Internet Marketing

What Is Earned Media?

Thanks to the Internet, there are now countless ways to market any business online. Although this means that there are more options than ever, it also means that marketing managers have lots of research to do before putting a strategy together.

If you're in the process of creating a marketing plan for your company, or are looking to expand on your current plan, you may have heard of earned media as a way to generate brand awareness and reach new customers. And when done effectively, it can certainly accomplish those goals.

So what is earned media, and how can you incorporate it into your marketing strategy?

You can contact us online or call 888-601-5359 today to speak with one of our experts! Or you can continue reading for answers to both of those questions.

What is earned media?

For a quick explanation of earned media, check out this short video from Content Marketing Consultant Alicia Lawrence.

Video: What is earned media?

Alicia Lawrence demystifies the world of earned media.

In order to understand earned media, it's necessary to also understand the other types of media: Owned and paid.

As you may have gathered from its name, owned media refers to the content that your company owns and retails control of. This includes all pages on your site and blog, as well as the content on your social media channels.

Paid media includes anything you pay to reach customers with, like advertisements or sponsored content on news sites and blogs. Essentially, any time there is a monetary transaction before you reach customers, you're working with paid media.

Earned media, then, refers to content that relates to your business but isn't published on properties you own, and you also didn't pay for. In some cases, this occurs naturally, but in others, it's the product of outreach and promotion.

For example, let's say your company creates an infographic about a popular topic within your industry. You publish it on your blog and share it on your social channels, meaning that it is owned media.

Then, you email editors of news sites and blogs that your readers follow and let them know that you've published the infographic. You encourage them to publish it on their own site, and they do. This is earned media.

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Why is earned media useful?

Although earned media can sometimes happen naturally when your business does something newsworthy, it's more often the product of research and outreach. This means that it requires much more work than simply publishing it on your own website.

So why go to the trouble?

When it comes down to it, the biggest advantage of earned media is that consumers know that all companies post favorable content about themselves. They know that the articles and posts on your own site are designed to make your products and services sound great, and will consider everything at least slightly biased.

the biggest advantage of earned media is that consumers know that all companies post favorable content about themselves

With earned media, on the other hand, readers see that objective editors and site owners found your content worthy of publishing or your business worth discussing. They know that the opinions are more likely to be unbiased than anything on your own site, and that the authors have no reason to falsely publish things about your brand.

In addition to reinforcing your company's image to those who are already familiar with it, earned media can also help you reach a larger audience than content on your own site ever could.

Unless you're a large corporation and have spent years building your online presence, it's unlikely that you earn more than a few thousand visitors per month. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if those visitors are qualified and likely to convert, one article on a popular industry site could easily earn that many readers in a single day.

With earned media, you can grow brand awareness – and if the coverage is favorable, increase interest in your products and services.

Plus, most reputable sites will also include a link to your site within the content. And if you're familiar with SEO, you know that this alone makes earned media worth your time. Link building is a difficult and time-consuming process, and links from popular sites within your industry can have a huge impact on your rankings.

Want to start using earned media for your business?

Earned media can be extremely valuable to any company's marketing strategy, but earning it is often easier said than done. If you want to start using it to reach new customers and grow your brand, WebFX can help.

Our talented earned media team has years of experience helping our clients build relationships with editors and site owners. Contact us today to speak with a strategist about how your company can start earning coverage on other sites to grow your brand.

Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebFX can improve your online performance.