Use Your Earned Media to Get Paid

To drive the most revenue from the lowest investment, you’ve got to use your earned media to get your brand paid! Many brands find that the rising tide of quality insights and data now available for their earned media can lift all paid media boats, enhancing the performance of ad campaigns.

Building awareness and moving consumers along the discover-to-buy pathway, means driving familiarity with your brand, and then interest and engagement with your products. The old-school strategies of a broad-based campaign made the most sense to build awareness with a large group across demographic and psychographic categories. This is where you’d traditionally spend a lot of money across broadcast, out of home, print, sponsorships, digital advertising, etc. — the type of “everywhere” campaign that blasts the maximum number of people very quickly.

Recent history has proved these methods truly timeworn. It’s become very expensive to drive mass awareness with paid media campaigns. What’s more, the fracturing of attention and exponential growth of devices and channels make it challenging to cobble together this audience at scale. And, it’s become less appealing to spread media dollars around an ad tech ecosystem that is far from transparent and prone to quality, fraud and brand-safety issues.

What gets brands really excited is the integration of smart social media and visual content strategies with their paid media programs.

The brands we work with recognize the tremendous value in optimizing their earned media strategy. This is especially true for challenger brands across categories such as cosmetics, fashion and CPG. Social media marketing, influencer marketing, public relations, and content marketing have all emerged as scalable, authentic communications channels more suited to meeting brand-discovery goals.

What gets brands really excited is the integration of smart social media and visual content strategies with their paid media programs. If someone engages with a brand’s content – sharing, reposting or liking it on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram — that’s a pretty strong signal of interest. Furthermore, if someone engages with a competitor brand’s content, that’s a good indication that they should be targeted for conquesting.

When brands get deep and analytical with earned media, they open the door to using that data to inform all of their marketing, and let them take action on those insights. They can learn for example, that specific content they post performs well, it performs better when this influencer posts it, it does best at this time of day, it gets shared and re-posted to these networks and websites, and so on. What’s more, they get the same depth of insights about their competitors’ earned media and visual content strategies.

Maybe you want to see who’s posted romantic images on Pinterest or Instagram so you can target them with paid media about jewelry or travel on Facebook. Perhaps you want to see who’s posted images of exercise and fitness to target them for sports apparel purchases. Or, what if you’re a CPG company and want to target people who post a lot of food and recipe content?

It’s a given that modern marketing means that no function or channel can operate in a silo. While there are pros and cons to both earned and paid media strategies, we’ve seen that brands succeed when they get the deepest level of actionable insights about their earned media and use that to inform and optimize everything they do.

Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan Gardner

Director of Marketing at ShareIQ
Jonathan Gardner is a veteran marketing and communications executive and director of marketing at ShareIQ, the visual content performance platform for brands. Follow him on Twitter @thejongardner.
Jonathan Gardner

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