Do You Have an Earned Media Strategy?
Earned Media is just that; you have to earn the trust in order to get the exposure and local visibility
Earned Media is unpaid publicity through either mainstream outlets like television, radio or print, digital outlets like traditional web publishers, or social media outlets like blogs, communities, forums or podcasts.Â These media mentions might be earned through PR or through interaction and sharing your quality content with others. Also by others sharing what you have posted in various outlets described earlier.
I also believe that earned media can be accomplished by reviews on sites like Yelp,Â Google + Local pages and on other specific review sites where you are not talking about you and your business but others are relating their experiences.
It is a sharp contrast to Paid Media like advertisements on radio,tv, magazines, and online sites. It clearly includes Pay Per Click advertising on either Google, Bing or Facebook. With paid media you define the content and you pay for it, and you hope it drives customers to the door.
But face it given studies by the good folks at Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy ,that point to the fact that ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertisingâ€”an increase of 18 percent since 2007.
Earned Media is also one of the most cost efficient ways to grow your business or practice
Develop Your Earned Media Strategy
Who do we want to serve.? What market is the one that we want to find our ideal client from. This narrowing of our focus allows us to serve clients that value our services . These are clients that need and want what we have to offer to solve their issues.
By defining Â our area of expertise we can then focus on where we wish to draw our customer base from, what makes us different from others in that area and what actions do we have to take to dominate.
This component of strategy also allows us to determine how we are going to achieve our objectives, what resources we need to accomplish this and what particular plan of attack we have to have. Â I know that seems a little military in nature, but remember we are competing for sales and trust.
Where do our customers hangout? What is their favorite type of social media. Where do we get he most Â “earned media” today. Be where the fish are biting in crass terms.
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Tactics to Gain Earned Media
Here are 5 simple tactics that will help you in your quest.
- Forget You- Think of Them. Â Deliver valuable and useful content that will interest and engage your customers or prospects . Make it so good that you will stand out in your arean of interest.
- Use Easy Butttons. Â Put sharing buttons like Google +,Facebook,Â StumbleUpon,ReddittÂ or combos like +AddThisÂ on your posts or media onlineÂ and make it easy to share your content. Â Ask for reviews-Print a pdf telling them how to review their experience on review sites like Yelp,Google Places, Foursquare .
- KISS- Keep your posts and media simple and easy to understand. Use humour and images.
- Think if your idea or content or sharing meets your strategy and hone in exactly Â on what you think your ideal customer wants. Think of the top questions they ask for starters
- Love the One You Are With– Your current happy customers can seed your content Â (stock the pond) and get the word out for you on reviews and comments as well. Raving fans rock !
For a little more detailed and comparative look at the matter check this postÂ out on @SpinSucks by the talented and prolific Gini Dietrich co-author with Geoff Livingston of Marketing in the Round: How to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign in the Digital Era (Que Biz-Tech). Â Great read, see my review on AmazonÂ .
For a discussion of Paid,Earned,Owned and Shared see Lee Odden,s post on his blog Top Rank. Â Lee also has a new book out that I have bought and yet to review Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing