If your business could benefit from increased exposure and customer awareness, consider creating a campaign that doubles as a good cause. Earned media campaigns are known for their success in both social reach and profit margins, which means they’re just as good for your brand image as they are for your bank account. It is very much different from traditional forms of marketing. You can’t craft or force it to happen, and you have to let the story unfold organically. And, like most things in life, if you want something done right, you should do it yourself.
However, the question remains, can this media form increase your revenues? Just keep reading to unveil.
What is the Difference?
Paid media is advertising, and earned media is coverage that you don’t have to pay for. It is great because it’s free and can be challenging to achieve coverage on more prominent publications, but it’s not impossible if you know the right way to go about it. There are some key ways you can go about earning coverage for your brand or business:
- Write a great press release.
- Social media and influencers mention.
- Reviews and ratings.
- Create engaging content at all times, so when a publication does publish something about you, they want more of your content for their site.
How to Use Unpaid Media?
There are two ways that you can use earned media to increase your sales and marketing:
- By driving traffic.
- By driving conversions.
After all, if you can’t get anyone to visit your website or social media profiles, you won’t be able to convert anybody. Focus on creating content that engages your target market and drives them back to your profile.
This second goal requires a more strategic approach than simply trying to drive traffic. For example, asking for reviews at checkout doesn’t require much creativity, but it can be incredibly effective. Similarly, letting people know about discounts via social media is an excellent way to encourage purchases during specific times (i.e., Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
Types of Earned Media
There are three different types. Each of these is generally considered to be free, but each comes with its unique benefits.
- The first type is organic social media reach, which occurs when your social media posts are passed around on platforms like Facebook and Twitter without any extra effort on your part.
- The second type is paid social, which occurs when you spend money promoting a post via Facebook ads or Twitter ads.
- And finally, there’s word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is simply people talking about your brand to other people in person or online. When someone buys your product because they saw it in an ad, they found it through WOMM (for example). That’s called viral marketing.
Examples of Good Campaigns
Ask customers for it. That’s one way to do it. Another is getting press coverage in outlets where your audience spends time. If you sell food, get on a cooking show. If you’re an investment company, get some airtime on financial news networks.
Even nonprofits have gotten creative with such campaigns, sending doctors into hospitals to talk about their patients’ successes with surgeries they received from these doctors. A successful infographic campaign can help a business grow and gain much exposure through social media.
Why Is It Important?
- The highest quality type of media guaranteeing that your story is reaching the target audience.
- It has the power to turn strangers into customers.
- It is the most effective means of marketing your company.
- It can be more powerful than paid advertising.
How to Get Your Story Out There?
The easiest way is to build relationships with influencers and then ask them for coverage. There are several ways you can do that: Offer them products, services, or special deals and discounts.
This shows your appreciation for their work and allows you to introduce your company directly through a trusted source of information.
Another strategy is to offer advice on topics related to their area of expertise in exchange for recognition on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
You can even give influencers behind-the-scenes access, so they’ll want more information on your business when you contact them later.
The Bottom Line
Public relations professionals have been using tried-and-true techniques to help businesses grow since before social media was even a thing.
When a news organization or other trusted source writes about your company or product, readers might pay attention to what they say, making it easier for you to find new customers. If you can get your story in front of more people through earned media, you’ll see your revenues grow over time—even if your budget doesn’t increase at all.