Earned Media Unpacked: Strategies And Impactful Examples Explained

everything you need to know for earned media

Earned media is pivotal for amplifying your marketing impact organically. It’s what happens when potential customers, critics, and social networks naturally become your brand ambassadors. This article dives into how to effectively generate earned media and why it’s a key player in the marketing field, paired with illustrative examples that show earned media in action.

Key Takeaways

  • Earned media is organic exposure for brands achieved through word-of-mouth, social shares, press mentions, and positive reviews, enhancing trust and credibility.

  • Strategies to generate earned media include building relationships with influencers, creating shareable content, and leveraging public relations, all aiming to organically amplify brand exposure.

  • Measuring the success of earned media requires monitoring KPIs, using analytics tools, and setting realistic goals to understand impact and guide future strategies.

Understanding Earned Media

Earned media word cloud

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Earned media, also known as free media, is the exposure a brand gains without having to pay for it. This type of free media coverage includes word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family members, press mentions in news articles or features, blog post and by bloggers and influencers on social media platforms.

In today’s digital landscape, earned media has become an integral part of a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy alongside their paid and owned media efforts. Social media channels play a vital role in amplifying this kind of organic promotion through potential mentions by journalists or endorsements from influential individuals. Brands can proactively generate positive reviews, shares on their social media pages and more.

The Power of Earned Media

Earned media plays a significant role in enhancing trust, credibility, and brand recognition within a marketing plan. Its value lies in its ability to bring authenticity that may be lacking in some paid ads or social media marketing efforts. The genuine promotion of products by satisfied customers or organic mentions from influencers has more impact on audiences compared to sponsored ads or sponsored social media posts.

Earned media offers increased exposure for your brand at a much lower cost than traditional advertising methods or digital marketing strategies. This is evident through research conducted by Nielsen, which found that it is 10 times more effective than paid advertising when it comes to building brand awareness. This can be attributed to the fact that your message reaches a wider audience through shares, retweets recommendations and viral videos on platforms such as social owned channels and other paid media channels.

Earned Media vs. Owned Media vs. Paid Media

Media is typically divided into three types in the marketing world: paid, paid and owned media, and earned. Paid media refers to any advertising or ad space that a company pays for – including banners, pop-ups, video ads, and pay-per-click (PPC) search engine optimization ads, displayed at the top of google’s search engine results, and search engine results pages for specific queries. A successful paid media strategy plays a crucial role in a brand’s overall marketing plan by offering targeted exposure through various channels.

Owned media encompasses content created and controlled by a company such as its website banner ad, blog post or social media presence. On the other hand considered paid owned and earned media, is free promotion gained from word-of-mouth recommendations, prominent press coverage or positive reviews.Even though combined with other forms of media likesearch ads, paid owned and earned media has significant impacts on business, but nothing beats the reputation earned from word of mouth and positive publicity.Paired with other media channels, such as paid owned and earned earned is very powerful inboostingcredibilityandsupport for a brand in the media world.

Strategies for Generating Earned Media

Influencer marketing strategy

Generating earned media takes more than just luck. It requires a strategic approach that includes building relationships with influencers, creating shareable content, and leveraging public relations. These strategies can help brands gain organic exposure, as opposed to relying on sponsored social media posts or paid advertising.

While each of these strategies holds its distinct importance in a brand’s earned media and digital strategy together, they are all interconnected. The key is to find the balance and understand how these strategies can be tailored to a brand’s specific needs. Examining each of these strategies in detail will clarify their role and impact in generating earned media.

Building Relationships with Influencers

In the ever-growing digital world, influencers hold significant power as tastemakers. They possess a devoted following and can greatly influence consumer behavior. It is crucial for brands to establish strong relationships with these individuals in order to amplify their message and expand their reach.

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So, what steps should a brand take in order to cultivate such influential partnerships? The key lies in treating influencers as collaborators rather than just tools for marketing purposes. It is important for brands to understand an influencer’s interests and values before approaching them. Having clear expectations from both parties can lead to successful collaborations.

By taking a personalized approach to engaging with an influencer’s content on social media platforms or other channels of communication, brands have the opportunity not only get access to their target audience but also develop authentic connections with consumers through the voice of trusted influencers.

