What Is Earned Media Value?
From the moment that marketers began using social media to promote products and services they’ve been tasked with showing the value of those efforts. One mechanism for this has been to use Earned Media Value, or EMV. In general, EMV is defined as the amount of money that an organization would have had to spend through paid channels in order to achieve results comparable to those generated through organic marketing and PR efforts.
How is it Calculated?
There is no standardized way to calculate Earned Media Value. Historically, SocialToaster relied on individual engagement metrics that were achieved on each social media platform. This included looking at things like impressions, Likes, Comments, and Shares on Facebook, impressions, Tweets, and Retweets on Twitter, etc. The value of each of these engagement metrics had been justified based on industry whitepapers that established a value for each of the actions–the most recent one being the Ayzenberg Earned Media Value Index. So, for example, when looking at actions on Twitter, the following values might be applied:
- VMP (Value per 1k Impressions): $9.07
- VPC (Click): $1.58
- VPFAV (Favorite): $0.60
- VPR (Reply): $2.87
- VPS (Retweet / Share): $1.88
- VPF (Follower): $2.28
- VPV (View): $0.09
By looking at each of these actions and applying the corresponding value, and doing so across all actions on all networks, one might be able to determine an Earned Media Value.
However, feedback from our customers led us to believe that this was not a particularly meaningful way of evaluating the value of social media engagement in the current market, primarily because it is very difficult to actually purchase authentic engagement from an owned or branded channel in a way that translates directly to these types of values.
This led us to evaluate alternative mechanisms for determining an Earned Media Value that is more representative of today’s environment. In exploring options, we found ourselves looking at influencer marketplaces and market rates for influencers.
Earned Media Value Based on Fair Market Rates for Influencers
Influencer marketplaces have evolved over the last few years to become a standard tool for marketers. These marketplaces, such as IZEA, Tagger, and Klear, allow marketers to search through a database of influencers to find individuals who are aligned with the brand, connect with them, and engage them for a fee to help promote the brand to their followers.
These marketplaces are complimentary platforms to SocialToaster. SocialToaster allows a brand to connect with existing authentic supporters at scale to enable those supporters to share content from the brand out to their personal networks. Using SocialToaster in conjunction with an influencer marketplace is similar to leveraging Search Engine Optimization (SEO) along with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for search marketing. Just as SEO allows a brand to build long tail value by driving organic traffic to a site on an ongoing basis with minimal ongoing expense, SocialToaster allows a brand to build a database of existing authentic brand supporters that can be enlisted to help share content on an ongoing basis with minimal ongoing expense. Search Engine Marketing, on the other hand, allows a brand to drive targeted short-term traffic based on an available marketing budget. This is similar to how an influencer marketplace allows a brand to potentially reach an audience of people on a campaign-based basis.
Because SocialToaster essentially turns ordinary individuals into brand influencers, it makes sense for us to evaluate influencer marketplaces when attempting to determine an Earned Media Value for the use of our platform.
Influencers are often categorized as follows:
- Nano Influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
- Micro Influencers: 10,000 to 100,000 followers
- Mid-Tier Influencers: 100,000 to 500,000 followers
- Macro Influencers: 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers
- Mega Influencers: More than 1,000,000 followers
Influencer rates are generally determined by what category of influencer they are, and what network they are posting to. Because the average individual supporting a brand on SocialToaster is connected to 1200 people, we base our value on the Nano Influencer level. At that level, the following table of rates applies:
|2022 Nano Influencer Rates|
|$10 / 1000 followers|
|$2 / 1000 followers|
|$25 / 1000 followers|
|$60 / 1000 followers|
|TikTok||$25 / 1000 followers|
|YouTube||$20 / 1000 subscribers|
|Snapchat||$10 / 1000 followers|
|Blog||$60 per post|
There are a few things worth noting in this analysis:
- First, Nano Influencers tend to generate better engagement than Mega Influencers. The average Nano Influencer generates 4% engagement, whereas a typical Macro Influencer gets 1.3% engagement per post, and a Mega Influencer only gets 0.8% engagement.
- Second, it’s worth noting that determining a value for LinkedIn influencers is a bit tricky. The platform generally limits visibility into a users network–the number of followers that can be seen is capped at 500 people, even if it is actually much larger. LinkedIn is also more of a B2B play, which tends to command higher value than targeting consumers. Convince and Convert does a deep dive into B2B influencer marketing, but their assessment of LinkedIn influencers tends to focus on long-form posts, with rates between $350 and $500 per 1000 words. However, users on SocialToaster are generally sharing links to existing brand content with limited additional commentary. As such, we’ve taken the position that LinkedIn influencers are B2B influencers similar to bloggers, and have assigned them a comparable value of $60 per post.
By looking at SocialToaster end-users as Nano Influencers, we are able to establish a reasonable fair-market based Earned Media Value for their sharing efforts on behalf of our customers. Rather than using inferred values per engagement that have no real-world corollary, Influencer rates are well established on a variety of third-party marketplaces. The result is that we’ve updated our Earned Media Value reporting for 2022 to utilize this new model, and we think it will provide greater ROI transparency and more accurate results than the historical model.