At AlturaSolutions, earned media is key to an effective B2B Inbound marketing strategy.
According to Wikipedia, earned media “refers specifically to publicity gained through editorial influence.”
The media outlet may include newspapers, television, radio, and the Internet, and may include a variety of formats, such as news articles, letters to the editor, editorials, articles, and surveys. Earned media cannot be bought or owned, it can only be gained organically, hence the term ‘earned.
But why would the editor of a major trade publication accept an article that promotes your company’s products?
To answer that, we need to examine what has been happening in the publication industry over the past 20 or more years.
When starting AlturaSolutions, we realized that many trade publications had their own writers. The goal in those days was to help editors write an article that might reference my client.
Now, even with large trade publications, staff may include a publisher, one editor, someone handling online publishing, a couple of account reps, and that’s it. The rest of the team are independent contractors.
Here is an opportunity for us because this editor needs help. Our editor must get a quality “book,” as it is called, out to subscribers every month. AlturaSolutions helps the editor accomplish this.
We provide the editor with quality, educational content that is fresh (never published before), that educates readers, is professionally researched, and provides value to the publication. Now we have created an earned media strategy that helps the editor and your company.
The following are the answers to some questions you may have about earned media:
Does an earned media strategy mean I can just write about the features and benefits of my product?
Usually, no. That would be a form of advertising, paid media. We are talking about getting earned media, which is not paid for.
Well then, how can I bring my product into the article?
You must educate and tell a story. Start with a challenge. For instance, let’s say your product is designed to help prevent slip and fall accidents in stores. So, we start the article by discussing how many people slip and fall in stores every year or discuss an actual incident.
Possible solutions are presented. What can be done about this? I advise always mentioning two or three possible solutions, with one of these solutions being your product.
A conclusion ends the article. Because these articles are generally only 1,200 words, the conclusion is short and is essentially a wrap-up of what already has been discussed, with a final tactful mention of the benefits of your product.
Can I mention my product by name in an earned media article?
In most cases, no. You must be discreet; it’s part of an effective earned- media strategy. However, you can “point” to your product in the following ways:
- Incorporate quotes from an expert from your company.
- Byline the entire article by someone from your company.
- Have a third party (expert, thought leader, or customer) talk about how great your product is.
- Include images of the product for the article and always add “Images Courtesy of the Your Company.” Most publications add this caption, so the reader sees your product in action while reading the article. Now that is an effective earned-media strategy.
Earned media has value. AlturaSolutions has proven this for the past twenty years with more than 20 different clients. When someone reads how a product can address their business needs, it can be very powerful. That is why an earned media strategy can be so effective.