Marketing guru Philip Kotler has proven that consumers are five times more likely to be influenced by editorial copy than by advertising. Does this mean that PR and earned – rather than paid media – deliver the best brand impact?
For companies aiming to get their brand noticed, there are numerous avenues available. From PR to print and online advertising to prioritising a high place in Google search, it’s difficult to know which is most effective in grabbing the attention of your target audience. Even with more advertising techniques available than ever before and the use of social media by businesses always growing, earned media – usually through PR - remains among the most trusted ways of reaching your target audience.
Although not a new concept, earned media is still an extremely valuable way of driving huge interest in your business. Rather than rolling the dice with an often expensive ad campaign, why not investigate the ways in which earned media can transform a business?
Is earned media the same as PR?
Earned media is the way in which businesses create and shape a PR story around their brand in order to be circulated by publications with the goal of increasing credibility and positive brand exposure.
Building a reputation for your business can be a complex task and one that requires a deeply thought-out strategy. Earned media generated by PR efforts focused on building a brand’s overall reputation, can appear in the form of editorial, independent blogs, reviews and ratings, or simply positive word of mouth
Combining earned media with SEO
With 75% of people never scrolling past the first page of search engines, the importance of having a good place on Google speaks for itself. Mixing traditional forms of earned media with the searchable online content ensures that your business can maximise its reach from a trusted third party; meaning you get the best of both worlds. Earned content published by media outlets in print and online, extends the reach and longevity of the material and its message. As positive coverage remains online and continues to appear in search results, the impact is no longer limited to a once-off print article.
Earned media from a publication that people trust is invaluable for organic search results online. SEO relies heavily on social media engagements, whether that's tweets, likes or shares, social media helps in training a search engine to trust your brand more. This has a knock-on effect for Google results. By being featured in a well-known news source, the chance of your business coming up on the first page of Google is greatly increased.
Another benefit to digital earned media is having your content feature on a publication’s social media channels. This can dramatically increase your reach and exposure amongst social media users. For example an article featuring on siliconrepublic.com is likely to be tweeted by the likes of John Kennedy to his thousands of followers.
Third-party validation is an integral part of building your brand’s reputation. Regular appearances in trusted publications elevate the reputation your organisation.
In an era of fake news, established publications and who they choose to feature in them hold an increasing amount of weight.
At the end of the day, earned media builds on the idea that people trust their peers’ and respected journalists’ advice when making a purchasing decision.
How do I start?
Starting with an eye-catching story that aligns with your brand is key. Whether you want to announce new hires or drive home your company’s stellar workplace community, drafting a genuinely news-worthy story is very important.
Targeting relevant publications is the next step. Maximum exposure is obviously great, but it is important to understand the type of reader that will tune into a publication. Journalists will want a story that aligns with their readers’ interests, so only pitch to media who are likely to have an interest in your story.
The benefits of PR through earned media
Become a thought leader - earned media will set your business apart from others in the same space as you. The backing of a trusted publication can ensure that you come out on top as a thought-leader and industry expert in your field.
Get to the top of the Google results page - Trusted publications are invaluable in helping drive organic search results and increase search engine optimization. SEO relies heavily on peer recommendations, including social media engagements such as retweeting, liking and sharing of a media post. By leveraging the social media following of an established publication, the audience that may read about your brand is significantly broadened.
Grow your reach amongst potential customers - Ultimately, earned media can be a key growth driver for your business. By providing potential customers with a seal of approval from a third party, earned media can entice people to your product – growing your sales and putting your business on the right track.
At Comit, we work in tandem with our clients to carve out their key messaging, so we can maximise the right type of exposure for our client. If you would like to know more about how we elevate our clients’ brand to the next level using PR, get in touch here