Managing Online Campaigns – Earned Media
Our next execution lever consists of Earned and is the most influential but also the category with the least amount of control.
Examples of Earned could include things like User Generated Content (UGC) where a user adds content such as on website forum. Social media shares of your content can also fall under this umbrella. Finally, PR such as blog posts (and comments) or traditional press mentions can help you here as well.
The advantage of these actions is people tend to place a high value of trust in these channels. If users look favorably upon you, tremendous amounts of engagement and incredible traffic can follow.
Let’s take a look at how to execute on Earned:
- Develop great content – sorry to beat a dead horse but a brand that ignores this will get zero traction on Earned.
- Learn to search for clues on what your target market wants. Consider asking for shares and engagement after you’ve earned the opportunity to be a part of the conversation. We’ve all seen sub-par content with the plea of “please share this on Facebook”. That’s okay, I don’t want to expose my network to something lame.
- Approach influential press in a way that coincides with their readership. Bonus points to identify bloggers and review their tweets and articles to find out what their interests may be. Write a thoughtful email and include a link or two back to your website on why they might be interested. Plenty of resources exist online to coach you into how to pitch for public relations.
- Use technology to listen to the online conversation. Simple tools like Google Alerts can be set up and email you immediately when a keyword around your industry or brand is mentioned. This let’s you hop into the conversation and stay up to date on what others are saying.
- Say thank you. When someone retweets, shares, mentions, or otherwise gives you free exposure be sure to express some gratitude. Not only does this show up in your online stream but it greatly increases the likelihood of building relationships with trusted influencers whether they be customers, leads, or the press.
Key Takeaway: Earned is powerful influencer online. Yet, brands have very little control over the message. The best approach is to be humble, transparent, and do your best to put your brand in service to others. Don’t forget to be listening as the conversation unfolds for things good or bad.