When it comes to measuring your advocacy marketing program’s return on investment, there’s no short list of methodologies. As the esoteric marketer says, “You need to find what works best for you, dude!” However, of all the methods, earned media value tends to be the preferred choice for most SocialToaster clients. It’s even what we use to calculate our own advocacy marketing program’s ROI. Below are a couple of our favorite tips for how you can maximize your program’s earned media value and improve your program’s return on investment.
So….What Is Earned Media Value Again?
In a nutshell, earned media value is the monetary worth (aka value) of any third-party exposure your brand receives that you do not pay for (aka earned media). Did your PR team work overtime to get your brand featured in Entrepreneur? Did your latest tweet get Retweeted a dozen times? Are people leaving you great reviews without any (paid) prompting? The value of those individual third-party actions rolls up into your earned media value (EMV).
How Do I Measure My Advocacy Program’s Earned Media Value?
If you’re measuring earned media value by hand, prepare to bust out the calculator. And keep it out.
You’ll need to add up the worth of every like, view, comment, share, recruit, contest entry, Instagram post, and Pinterest pin your program generates.
If you’re not the 10-key type (and we aren’t), we’ve got some great news for you. SocialToaster (our beloved advocacy marketing platform) automatically calculates earned media value for you over the life of your program. Even more convenient, we display your earned media value at the top of your dashboard so that you can quickly see the amount of value your program has generated.
Pretty convenient right? We think so.
How To Increase Your Advocacy Marketing Program’s ROI
Increase How Often You Publish
If you’re only sending out content for your advocates to share once a month, you’re leaving some serious earned media value on the table. Earned media value is cumulative, meaning the more content sharing opportunities you give your advocates, the more overall impressions, comments, and shares your program will generate.
Think of that publish button as a magic “Get More Earned Media” button. The more often you hit it, the greater your program’s potential earned media value. As a best practice, aim to send content to your advocates twice a week (some programs can even sustain 3x weekly content). This way you can increase earned media value while minimizing advocate burnout.
Maximize The Value Of Your Advocacy Program Actions
SocialToaster comes pre-loaded with the industry standard values for all social actions. We’ve dutifully scoured industry reports and surveys, done the math, and have determined the average worth of every action from a post like to a retweet to an Instagram contest entry. These are the values that our platform uses to calculate your program’s earned media value.
But, did you know that you can customize these values? If you know how much a share is worth for your specific brand (or what a new recruit brings you in terms of revenue), you can update those values within your SocialToaster program.
This is useful for brands that regularly pay to boost and promote their social content, as it allows them an opportunity to create an apples-to-apples comparison scenario by matching their advertising costs (Cost per Like for example) directly to their advocacy marketing program’s earned media value.
Create High-Value Content
When it comes to measuring earned media value, not all posts are created equal. Take the time to analyze your past posts to identify what content produces the most earned media value. We’ll go out on a limb, channel our best Carnac and say that the content of these high-value posts probably had a strong image attached to it (advocates do love some images). Perhaps it was even an awesome branded video.
Whatever that high-value content is, incorporate more of it into your advocacy marketing program publishing calendar to supercharge your program’s earned media value.
Remind Advocates Why They Should Share
In other words, if your program is using an incentive to encourage your advocates to participate, be sure that you remind them what that incentive is from time to time. People are forgetful; we all have a lot going on, and a brand shouldn’t expect an advocate to be able to recite your program incentive from memory six weeks after joining.
An easy way to remind your advocates about your incentive is to include it in the subject line of the sharing email (increasing the open rates) or in the body of the email that accompanies the post (increasing the share rates).
Always Be Recruiting
The ABR’s of increasing your advocacy marketing program’s earned media value: Always Be Recruiting. The more advocates you have in your program, the more individuals you have sharing your content with the social world – which means more opportunities to drive engagement.
We’re talking exponential growth here.
Want to learn more about driving program recruitment? Check out our blog post here.
It isn’t 2010. Social media is no longer a black hole when it comes to calculating return on investment. By using earned media value, you can identify the value your advocacy marketing has generated, compare that to the cost of your program (be sure to include incentive and content costs) and determine your advocacy marketing program’s return on investment.
Ready to start maximizing your earned media value? Schedule a demo with an advocacy marketing program specialist today.