This mutually beneficial relationship allows both parties involved – the influencer feeling valued by being given creative freedom while promoting a brand they believe aligns well with their personal views – ultimately resulting in resonating authenticity among target audiences being targeted by said brand strategy.

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Creating Shareable Content

Engaging content creation

An effective approach to earning your social media and paid ads and coverage is developing content that can be shared. What makes content shareable? It must be of high quality, engaging and able to effectively resonate with your specific target audience. When your material connects well with them, they are likely to spread it across various platforms without the need for paid social media ads.

To create easily-shareable content, companies should:

  • Have a good understanding of their audience’s perspectives.

  • Create material that aligns with their beliefs.

  • Use attention-grabbing headlines.

  • Collaborate with influencers who have large followings on social media

Platforms like Instagram or Twitter.

Keep the substance relevant and intriguing.

By using search engine ads implementing these strategies into google ads and creating content marketing campaigns, brands could potentially increase their visibility in search engines as more people will discover and engage through google, search engines or sharing a blog post on popular social networks such as their Facebook page or LinkedIn.

Leveraging Public Relations

Public relations (PR) has the potential to effectively generate earned media coverage for a brand. Utilizing PR tactics like issuing press releases and engaging with journalists can successfully convey the brand’s narrative and attract attention from credible outlets, ultimately elevating its visibility.

The key to achieving successful results in PR is by crafting captivating narratives about the brand and finding innovative ways to showcase them through various owned and paid owned media channels, for social media channels, and platforms. This not only helps reach a wider audience, but also strengthens recognition of the brand while building trustworthiness through endorsements from reputable sources.

Impactful Earned Media Examples

Viral social media campaign

After understanding the concept of earned media and how it is created, let’s now take a look at some practical used media examples below. These real-life case studies showcase successful earned media campaigns that have elevated brands to fame and increased their exposure.

From social media sensations to partnerships with influential individuals and notable press coverage considered owned media itself, these instances illustrate the effectiveness of earning attention from others. They serve as inspiration for companies seeking ways to stand out in today’s competitive market. Not only did these brands utilize previously discussed strategies, but they also demonstrated innovative methods for utilizing social media effectively.

Viral Social Media Campaigns

The success of viral, video ads and ad social media campaigns highlights the effectiveness of earned media and native ads. They catch people’s attention, create a buzz, and most importantly, stimulate discussions. A prominent example is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took over the internet and garnered widespread brand exposure and engagement through its video ads and its virality.

Another case in point is Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign, which sparked conversations leading to commercial achievements and numerous awards. These instances demonstrate how innovative and captivating content can result in significant growth in brand recognition on various platforms via amplified earned media value.

Influencer Partnerships

Influencer partnerships have proven to be a valuable source of earned media for brands, as demonstrated by the success stories of Daniel Wellington and Glossier. Both companies saw significant boosts in brand exposure and reach through their collaborations with influencers.

For its partnership strategy, Daniel Wellington focused on working with micro-influencers, owned paid media channels and, and owned paid media channels examples while Glossier utilized customer reviews, paid channels, and social media influencers to strengthen its presence. These strategic alliances not only amplified the messages from both brands, but also created an element of credibility and authenticity that resonated well with their target audience – ultimately contributing to their overall achievement in earned media.

Noteworthy Press Coverage

Press exposure is a useful strategy for brands to acquire valuable earned media. Whether it’s by implementing a unique campaign that captures attention or executing Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that attract media coverage, press exposure can significantly enhance a brand’s visibility and credibility.

For instance, beauty companies often attain beneficial press coverage by using sponsored content and leveraging the expertise of makeup artists for content creators. This approach helps establish confidence in the brand and fosters positive associations that increase customer interest, aiding in building up the brand throughout its product life cycle.

Measuring Earned Media Success

Assessing the effectiveness of earned media is crucial for continual improvement and development. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), utilizing analytics resources, and setting achievable objectives, businesses can effectively measure their success with earned media tactics.

Understanding the impact of both earned and paid owned media and earned and paid media and on media enables companies to fine-tune their strategies, pinpoint areas for enhancement, and maintain strong connections with their own target market and audience. A closer look at each of these measurement tools demonstrates how they contribute to efficiently monitoring efforts in earning coverage from third-party sources.

