What's Your Content Worth? Explaining Earned Media Value

woman sharing favorite dessert on smartphone

In the competitive world of content marketing, brands are constantly vying to capture the attention of their target audience. They use various tactics such as creating content, running ads, and hoping to go viral. However, marketers often overlook earned media value (EMV) amid paid promotions and strategic social media posts:  It's the currency of word-of-mouth, the applause of the online crowd, and it can be compelling.

What Is Earned Media Value (EMV)?

So, what exactly is EMV? Simply stated, it's the estimated value of the exposure your brand receives through unpaid mentions by third parties. These mentions could be anything from a glowing review on a blog to a customer's enthusiastic tweet about your new product. Unlike paid advertising, where you spend for guaranteed placement, EMV hinges on organic engagement. It's the magic that happens when your content resonates so profoundly that people can't help but share it.

Why is EMV a Big Deal?

Earned media value is an essential calculation for a few reasons:

  • Trust factor: People trust recommendations from friends and influencers far more than traditional ads. Earned media taps into this inherent trust, giving your brand a powerful credibility boost.
  • Reach beyond your bubble: Paid ads might reach a targeted audience, but EMV has the potential to go viral, spreading your message exponentially through organic shares and conversations.
  • Cost-effective clout: EMV doesn't have a direct price tag, unlike paid advertising. While you might invest in creating great content or engaging influencers, the subsequent mentions and buzz come at no additional cost.
  • Brand loyalty amplifier: Positive earned media fosters community and belonging around your brand, turning customers into loyal advocates.

How Is Earned Media Value Calculated

Now, calculating EMV isn't an exact science. There are various methods, each with their own merits and limitations. Some common approaches include:

  • Social media value: Assigning a value based on the reach and engagement of earned mentions on social media platforms.
  • Advertising equivalent: Estimating the cost of reaching the same audience through paid advertising (as in the example below).
  • Influencer rates: Using established influencer pricing models to value mentions from prominent figures.

EMV Example

Here's an earned media value example using the Advertising Equivalent method:

Imagine a fashion brand receiving a positive review from a famous fashion blogger with 500,000 followers. The review generates 10,000 engagements (likes, comments, shares).

  1. Determine the average cost per engagement (CPE) for paid social media ads in your industry. Let's assume the average CPE is $0.50 in this case.
  2. Multiply the number of engagements by the CPE. EMV = 10,000 engagements x $0.50 CPE = $5,000

This calculation suggests that the brand received the equivalent of $5,000 worth of advertising exposure from this single earned media mention. Keep in mind that this is a simplified example.

Ultimately, the actual value of EMV goes beyond mere numbers. It's about understanding your content's impact on people's perceptions and behaviors. A positive review might not translate directly to sales but can build trust and pave the way for future conversions.

Increasing EMV

The following are four ways brands can increase their earned media value:

  • Create high-quality, shareable content: Focus on content that resonates with your target audience and sparks genuine interest.
  • Engage with your community: Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in conversations.
  • Build relationships with influencers: Collaborate with relevant figures in your niche to reach a wider audience.
  • Track and analyze your results: Monitor your EMV over time and use the insights to refine your strategy.

Remember, earned media is a powerful tool but not a magic bullet. Focus on creating genuine value for your audience; positive mentions will follow. Let your content be the spark that ignites organic conversations, and watch your brand shine in the light of earned media.

In a world saturated with marketing messages, earned media value is a testament to the power of authentic connections and the enduring value of great content. So, go forth, create, engage, and let your brand story be told, not just by you but by your loyal advocates and brand ambassadors. Enjoy this article? Subscribe to Internet Marketing News and get more great content delivered to your inbox.

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