilization of All Channels
Following the endless inflow of media outlets and social platforms is enough to keep anyone busy. But managing the variety of distribution channels at your fingertips is an essential tactic for the most successful earned social media. This also applies to channels outside of social media, like email marketing or even offline content.
You can earn better media when your content is accessible through more platforms.
Posts on your Facebook page can deliver results there, while your brand’s presence on Twitter can lead to consumer retweets, and Instagram infographics with optimized hashtags can produce influencer reposts. Using the variety of media formats at your fingertips for your content strategy gives you the large-scale reach you want and need for superior earned media.
Don’t know where to start? Take a page from our book at First Media. We utilize an omni-channel distribution over socials, television, digital, and out-of-home media. By publishing 100% original content across all socials, our partners see the tangible results of action-driven organic content that feeds their earned media.
First Media’s Earned Media Strategy
When it’s pushed systematically, earned social media can be a powerful part of any lead generation strategy. You can feed into the algorithm of any given social media platform by producing quality content, implementing studied strategies like influencer marketing and SEO, and preserving your focus on serving your customers and following data-driven solutions.
At First Media, our experience in earned media gives us the insight and capabilities you need to improve your brand’s success on this front. With a trusted ability to reach the right audiences at the right time, our resources can make the earned media process streamlined and simple. Adding to that our high-quality video content and what we like to call an “influencer takeover,” your brand can see the results of powerful earned media strategy in real time.
Learn more about how to become a First Media partner and enjoy the earned media tactics we’ve refined for industry-leading results.