When it comes to media presence, the terms “earned”, “paid” and “owned” frequently emerge, each with a unique significance. Among these, earned media has gained substantial prominence in recent years within communication departments. Understanding earned media is crucial, as it sheds light on the aspects that set it apart from its counterparts.
Earned media, as the name suggests, encompasses media exposure that a company has not purchased or commissioned. Instead, it’s the part that a company has genuinely “earned.” When viewed alongside paid and owned media, it provides a comprehensive outlook on a company’s marketing endeavors.
Earned media carries immense value for any company. It consists of comments, posts or articles that have been voluntarily created by customers, users or even devoted fans. This content not only serves as authentic and persuasive advertising (akin to word of mouth) but is also essential for further internal developments. It offers insights into what the public genuinely thinks about a brand, what customers particularly like about a new product, and what resonates most in their everyday life.
Despite the great benefits of earned media, it is not without challenges. While a company meticulously creates and maintains its image, content created by customers and followers can hardly be controlled or influenced and is quite unpredictable. Diverging customer opinions from the company‘s created image can lead to conflicts and potentially harm the company’s reputation.
One of the primary challenges with earned media lies in its measurement. Even if the content can be identified, it is difficult qualitatively assessing it or assigning it a precise value. For quantifying an approximate worth, three models can be considered: the Return on Target Influence Model, the Media Impact Model and the Impressions Model.
While the Return on Target Influence Model is the most common method for determining the effectiveness of measures, and the Media Impact Model is used to determine a return on investment (ROI), the Impressions Model deals with the calculation of the earned media value based on impressions. The larger the audience reached, the higher the awareness and thus the value for the company.
Nevertheless, earned media is not an equivalent substitute for paid or owned media. Instead, it is the synergy of the three marketing components that result in a holistic and value-driven strategy.
Tracking earned media presents another challenge, particularly for traditional broadcast media. While digital content can be tracked through linking or tagging, traditional media tracking is considerably more complex. Fortunately, there are tools available to help identify and analyze earned media.
Two reliable options are media monitoring tools specialized in audiovisual content using speech-to-text technology, and media-content datasets for Business Intelligence (BI) tools. The datasets cover real-time information from thousands of radio and TV stations worldwide. They can be easily integrated in any standard business intelligence tool like Tableau or Microsoft Power BI.
To learn more about real-time media monitoring or data cubes for BI and determine which option best suits your specific business case best, simply click here to get in touch with our experts.
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