If you’re looking to boost your brand’s coverage and get in front of more potential customers, use effective and paid PR tools. One of the most effective ways to reach new audiences is by free media.
Free media, also known as earned media, is any form of free publicity that makes your brand appear in front of a larger audience than you would be able to afford otherwise. It can include anything from TV and print ads to social media posts and online reviews.
The more people see your products or services without you having to spend money, the better chance there is at securing a sale. Here is a helpful guide to earn media so you can get ahead in creating buzz for your product or service:
Types of Earned Media
There are three main types, viz.
Earned editorial refers to any form of press you earn without paying for placement, including features in news sites, social media posts by reporters, and mentions in articles. This type of media is ideal because it’s generally seen as more authoritative than advertising.
Earned consumer or user-generated content includes all product or service reviews that are posted online by actual people. These can be found on blogs, forums, Facebook pages; anywhere there is an audience for consumer opinions. To achieve the aim, although some engage in buying reviews by paying reviewers or writing it themselves, it’s better and much more effective to find existing reviews and get more of them from potential customers.
Earned coverage from influencers happens when you get a high-profile endorser to talk about your brand. Celebrities, authorities in a given field, or people with a large social media following can all boost awareness of your product after they share it online. They tell their audience about it in an authentic way for free.
The best form of earned media is when your brand appears naturally in articles online without you having done any work or paid much money, if at all.
Here are six key tactics to use this form of media for your brand:
1. Understand Your Ideal Audience
The first step towards getting more earned media is to understand who you’re trying to reach. Learn about their interests and habits, like what social accounts they follow, which magazines and blogs they read, and how they spend their time online. Identifying the right influencers and getting to know their audience helps you understand how your brand can be seen as a valuable resource or solution.
Once you know this, it will be much easier to create content and outreach that appeals to them.
2. Be Clear On the Benefits
Your content needs to be clear on the benefits of using your product or service. What makes it different and valuable? Why should people care to buy it?
When you can answer these questions convincingly, it becomes much easier to get people to write about you. Media professionals like journalists, bloggers and influencers are always looking for new and interesting stories, so if you offer them one, they will be more likely to share it.
3. Focus on Identifying Authentic Audiences
There are two ways you can do this: either through advertising with Google Adwords to find groups of potential customers who would be interested in your products or services (by targeting keywords related to your industry).
You can also do outreach yourself after investing in creating an audience yourself with blogging/social media campaigns, where you’ll already know what readers want to hear about.
4. Create Relevant Content That Moves The Conversation Forward
The goal is to get people talking about your brand, but if all they do is repeat what you’ve already said, you aren’t making any progress at all.
Don’t just create content for the sake of having it there; use your knowledge and insight to provide something others didn’t know before so they too can be excited about your product or service.
5. Be Transparent With Reporters/Bloggers
It’s not enough to divert them back to your website – show them their angle on your story first-hand by offering up an exclusive release (and other forms of exclusivity) only because they asked for one in exchange for their article. This way, they have their angle to work from, and if they’re not interested in it, they can decline at any time.
6. Build a Relationship First
Far too many brands fail to see how building a relationship is the key to earning coverage. It’s about recognizing the value of your brand and offering new information first before asking for anything in return. If you offer high-quality content consistently, reporters will come back to you with opportunities themselves without you having to ask for them.
When you focus on earning media rather than buying it, potential customers will see your brand as more trustworthy and authentic. The key is to produce great content that people want to share and let the coverage come naturally. As long as you continue creating value for others, the earned media will keep coming.