The most common question that I get when talking to someone who’s debating whether to hire me to help them get media coverage (earned media as opposed to advertising) is, “What will this get me? Can you promise that it will make the cash register ring?”
The short answer is no, I can’t. All I can promise is that I’ll work hard to get you earned media coverage. Whether that’s print, TV, radio or podcast is something you and I need to decide before we begin working together.
But there is evidence that earned media will translate into money for the client. Crazy Egg estimates that up to 40-percent of all lead generation comes from earned media.
Earned media is the very top of the customer-journey funnel, and admittedly should be just one part of a multichannel marketing strategy. However, there are at least two benefits of earned media that can’t be replaced by other forms of marketing: 1) establishing credibility and 2) targeting tough-to-reach potential customers.
- Establishing credibility: credibility has always been important in business, but I’d argue that it has never been more important than it is today. Today, customers have more options and more access to information than ever before. However, this doesn’t make the decision regarding where to shop or where to invest any easier. Most customers feel they’re “drowning” in options. That’s where earned media comes in. A credibility-building media placement helps make the customer’s decision easier. When faced with many potential businesses — all of which advertise — in which they could put their money, the customer will pick the one that’s most credible. Often, that perceived credibility is driven by earned media.
- Targeting tough-to-reach potential customers: more than 25% of Americans use ad-blocking software on their computer (Statista). Try as you might, you probably won’t be able to reach these folks with traditional marketing. Even if you could, 69% of people distrust advertising (IPSOS) These facts greatly diminish your potential customer pool if you’re relying on advertising alone. Reaching these customers via earned media, embedded in news sources that they trust and in which they’re interested, gives you a fighting chance.
I hope that conveys the power of earned media.