Marketers have always divided media spend into 3 buckets (paid media, owned media and earned media) and held each form of media in equal importance.
However, with the rapid changes in social media and consumers self-educating themselves more than ever, earned media has gained momentum as the strongest generator of brand awareness and revenue. Earned Media has had the greatest impact in helping brands build their reputations and brokering authentic channels for an open dialogue between companies and their audiences.
As social media becomes more of a focus for businesses, it would be foolish to ignore its importance. Here are five reasons why earned media is a critical piece to a company’s existence.
1. Earned media is the most trusted and credible form of content for a brand
With the amount of information that is available, the dynamic between consumers and vendors has drastically changed. In the past, consumers would typically rely on vendors to provide information regarding a product or service. However, with the power of the internet and social media platforms, consumers can self-educate themselves more than ever. They can access past reviews (good or bad), connect with present clients and really break down the service or products that your brand offers.
Therefore it’s more important than ever to build a native community of brand evangelists who will proactively advocate for your brand. Their words will provide credibility and build trust between you and your future customers.
2. Social media has amplified the sheer quantity and reach of earned media
The use of social media has become a natural habit and ingrained in our everyday lives. As platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram become more reliable sources of information, the reach has only amplified. Remember, every comment, like, and engagement is re-shared in the feed’s activity. Ensure that these engagements are positive and the reach will go a long way in building the quality of your brand.
3. Conversion rates are higher and ROI is undeniable
Engagement on social media is authentic, which lead to stronger trust between the brand and its customers. When a brand builds trust through authentic engagement, the return on investment will always be there.
4. Earned media is measurable
With the amount of metrics available on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, brands can measure the effectiveness of its campaigns on the back end to get a true understanding of what works with their audience. Unlike billboards or TV commercials, advertising on social digital channels enables brands to accurately measure earned media.
5. Earned media lasts
And boy does it ever. Since earned media is on a platform that is owned by your brand, it will last forever and will be available to your audience for as long as you want it to be.
Instead of paying television broadcasts or advertising firms an incredible amount of money to provide you advertising channels, it's more important to invest in platforms that are completely in your control.
So there you have it. As a brand, it’s more important than ever to prioritize and invest in earned media. Investing in earned media will increase your credibility, grow your community, amplify your reach, strengthen your conversion rate, and build a sustainable form of media for you and your audience. Brands that invest in earned media will ultimately win as it completely aligns with the consumer’s increase in usage of social media.