Beyond PR

Apr 12, 2016

Why Earned Media Matters to Content Marketing

Earned Media Matters for Content Marketing

Earned media – or a mention of your brand by journalists, influencers and other third-party sources – has long been considered a goal for PR professionals only. It’s traditionally looked at as something to strive for when announcing personnel changes, product launches and other company news.

However, earned media is also a wise (I’d even say, essential) pursuit for marketers who want their content to reach new audiences and boost conversion rates.

According to the white paper, How to Drive Maximum Returns on Content Marketing with Effective Distribution, earned media is 80% more effective than owned media (i.e., branded content) at the bottom-of-the-funnel or purchase consideration stage, 80% more effective at the middle-of-the-funnel or affinity stage, and 38% more effective at the top-of-the-funnel or familiarity stage.

But how can a simple media mention do all of this? Here are 6 ways that earned media will help you reach your content marketing goals.

Drive online visibility

Whether you’re looking for the massive scope of influence that’s offered by mainstream media or the more targeted relevance of niche publications, getting linked to in a pertinent online publication can result in a major lift in traffic. Even without a link, a media mention can put your name in front of audiences in ways that owned channels can’t.

It comes down to simple math: The more times your brand is mentioned, the more visible you become. Name recognition builds as audiences are repeatedly exposed to your brand and content in meaningful ways.

Although third-party mentions can go a long way toward increasing visibility, keep in mind that quality trumps quantity here.

Earned media from a reputable source your audience trusts is going to have the biggest impact.

Expand social media presence

Social media is how the world stays connected, and as such, social sites and platforms are important places for your brand to be if you want to engage with customers.

A strong social presence can connect you to influencers, potential prospects and quality leads.

In the same way that recognition from news organizations, niche publications or blogs can increase your online visibility, social mentions, retweets and likes help develop your brand’s social visibility.

Social mentions, likes and views are added exposure for a brand, and are a great way to connect with vast audiences—some of whom are potential future customers.


Gain influencer attention

Influencer marketing has been gaining speed as one of the most effective ways of attracting prospects and leads. As consumers and buyers increasingly turn to those individuals and brands they trust, marketers must leverage opportunities to influence the influencers, if you will.

Mentions of your brand across both traditional and new media can amplify your message and help catch the interest of influential players in your industry.

The more influencers you attract, the wider your message goes, the more likely you are to attract more influencers—it’s an effective, and profitable, cycle.

Build trust and credibility

Buyers are increasingly ignoring traditional advertising and spending more time researching purchases online. Furthermore, trust is an increasingly critical factor in both B2B and B2C purchase decisions.

Where there is trust, there is a sense of security. Buyers want to do business with a trusted partner.

Content marketing can go a long way toward building buyer trust, by providing audiences with useful information and building thought leadership. But a brand’s reputation does not develop overnight, and unseen content won’t do anything to increase audience trust.

This is why mentions from reputable third parties are so important: They allow brands to draw on the reputations of trusted sources of information.

Gain audience insights

To be successful, content marketing hinges on creating and sharing content your audience wants to see. It’s very hard to develop this content if you don’t know what it is your audiences need.

Marketers spend a lot of time, energy and funds developing personas to target with their messages, and it pays off when they are able to use those insights to create content their audiences find valuable.

Earned media can provide additional understanding, as reading what third-party voices have to say about your brand will shed light on a number of topics that can guide your strategy.

Likewise, noting which pieces of content niche publications find interesting will help you develop more targeted content.

Tracking influencer sentiment can offer insights into how your content is received and what problems you are helping your customers solve—or, which problems remain unsolved.

A marketer is never done building personas. Don’t overlook earned media’s value as a powerful tool for gathering audience insights.

Attract and convert leads

The ultimate goal of marketing is to drive business growth and revenue.

Earned media’s conversion potential stems from its ability to achieve all of the above points. It packs a powerful punch that spans the Web, influencing public opinion in a way owned and paid media simply can’t achieve on their own.

While earned media can be a boon for your marketing, creating compelling content isn’t enough to achieve all of these great things.

Distributing and syndicating your content will not only help drive online discovery by audiences beyond your owned channels, it will also help garner earned media.

Download How to Drive Maximum Returns on Content Marketing with Effective Distribution for a tactical checklist that’ll help you earn media coverage with better content distribution.

Author Danielle Capriato is the manager of strategic communications at PR Newswire, where she writes, edits and manages distribution of press releases to promote the PR Newswire brand and content. Follow her on Twitter @dcapriato.

2 Comments on Blog Post Title

­ Andrew Pelletier 15:38 EDT on Apr 17, 2016

Excellent article, thanks for posting. The enormous value of earned media often gets lost in today’s communication strategies and discussions.

Andrew Pelletier, APR, ABC

­ Mike Rosen 21:12 EDT on Apr 21, 2016

Agree, Andrew. And Danielle I couldn’t agree more about leveraging. I specialize in earned media and use social media to amplify and share with core audiences. It’s all about using a respected media brand to bolster your own. Similar to politics, I’d rather have another respected person talk about my candidate than have him/her talk about themselves.

Fill in your details below: