The Value of Earned Media in a Content Marketing World

With enough time and money, it’s easy to spread the word of your company’s accomplishments and ideas. You can develop customer success stories, white papers, and product information to share. If you’ve been doing a good job of capturing leads, then you have your own list for sharing that content. If you’re shy on volume or are still building your database, you can buy lists. You can get your message out directly to your prospects via content marketing, in the way you want it to be heard. So why even bother with media relations and pitching your story to the press?

The answer is in the term “earned media”.

This is the PR-insider phrase that describes stories and news in B2B publications that feature your company. The reason why it’s called “earned” is the same reason why it’s so valuable: the content was vetted by a journalist or editor who covers your market space, who deemed it worthy of presenting to their audience.

This extra dimension offers credibility to your company and to your brand. It’s one thing for you to tell your market that you are on to something; it’s another when an independent source says so. Editors and journalists who cover your market see lots of news and receive dozens of pitches a day — when they pick your company’s news or idea to share, they’re saying that you deserve to be heard.

Even better, they are sharing that news with a community that can be yours. Trade and B2B publications spend a lot of money attracting the right people to subscribe to their content; they’ve done the hard work of finding what are, in essence, your prospects. When your story appears on their pages or on their web site, you are getting a prime introduction to a host of potential new customers.

B2B publications also spend a lot of money on journalists and editors who often are on par with industry analysts in their knowledge and understanding of the market. These folks are knowledge leaders, and their readership trusts them not only to curate the flood of news, but also to provide perspective. Earning their attention puts your company on a higher plane in the eyes of your prospects.

Earned media also makes for great content to share with your existing database of prospects. Make sure to include a list of earned media links on your site, and definitely spread the word with prospects via your outbound communication channels.

As you develop your marketing approach, make sure to keep earned media high on your list of priorities. You’ve done great things — take the next step and earn the trust of the media community. When you get that great story, remember to celebrate. You’ve earned it!

All things B2B marketing. Former virtual CMO, now in-house bizdev. I founded content calendar software PlanITPDQ. Constantly curious. alisonhms[at]gmail.com

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