If you are looking for a way for your business to reach its target audience without the use of paid media channels it’s important to consider the use of earned media. 83% of consumers trust digital word-of-mouth over content that is produced by advertisers. Earned media will provide you with brand authority, which is the trust your clients have with you that you are a credible expert in your field. If you are not already implementing earned media in your marketing plans, now is the time.
Earned Media: What It Is And How To Earn It
According to HubSpot, earned media, or earned content, is any material written about you or your business that you haven’t paid for or created yourself. This is media that is published by a third party however, there are ways to position yourself to receive these earned media opportunities.
Earned media consists of mentions in magazine or newspaper articles, mentions on social media, shares of your content or content about your brand, etc. Any media that is voluntarily given to your brand by others is earned media. This is the most trustworthy type of media you can gain. In fact, 25-40% of traffic lead generation comes from earned media.
Working with a public relations agency can help you get earned media placements. Public relations professionals can help you share your stories and insights by connecting you with key media outlets and influencers. Partnering with the right media relations experts will help lead you to new levels of credibility, influence and brand authority. This will help you and your brand stand out against competitors who lack earned media presence.
Why Is Brand Authority Important?
Today, consumers are greatly influenced by what they read and see online. Most people use what they see online to determine their buying decisions. According to HubSpot research, about one third of U.S. buyers prefer information they can find from a Google search.
Brand authority is the trust your brand has earned among customers. According to Forbes, it is useful to think of it as a company’s perceived expertise within an industry of topic. Rather than being a status you have, it’s a reputation and an element of trust assigned by others. When a company has brand authority, the public accepts you as a legitimate expert in your field. It’s easy to see why it’s essential to earn brand authority.
How To Leverage Your Earned Media
Once you have received earned media, it’s equally important to know how to leverage it. Leveraging your earned media means using the media attention and press hits you have received as a tool to gain more success and further your brand. Brands that leverage earned media see higher conversion rates than their competitors who don’t. Getting exposure in top-tier publications isn’t enough, you have to leverage that exposure effectively in order for it to really pay off.
It’s important to post any earned content on your own social sites and encourage your employees to interact with the posts. An example of this is asking your employees to like and share a LinkedIn post highlighting a news article that mentions your company. The more people you get to engage with the content, the farther the post will go organically. You can use relevant hashtags, tag other companies and people in the posts which will help build buzz around the content. The more eyes on it the better!
Having a proper public relations team and strategy in place will help open the door for earned opportunities. You know your industry better than anyone else, so if you are also hands-on with your efforts, you are setting yourself up for success.
Erica DeProspo is an Assistant Account Executive at Flackable, an award-winning public relations agency representing financial and professional services brands nationwide. To learn more about Flackable, please visit flackable.com.