by Maya Harruna
We spend the majority of our lives being marketed to – as we scroll through our social media newsfeeds, when walking down the street, or even whilst watching TV or listening to the radio. It’s estimated that the average person is exposed to anywhere from 3,000 to 20,000 adverts and marketing messages every day.
Whilst businesses believe that this is the most effective method to get in front of potential customers, the sheer scale of messages that people face has led to scepticism and wariness, forcing brands to work harder and be more innovative to gain the trust of their target audiences.
WPP, the world’s leading advertising agency recently reported a 0.9% fall in revenues. According to research analyst Brian Wieser, big brands are cutting their overall ad spend. It’s become increasingly clear that traditional paid media is no longer the most effective way to consumers’ hearts. In order to stand out brands must find smarter ways to reach their potential audience
Today, there are multiple avenues within which businesses can raise their profiles: Paid, owned or earned media.
Paid media is simply media that has been paid for, it includes advertising, branded content and advertorials which are designed to look like original unbiased news articles . In comparison owned media are the channels owned and operated by a business and includes web sites, mobile sites, blogs, and social media accounts.
Earned media is when an impartial individual or publication mentions your business on social media, or on an online or offline publication. Journalists, who have no affiliation with you or your organisation, are typically viewed as objective and neutral observers. So, when they report positively on you or your organisation, this is perceived as an unbiased affirmation of your business.
A study by YouGov found that earned media remains the most influential way to shape brand opinion and drive content sharing, and that up to 92 percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations, whilst only 24 percent trust online ads. 25 to 40 percent of all traffic and lead generation comes from earned media.
Earned media is often considered the most valuable method of promotion, but why?
Though it can’t be bought, earned media isn’t necessarily free. Your products or services must speak for themselves and that requires commitment and effort. By embracing earned media, brands can build deeper long-term relationships with their most-engaged customers, which will have lasting benefits in terms of return on investment, rewards, and revenue.
While earned media should be central in any businesses marketing efforts, it doesn't mean that other forms of media should be ignored. Earned media should be used in tandem with paid and owned media for the best possible outcome.
At Flame PR, we’ve dedicated over a decade to building relationships with the media and creating engaging and meaningful content that’s centred on each of our clients key messaging. If you are looking to stand out in a noisy market place - get in touch!