Earned media content is content that other people, influencers, and brands share on social media. This means that your content reaches a much wider audience, and because it’s shared or commented on by a third party, you earn a good degree of credibility and authority in your niche. People tend to trust the opinions and endorsements of others, and that’s what earned media is. When a social influencer says, “hey, check this person’s blog post out,” you’re getting an endorsement.
This potential for authority, credible, and a wider reach can put tremendous pressure on you as a content creator. You want to create amazing content that gets shared thousands of times. This pressure tends to create problematic content.
Content becomes gimmicky. Some people start focusing on trends, controversial topics, and attention-grabbing headlines. That may get you short-term results, but in the long run, it’s not going to establish your brand as a credible source of information. And the traffic that you do generate to your page, profile, and website will likely not come back. In short, you’re not really getting the benefits of earned media.
So, what’s the secret to effective earned media?
It’s all about the basics. This sums it up…
Don’t Try Too Hard; Simply Create Content That Answers Questions, Solves Problems and Brings a Unique Point of View to The Conversation.
Let’s break that down just a bit.
Create content that answers the question and solves problems. This means that you need to know your audience. You must know what problems they’re trying to solve, where they are in the process, what they’ve tried already, and what they need in terms of answers and a solution. You can craft content around those pain points, then you’re going to get reposts, shares, and links from your audience and influencers.
The second part of that statement that needs attention is the Brings a Unique Point of View part. This means that you and your brand have a strong voice, a brand personality, and a mission – and those things are represented in your content. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, then often that voice is your own. It’s your personality; integrate it into your content. If you’re a larger company, then it’s important to define your brand and your message and to integrate that into your content.
In short, focus on your audience. The earned media shares, engagement, likes and so on will follow when you consistently produce exceptional content. Pay attention to what your audience responds to, and leverage that information to help you continue to improve and grow your earned media content marketing results.