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are predetermined targets that aid in evaluating the effectiveness of earned media strategies. These metrics, such as engagement rates, follower growth and conversions, provide evidence of how well a used paid media strategy is resonating with the target audience, increasing brand awareness and delivering return on investment for businesses.

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It is vital to identify relevant KPIs. For earned media specifically, these may include Publicity Value which estimates its reach to an intended audience, mentions received by a campaign or brand, and sentiment analysis gauging the user searches a video ad and overall perception towards it.

Although distinct from those used in paid or earned and owned media evaluation methods – which focus more heavily on numbers – using these KPIs can still offer valuable insights into measuring success within an earned and owned media or owned and paid media, channel or a digital strategy’s worth while assisting brands understand both their impact value.

Overall, when assessing outcomes following upon executing an Earned Media Strategy, keeping track of key results/indicators allows companies to see just what works indeed! This method gives insight into whether each effort has been effective ideally. As compared to one another plan parts : saved ad space, spend and pay budget.. #’d audiences introduced too this fabulous, ad spend space and marketing concept won over investing groups showcase identity loyalty.

Analytics Tools

Analytics and data analysis

Analytics tools are useful for businesses to accurately measure the effectiveness of their paid media campaigns, and track success. Some highly effective tools specifically designed for tracking earned from paid media campaigns include Hootsuite Analytics, Sprout Social, HubSpot, IZEA, BuzzSumo and Google Analytics.

These valuable tools provide insights on various aspects such as visitor numbers direct traffic amount, conversions and the value generated from social and search ads and media efforts. They also allow performance tracking of individual campaigns and help establish goals to monitor campaign success. They offer metrics like Earned Media Value (EMV), which helps assess the worth of publicity received through paid social ads and paid search ads and non-paid promotional activities.

Setting Realistic Goals

It is crucial to establish realistic goals in order to accurately evaluate the success of earned media campaigns. These attainable objectives include improving brand recognition, driving traffic to a website, increasing community engagement, maintaining a positive brand reputation, and boosting conversions or sales in particular paid media channel.

There are several best practices for setting achievable goals: clearly defining desired outcomes, building strong relationships with media outlets, creating engaging content, utilizing all available distribution channels, and following the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed) goal framework.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that effectively measuring the impact ofearnedmedia takes time and requires having reasonable expectations about what can be achieved within certain timelines.


Utilizing earned media is a valuable asset in the realm of your digital marketing strategy. By recognizing its significance, employing effective techniques, studying prosperous campaigns, and evaluating results, businesses can take advantage of this tool to boost their visibility, credibility, and audience outreach. As the the digital advertising landscape continues to progress, the potential for earned media expands even further.It’s time to embrace it and witness your brand soar to new heights!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is earned media with example?

Earned media refers to content related to a brand that is not directly managed or controlled by the company. This includes: organic traffic, mentions on various social media accounts, online feedback and reviews, as well as retweets. A common example of earned media is when customers voluntarily share their satisfaction with a product through posts on various social media platforms.

What is earned media vs paid media?

Paid media refers to the promotional content that is placed in front of a particular channel or specific audience through paid means, whether through paid media channels such as advertisements, native ads, search ads, or sponsorships owned media channels. On the other hand, earned media consists of any material created by others about you or your brand, including reviews and social media posts.

It’s important to note that owned media involves all types of content that you have full control over and produce yourself. This is owned media examples may include website blogs, company newsletters, and social media updates. Together with paid and earned forms of promotion,ownedmedia plays a role.

Why is it called earned media?

Unpaid media, also known as earned media, is a form of publicity and exposure gained from external sources or platforms without any monetary exchange. Unlike owned media or paid media, it encompasses references made by third parties on traditional outlets such as social networking sites, search engines, and other media types, of content not produced or sponsored by the company.

What does in earned mean?

The phrase “in earned” implies the acquisition or attainment of something, typically through deserving qualities, exertion, or endeavors. This may include gaining a respectable standing for being truthful or receiving income as compensation for completed tasks.

It can denote obtaining something in exchange for labor provided or services offered.

How can brands generate earned media?

To increase earned media, it is important for companies and media types to prioritize establishing connections with influential individuals, developing content that can be easily shared with targeted audience, and utilizing tactics from public relations. This approach will assist media channel in acquiring organic recognition and publicity from various media outlets.

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About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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