Have you added earned media to your marketing strategy yet? If not, you’re missing out on revenue, brand recognition, more qualified leads and a happier marketing budget. Here are five reasons why you should be prioritizing this marketing tactic.
The truth is that your customers and prospects trust the word of others over your word. It’s fine for you to say that your product is great and to share the benefits. However, when a presumed unbiased third party says your products are great, then that holds weight. Then, your prospects think, “hey, let me check this out.” Earned media is how you turn customers into brand advocates, and brand advocates into content creators. This includes content like reviews, recommendations, ratings, and stories about their experiences with your product.
Earned media has always been useful. It’s akin to word-of-mouth marketing and it’s a fantastic way to gain new customers and prospects. Social media, and the vast reach that it has, has amplified the power of earned media. One comment from a happy customer can reach thousands of new prospects and, depending on how you respond, has the potential to gain even more ground.
When compared to traditional paid media, which generally has a conversion rate of around 1% or less, you’ll be happy to know that earned media conversion rates are generally around 5% or higher. We buy from people we trust, and we trust companies who are reviewed favorably by our peers.
And let’s not forget that earned media isn’t free. You still have to spend money to market your business and generate that earned media, although it’s still much less expensive than paid media or owned media. It’s not uncommon to pay $5 to $200 or more per lead. With earned media, you’re not paying per lead. You are investing in a relationship with your customers, but you’re not allocating a set amount of dollars for every click or conversion.
Earned media has both reach and staying power. One word of mouth review from a customer will continue to live on through searches and indexed content indefinitely. (The same is true for bad reviews, so respond quickly to unhappy customers online and do what you can to change their experience and opinion.)
Finally, while it could be argued years ago that earned media wasn’t measurable, it now is. There are dozens of tools that give you the ability to calculate quantity and quality of earned media. You can track engagement, clicks, conversions and more.
There’s no reason why earned media shouldn’t be a priority focus in your marketing strategy. Start looking at how you can get your most satisfied customers to represent and talk about your brand online. It’s one of the most effective, budget-friendly, and profitable marketing tactics available to businesses of all sizes.