How To Maximize Your Earned Media Value To Drive Advocacy Marketing ROI

Maximize Your Earned Media Value

Repeat after me: If you want to see success, you need to measure for success! As Grandpappy used to say, “How are you going to know you arrived if you never had a destination in mind?” Previously, we touched on a few different ways to measure the success of your advocacy marketing efforts. Today, we’re going to focus on how to maximize your Earned Media Value (EMV), an advocacy marketing success indicator many of SocialToaster’s clients use.

Every engagement on social media has a value attached to it. Get a Page Like, that’s worth $X. Someone shares your post, that’s got a value of $Y. The more engagements your advocacy-shared content receives, the more value your advocacy program generates. It’s not uncommon for some of our clients to see an 8x to 10x return on EMV from their advocacy efforts.

If you want to guarantee a strong advocacy marketing ROI, you need to focus on maximizing your Earned Media Value.

Wait, Can You Remind Me What Earned Media Is Again?

There are three main archetypes of media:

  1. Owned Media: This is media you own, like your website, blog, storefront, etc. You control 100% of the message and 100% of the presentation of the message to the consumer
  2. Paid Media: Any media that you purchase. Facebook ads, magazine spreads, radio spots, if you paid for it, it’s paid media. A little on the nose, but that’s what it is.
  3. Earned Media: All 3rd party branded exposure that you didn’t pay for. Historically this was the realm of PR, but it has grown to include social mentions, reviews, influencer marketing and advocacy marketing.

How Does It All Work Together?

Let’s say you publish a great blog post that you know your customers can’t wait to read. You want to get the word out about the blog post, so you:

  • Publish that shiny new blog post to your website (owned media)
  • Place a post on your brand’s Facebook page talking about the blog post (owned media – it’s your Facebook page)
  • Pay Facebook to promote the post to gain more exposure and engagements (paid media)
  • Engage your advocates through an advocacy marketing program to share the post to their pages (earned media)

Once a third-party chooses to publish and promote your content on their platform, that’s considered earned media. Every comment, like, share, branded impression, on a piece of earned content is one less engagement you pay for! That saved money is what we refer to as Earned Media Value.

Earned Media Value is the market worth of your earned media presence. If it costs you on average $.75 per engagement when you promote a post, then your earned media engagements are worth $.75 each! Don’t want to do the math on your own? We don’t blame you. Just be sure to work with an advocacy marketing platform (like SocialToaster) that calculates the running lifetime EMV for you within the program!

Why is Earned Media Important in the First Place?

Earned media is often described as one of the most trusted forms of branded communication. As we’ve said many times before, your potential customers are more likely to trust a peer than an advertisement, even if both are saying the same thing.

Here’s how powerful earned media is:

  • Up to 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations (another form of earned media), but only 24% trust online ads.
  • Recommendations from trusted friends and family are 50x more likely to trigger a purchase compared to other recommendation sources
  • On average nationwide, 25%-40% of all lead generation and site traffic comes from earned media sources (if you’re paying for more than 60% of your site traffic, you’re doing it wrong)
  • Conversion rates from earned media average at 5% or higher, as a comparison paid media conversion benchmark is between 1%-2%

So, What Do I Need To Do To Drive More EMV From My Advocacy Marketing Program?

1) Recruit Those Advocates

Be on more social feeds. Every person who joins your advocacy marketing program is an adrenaline shot of pure exponential growth. The more people you have in your program, the more social channels your content is being shared on, the more opportunities your content has to earn engagements, click-throughs, and sales. To fully maximize your earned media value, you need to focus on recruiting more people into your program.

2) Turn Up For Engagements

Every Post Like or Share adds more dollars to your overall EMV; the more engagements you earn, the higher the overall value your content receives. This means that if you want to maximize EMV, you need to create more engaging content. For most brands, that means going with visual and video content.

Consider the following:

  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without images
  • Don’t just include images in your social posts, either: BuzzSumo analyzed over 1 million articles and found that articles that had more images (every 75 – 100 words) received DOUBLE the social media shares compared to articles with fewer images

3) Publish. Publish. Publish.

If I gave you a magic button and said that every time you pressed the button you would get ten bucks. No strings, no repercussions, just a nice tenner, you’d be pushing that button as hard as often as you could.

When it comes to maximizing your earned media value with your advocacy marketing program, publishing a new post is the equivalent of hitting that button. Each post is a new opportunity to earn impressions, engagements, link clicks and even sales. If you want to see your EMV soar, publish great content as often as possible.

Remember, the trick to maximizing your earned media value is to create more opportunities FOR earned media in the first place. Get more people in your advocacy marketing program, produce better content and publish more of it!

Are you ready to start earning an 8x to 10x return on your earned media value? Contact SocialToaster today and schedule your free demo.

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