An effective digital marketing strategy includes earned media, in addition to both paid and owned media. Any attention you get, outside of what your brand controls, such as your social media pages and what you pay for, qualifies as earned media.
Succinctly put, it is what third parties have to say about your brand. Some of these third parties include media outlets and influencers. Some of this earned media value (EMV) is created by others, such as influencers and fans sharing content with their followers on social media and journalists sharing content about your brand on various media outlets. Some earned media you create yourself, such as creating content for byline columns published on various outlets.
Best Practices for Cultivating Earned Media
You have to be deliberate about getting and cultivating earned media. Here are some of the most effective ways to go about it
1. Identify and Engage Your Brand Ambassadors
Fans who like and share your posts on Facebook, retweet you, and mention your brand in their blogs are potential brand ambassadors.
Cultivate this front by reaching out and expressing your appreciation for what they do. Identify and offer the best incentives, and they will be more than happy to continue being your brand ambassadors.
2. Cultivate Influencers
Before approaching an influencer, do your research about the influencer’s audience, the kind of content they create and topics covered, and the type of content to which their audience responds well. Include this research in your pitch. Influencers respond well to a pitch that carries knowledge and familiarity. Of course, show how the relationship will be mutually beneficial.
3. Participate in Industry Events
Always a perfect opportunity to network and get earned media. Industry experts, bloggers, and journalists are always in attendance at such events. You may be able to earn some mentions and even appear on real-time media coverage of these events.
4. Get in Touch with Journalists
Find journalists who cover topics you can offer an authoritative voice and send your pitch for a story. Be receptive and respond when one reaches out for a quote.