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‍How to Get More Earned Media: Tips and Tricks for Small Business

Brand Development

Earned media offers huge opportunities to build your brand’s reputation, influence your customers, and improve your off-page and local SEO in Miami.    

Because unpaid promotions from fans and loyal customers are not controlled by brands or companies, they’re considered more trustworthy and less biased.

However, earned media takes time to build up. Today, we’re going to explain what you need to know to get started!

What Is Earned Media?

Earned media is publicity that you didn’t pay for. We can see earned media in the form of mentions, shares, reposts, reviews, recommendations, news features on third-party sites, and so on.

If someone has ever posted about the top they just bought from you or shared your article on their feed, that was earned media. Those customers have just given you free publicity!  

Why Is Earned Media Important for Small Businesses?

Modern consumers trust recommendations from these sources:

  • Their friends and family
  • Online reviews sites
  • Unpaid influencer posts

In fact, 93% of consumers say that online reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions.  

After seeing someone they know enjoy the benefits that your business has to offer, customers are more likely to want to try your business.

With the right strategy, you can use earned media to help you generate leads, attract new customers, and build loyalty with your existing customer base.  

Common Types of Earned Media

review rating of a company viewed on mobile.

Review Sites

The honest, positive reviews you receive from places like Yelp, Google My Business, and TripAdvisor are one of the most important forms of earned media.

They help you get noticed and improve your search rankings. Even more important, they’re often a key element to convincing customers who are on the fence about trying your business.

According to Trustpilot, nine out of ten people consult online reviews before making a purchase and only 48% of shoppers would consider buying from a local business with less than four stars.  

After reading a positive review, 31% of people will visit the business’ website while 28% continue to look for more reviews.

Without a doubt, reviews play a crucial role in a consumer's purchase decision.  

Social Media Shoutouts

Social media shoutouts are significant drivers of a business. In a study conducted by American Express, 78% of small businesses say that positive shoutouts on social media help them generate 23% of their revenue. If you do the math, that’s about $197 billion!

This proves that something as simple as getting tagged in your customer’s Instagram story or getting featured on an influencer's Facebook post is enough to get you hundreds or even thousands of new followers, no matter what platform you’re on.  

Although you can't control what people post on social media, you can control:

  • How your brand behaves online
  • How interesting your content is
  • How good your products or services are

All of these factors influence the social media chatter surrounding your brand.

Media Coverage

Advertising spots or sponsored articles are media coverage that a brand typically pays for and controls. But, when you get featured or mentioned in an article without paying anyone to do so, this type of media coverage falls under earned media.  

An example of media coverage that falls under earned media is when your company does something newsworthy and you get a feature on online news articles or a TV segment.  

Many news outlets are most likely to link to your home page. That said, it can be a great idea to create newsworthy content optimized for Local SEO in Miami. This increases the chances that you can get links to internal pages, boosting your SEO efforts.

6 Tips for a Strategic Earned Media Program

1. Cultivate and Maintain Media Relationships

Journalist working with marketer for a feature article about local SEO in Miami.

Having a good relationship with the media doesn’t happen overnight. Just like any relationship, you need to nurture it and build trust.  

Before you can start building these relationships, you need to find the right journalists and media people. Identifying the right media outlets starts with doing your research and making sure that your message and goals align with your chosen broadcasting channel.  

Here are some tips on how to secure earned through good media relationships:

  • Spend some time getting to know your target reporter. Read their articles, keep tabs on the angles and style they use, or the topics they commonly write about. You can use this to create the perfect pitch to capture their attention.  
  • Follow your target reporter on social media and engage with them. Social media is a great way to connect and start building a relationship with your target reporter. You can do this by sharing their posts, commenting on their blogs, and tagging them in your online pieces as well.  
  • Provide a media kit. This makes it easier for the reporter to cover the story.
  • Follow up but do so respectfully. Remember that journalists and reporters are busy too and have full inboxes just like you. Avoid nagging them.  
  • Provide expert insights on certain topics so they can create pieces that truly bring value to your intended audience.  

2. Craft Content Worth Engaging and Sharing

When people see tweets or posts they can relate to, they feel compelled to share them.  

Your goal is to create content that's worth engaging with and sharing with others. Don’t forget to optimize them for local SEO in Miami to boost its visibility!

Below are the 11 different types of content that people love to share:

  • Tutorials and how-to style articles
  • Product reviews
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Stats collections
  • Case studies
  • Top 10 lists
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Surveys and Quizzes
  • Podcasts

When third-party websites share any of your content, it counts as earned media.  

3. Get Content Out in All Possible Ways by Using an Employee Advocacy Strategy

Boss congratulating employee.

Your employees are the face of your company. They know your business inside out, and they can give a unique voice to your brand’s reputation. This makes them some of your best advocates.

They’re probably already talking about their work on social media. Why not utilize that in a thoughtful employee advocacy program?

Think about them as another type of brand ambassador. Here are some types of company advocacy you should consider using:

  • Send out merch to highlight company culture.  
  • Create an employee of the month program.
  • Leverage your relationships with employees who already love your business through social media.

4. Demonstrate Your Expertise in Your Niche by Publishing Expertly Written Blog Posts

If you want to get quoted in articles, you should start sharing your expertise through blog posts, social media posts, white papers, and other types of owned content.

As you provide your readers with interesting, helpful content, you'll naturally become a go-to source for them.  

5. Always Aim to Provide Great Customer Service

People will naturally want to give you a shout-out if they love your business. To generate this positive emotional attachment, you need to provide high-quality customer service.  

One way you can provide great customer service to your customers is by allowing them to reach your team on platforms they already use.  

According to Statista, 59% of customers have a more positive view of brands that respond to complaints or questions on social media. By using social media channels, your customers can easily let you know about their concerns. This means you can quickly address them.

Your interactions will feel faster and more direct when compared to email. As a result, those precious shout-outs will come about more effortlessly.  

6. Monitor and Measure Your Earned Media Value

Your earned media value (EMV) shows the impact PR and marketing activities have on your small business’ success.  

But how exactly can you monitor and measure your earned media value? The answer depends on your strategy:

  • Social Media – Keep an eye on brand mentions and keywords to track earned media data on social media. You also want to monitor your brand’s share of voice to gauge how much you dominate the conversation in your niche and your brand visibility. You can use social listening tools to help you follow every repost, reshare, retweet, mention, and even thread where you're not tagged but is relevant to you.
  • Website – Track your referrals, mentions, and backlinks to see if your ranking increased on the search engine results pages. You also want to monitor your social media referral traffic. How many users are visiting your website because of the content you put out on social media?

Based on the results you gather, you'll know which of your tactics work and which ones don’t. Make sure to make the necessary adjustments to your earned media strategy to get the best results!  

Are You Using Earned Media to Your Advantage?

Consumers crave authenticity. This is why earned media is highly effective at driving traffic to your site, generating leads, and building loyalty with your customer base.  

Having the right strategy in place allows you to use earned media to rapidly build your brand authority, increase awareness, and dramatically improve your off-page and local SEO in Miami.  

At Digital Resource our digital marketing experts and PR team will work with you to create a custom content strategy that will boost your brand’s reputation and put your business on top of the competition!  

Contact us today to start getting more earned media.  

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