According to Titan Growth, earned media is ‘publicity or exposure gained from methods other than paid advertising.’
A good way to think of earned media is to imagine a car. If your goal is to direct fans, customers or audiences to a specific location (in online terms, our media sites), then the car is the medium of transport to arrive at the said destination. Earned media is this car!
Earned media is also known as user-generated content when customers choose to say something about your brand on their social media posts, tweets, reviews, videos and photos that are open to the public. This ‘word-of-mouth’ methodology will not cost you any money, but it will take time to develop.
Therefore, your role as the brand is to look out, listen and respond to these posts. You can share these posts on your social media accounts to let your audiences know you hear them loud and clear! Using earned media as a promotion upon launching a new product can prove to be very efficient. Brands spread through friendships and connections – leverage on those!
It also helps when you are creating informative content for your audiences. It encourages audiences to share this content with their peers. Don’t forget to license your content. It will help your brand to gain credibility and additional views with the sharing. This method reaches a broader audience.
However, there are some disadvantages to earned media. For example, it could potentially bring up negative publicity. Besides that, as mentioned above, earned media takes a lot of time and effort to cultivate and trust. In addition to that, it can be challenging to collect and analysed.
This highlights the importance of converging content marketing to multiple earned, paid and owned media. How much focus will your brand place on each of these media depends largely on your brand’s audience and preferences.