So you've implemented a blogger outreach program and you're working with YouTube influencers to have them say cool things about your brand. Now what? Having those earned mentionsfloating around the blogosphere and across social are fantastic, but let’s face it, we could all do a better job of making the most out of our earned media and user generated content (UGC). Here's some tips on maximizing earned media.
Earned media isn’t new. It’s been around for a very long time, under the umbrella of PR. As with everything in marketing and communications, technology has widened the spectrum for PR to include much more than traditional, editorialized media. When it comes to earned media today, many relevant, niche blogs have opened up the traditional PR channel standbys of newspapers, magazines, e-magazines, broadcast and, yes, web sites.
There are three types, each has certain advantages and disadvantages, but when used in concert represents an optimized approach for brands to ensure the maximum amount of prudent content gets seen and business goals are met.
Some people think content promotion isn’t complicated. It’s just making sure content is optimized for the search engines, sent to an appropriate email list, and then broadcast it socially, right? If only it were that simple. Search algorithms aren’t as reliant on on-page factors for determining relevance anymore, organic social reach is declining, and not every brand has a huge opt-in email database at their disposal.
Failure fatigue is quickly becoming content marketing’s biggest enemy. We've all been led to believe that if we just publish great problem-solving content on our company’s blog and do it often enough, it will get noticed by the search engines and social media in a big way. Unfortunately, great problem-solving content goes unread every day, which can be demoralizing to the creator. The next marketer who publishes branded content and gets lackluster results shouldn't feel demoralized; they should be asking their boss why they didn't promote it.
Loyalty programs don't have to be limited to email discounts and accruing points. Social media offers businesses a wealth of opportunity to engender loyalty among current customers. But to do customer loyalty right on social media, you may have to change your perspective.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with paid media – entire industries are built on the advertising and promotional model. They are often essential for building awareness – especially in the product or consumer world. But they need to be balanced with meaningful thought leadership.
While it’s no secret that referral traffic tends to convert better than direct, search and social, many marketers still pour thousands of dollars into interruption-based advertising and yesterday’s SEO tactics, hoping to generate a return. Earned media represents an effective alternative, not only because it focuses on driving referral traffic, but does so in a way that delivers problem-solving content and builds real relationships.