What is earned media and how to do it right?

Take a moment to think about the bygone years of communication before the internet and social media. A time when brands, services and businesses would reach customers by using magazine and newspaper articles and television programmes. Yes indeed, that is how we all learnt what was cool or not, what the latest upgrade was and what reviews were saying about up and coming products. Can you imagine? For many of us, I’m sure we can but for some, the current ways in which we live with immediate information before our fingertips twenty-four hours a day seven days a week would seem quite… well impossible! The very idea of waiting for information each day or week just seems ridiculous when we can now see answers instantly.

Any information written about your brand, business or services that you haven’t produced or paid for is earned media. An article in a magazine, an online review or a snippet on a TV programme are all examples of earned media.

Earned media is published by a third party. It is media you have earned rather than paid for and, with the combined element of social media, it has the power to reach far and wide and with great speed. This means it is a very important aspect when it comes to making your business stand out from the crowd.

Just one question…How do you achieve earned media if you don’t write it yourself?

Well, quite simply you need to be seen. To achieve earned media you need to present, visible and active. Producing high-quality content that is relevant, informative and engaging is a great starting point but then you need to share it and share it far and wide. Think articles, videos, reviews, demos and interviews. Make it easily digestible for consumers and most importantly, easy to share.

Become a socialite on social media and connect with your consumers. Interaction is key so allow opportunities for discussion, questions and ideas. Allow for customers to get involved, post a quiz and ask for their opinions. Create personal, trusting relationships between business and brand.

Enhance the consumer experience by providing outstanding service that customers can feel valued by. Did you know that one of the most powerful forms of earned media is actually ‘word of mouth’? Positive word of mouth is by far one of the greatest ways to boost your business, so always give customers a reason to shout and sing your praises.

These days although magazines, newspaper and TV segments are still valuable, earned media avenues that are the most powerful are the ‘tweets’, ‘shares’ and reviews posted across the various social media platforms that spread the good news fast. Being active on social media is an important way to stay engaged and even if something is posted that isn’t good news often it is how you react to that post that can turn a negative into a positive.

Remember earned media isn’t produced or paid for by you it is earned. So get out there and harness its power by creating a business that everyone wants to talk about.

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