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What is Earned Media Marketing?
It is a buyers’ market today. Companies can no longer sell their products; they have to market them. Consumers generally pass through the marketing funnel while purchasing a product or service. The marketing funnel looks like this −
Awareness − It helps the consumer to be aware of the existence of the product, service, and brand.
Interest − The consumers start digging up regarding the product and the various competitor offerings available in the market. The consumer gathers all the information that will be required in making the purchase decision.
Decision − After gathering all the information and analyzing the same, the consumer makes a decision, The decision is in regard to the product. Should the consumer purchase the product? When will the consumer purchase the product? How will the consumer purchase the product? And others. This stage helps the consumer make all the decisions.
Action − This is the most sought-after stage by companies. Here, the consumer finally purchases the product.
It is not necessary for the consumer to go through all the stages in chronological order while making every purchase decision. They skip certain steps or jump in between stages depending on the type of product and the consumer. The awareness stage of the marketing funnel is directly linked to earned media marketing.
The Concepts of Owned, Paid, and Earned Media Marketing
There are various ways through which companies can create awareness regarding their product or service. Companies can opt for −
Paid Marketing − Here, the companies pay different channels like newspapers, magazines, television, and others to advertise their product. The company has control over what is being said about the product to a larger audience.
Owned Marketing − The company is advertising the products on its own social media channels and website. The companies do not pay the third parties in this case and have control over what is being said about the product.
Earned Marketing − This is an unpaid form of communication. Here, the companies have no control over what is being said about the product to a larger audience. The satisfied consumers or the dissatisfied ones speak about their experience to the larger audience. This is the most effective as well as the most disastrous form of marketing.
Earned Media Marketing and its Impact on Business
Earned media marketing is a type of marketing that is done by the consumers of the product or the potential consumers. For example, if a consumer is super happy with the product, they might post an Instagram story about the same while mentioning the company name, which is earned media for the company. Just like when people post selfies or pictures of their Starbucks coffee, this is also earned media marketing.
Consumers Engage in Earned Media Marketing when they are
Super happy with the product or service.
Consider the product or service to be the status symbol.
Dissatisfied and humiliated by the product and the company.
Believes in the company or finds its online presence relatable.
Ways in which a Company can Ensure Earned Media Marketing
A company cannot control what is being said about its product, but it can ensure the following factors for positive earned media marketing −
Provide excellent products and services to customers. A good product speaks for itself and will ensure satisfied consumers.
Be patient and empathetic with your consumers. There might be situations in which the company can go wrong, or sometimes the consumer might be unfair. Instead of lashing out in these situations, companies can ensure that they are all ears. This will build the company’s image.
A company should utilize all its distribution channels, i.e., both the digital and the traditional channels. This will ensure that no market is untapped.
A company should focus on creating engaging content for its customers. In this digital era, where things can go viral in seconds, humor or relatable content always stands out.
Maintain good media, employee, and customer relations.
Benefits of Earned Media Marketing
It Makes the Company and its Product More Reliable − Consumers tend to believe more in the product when their friends or family are recommending its use. Positive word of mouth distinguishes the company’s product from the 50 other substitute products available in the market. Earned media builds consumers’ trust and confidence in the company.
It Increases the sale of the Company − When the product is recommended through close knits the chance of purchase increases. Positive word of mouth or if the company goes viral online directly affects the top line of the company.
Increase the Goodwill of the Company − There are high chances that not all the recommended products are being purchased by the consumers because of budget, usage, and other constraints. Earned media marketing is more than a marketing gimmick; it increases the goodwill of the company and ensures that the company has an edge over its competitors.
It is less Costly as Compared to the other Marketing Channels − Because companies cannot control the earned media and do not have to pay anything. It is an organic form of marketing and, hence, very profitable for the company.
Different Ways to Measure Earned Media Marketing
See the Organic Search Traffic on the Company's Website − If the consumers or people are talking about the product, they would surely check the online presence of the company. Hence large traffic on the company’s website.
Referral Traffic on the Company Website or Story and post mentions on Social Media − There can be cases when the consumers of the product are influencers. These influencers might share the product link with their fan base, and hence the company can see increased traffic on the company’s website because of the shared link. If the company is not paying money to this influencer, then this is earned media for the company. Similarly, consumers might post stories on their social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram, about the product and their experience. They can take the company name, so this is also earned media for the company.
Backlinks − Some content creators, while creating their content, may refer to the company’s website details or different blogs as references. This will also increase traffic on the company website, which means that the content posted by the company is praiseworthy. There are applications that one can use to check the backlinks.
Opportunities and Invitations − If the company is given the opportunity to speak at certain events, host certain events, or sponsor certain events, there is positive word of mouth regarding the company and its product.
Media Coverage − Even news channels or reporters might mention the company and its product, which provides the company with mass coverage.
Earned media marketing is wild, ambiguous, and uncontrollable. It might get difficult for the companies, but it is time that we look at the brighter side. If the company is doing right and believes in its product there is a long way for the company. The key is to give your best.
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