If you could change your public image and how your clients, customers, and the community see you – would you?
For many brands, the answer may be yes! But even if you’re already happy with the way the public perceives your business, we still have to ask: are you confident that you’re getting the most out of your trusted reputation? Ensuring you have strong press and media relations, as well as establishing positive engagement with your community through appearances and earned media on social platforms are just some of the many dynamics that can contribute to business growth and the transformation of your public persona.
What is Earned Media?
Although you may think you’re not familiar with earned media, we bet you’ve heard of free publicity! Every time someone mentions your business – in a blog, a publication, on social media, or in a review, that’s earned media. In other words, we’re talking about attention and credibility that your business earns by the power of your reputation and excellent business practices – and without the use of paid media channels. With no requirement of financial investment, it is easy to understand why more and more people are looking for ways to capitalize on earned media as a way to grow their brands and businesses.
How Do I “Earn” Earned Media?
To get earned media, the number one tactic is by creating content worth sharing, and making it easy for your audience to spread your content far and wide. Social media channels are an excellent way to drive engagement and generate earned media. No matter how your business is being featured, from social media, search engines, tv segments, or in newspapers, you’re building credibility among a larger target audience, which is essential to business success.
Another critical approach is utilizing your brand advocates – also known as happy, loyal customers, who will write reviews, share recommendations with friends and family, and discuss their positive experiences with your business, both online and in person. The power of a referral generated by a satisfying experience with your business can’t be overstated, and offers more credibility than a paid advertisement.
Public Relations Tools to Encourage Earned Media
There are many tools that generate public attention for clients but knowing which tools to use and when is key to business growth. Press releases, media pitches, media interviews, seminars, social media, and webinars, and more but isn’t a media pitch and press release the same thing? “Look at earned media as an opportunity to give back, to connect with the community,’’ said Julie Holton, Principal Strategist and Owner of mConnexions. “It’s a way to connect with the media and reporters by providing a service for them.’’
Another important component of public relations is a media kit. Without one, most major media outlets won’t consider your business for coverage. A media kit includes company information, service or products, company personnel biographies, FAQs, and company pictures, as well as previous media coverage samples. Once you have these tools in your back pocket, where do you use them? Some common activities include social media, advertorials, business events, speaking engagements, community relations and employee advocacy. As TV producers, we know firsthand the power of a media pitch and a well-crafted kit!
Why Would I Want Earned Media?
One of the largest perks to earned media is its cost-effectiveness, as the main investment is the time and energy it takes to create compelling content and build strong relationships with your customers and the media. Identifying and engaging with these brand advocates through multi-channel marketing provides your business the ability to gain their favor, something that can never be paid for.
Consumers are researching services and products online now more than ever, and their research findings largely impact their buying decisions. Earned media is not only sustainable but powerful, and should be a key component of your marketing plans. When used in combination with paid media and other advertising outlets, your marketing strategy is untouchable.
If you’re ready to put the power of earned media to work for your business, but not quite sure how to get started, the team at mConnexions is here to help. Our experienced public relations strategists can manage your social media, branding, press releases, and media coverage giving you back the time to do what you do best – run your business.
Contact our expert team today to learn more about how we can help.