Earned Media Value (EMV) is a method to measure the value of the work that PR experts and marketers do to promote a particular brand or company. EMV is a monetary worth of any third-party exposure your brand gets that your marketing and PR specialists strive to achieve: being featured in a media asset, getting great reviews willingly or getting brand’s post been shared by dozens. This post will identify what is Earned Media and three main models to measure its value.
Let’s first see what is earned media?
Earned Media represents one of the three sides of marketing: Owned and Paid Media. It is a tool used to publicize created content, such as press releases, blogs, social posts, influencer marketing, etc. In a nutshell, earned media is all the buzz around the brand posted by anyone outside of that brand.
Earned media is generally reached through promotional efforts other than paid media advertising. If we think of owned media sites as a destination then earned media is the vehicle that helps us get there.
Why it is so valuable?
Earned media are mass media that have not been created or purchased directly by the company. All content about the company that is shared by customers, fans or users is defined as “Earned media”. Unlike in the paid media, they all talk about your brand voluntarily without being paid for it. So, earned media is a form of word-of-mouth. This form of media value is especially essential for brands because it confirms how many people talk about you aside from your paid marketing and PR efforts.
Earned Media is all about reliability
Earned Media is usually defined as the most credible content form for brands. Of course, you can tell your prospects how well your product performs and why it is the right choice for them, but eventually, they know that you want to sell your product. Existing customers or brand advocates, on the other hand, can provide their honest opinion about your product without any strings attached. Therefore, it is just a question of reliability.
Cons of Earned Media
Although earned media is very valuable, it also carries some risks. Unlike owned and paid media, it cannot be easily controlled. Since owned media is formed by the brand itself and paid media develops according to the brand’s conception, earned media, on the other hand, is completely disconnected from the brand’s scope of action. As a brand, you have almost no control over the evolvement of this mechanism.
How to calculate EMV?
Evaluation of earned media is another disadvantage of Earned Media. The grim reality is that there is zero consistency when it comes to calculation of the value. Every brand can formulate its own metrics based on its campaign goals, communication channels, and content types.
Typical measurement metrics such as impressions and likes, are not concrete and do not address the brand’s business goals. Therefore, Earned Media Value is considered uncharted and unpredictable territory for many companies looking to transform earned media into tangible value.
Although there isn’t one agreed-upon formula and reliable benchmarks to base for measuring earned media value, it can be measured by these three different models: 1. Impressions Model; 2. Media Impact Model; 3. Target Influence Model.
We can come to a conclusion on how to measure the result of earned media and return on investment that results in a tangible outcome.
Calculating earned media value according to the impressions proves the awareness of the brand’s target audience of a particular product.
This model works like this. Once a certain number of people with an audience have been exposed to and made aware of traditional or digital media assets, a brand will need less exposure to trigger their awareness, , comprehension and opinions about particular products or services. This goes on in a cycle to influence commitment and engagement.
Target Influence Model
This one is the most common method of assessing influence, the survey of a representative sample can be used to determine whether exposure to a message has reached its target. With this model, it’s important to measure for recall, retention and general indicators of attitude change such as motivation.
Media Impact Model
In simple terms, the media impact model traces coverage against sales over time in various markets and is a useful statistical study for describing an ROI.
In this type of calculation process, we measure the models of sales by market and time against marketing tactics – one being earned media.
The assessment can determine which tactic generated sales. Using this model, a business can determine the estimated ROI of each campaign and see sales improve over time based on earned media publicity.
Nevertheless, an earned media value shouldn’t be compared to paid advertising efforts, brands should understand the role of earned media in marketing. The difficulty to measure EMV shouldn’t discourage marketers to avoid using earned media, but to encourage brands to plan earned media strategy carefully with achievable targets.