- The marketer’s new digital toolkit – INFOGRAPHIC
- 20 dimensions of paid, owned & earned marketing
- How to easily navigate online advertising – INFOGRAPHIC
- Earned marketing made simple – INFOGRAPHIC
I have previously outlined a model encompassing paid, owned and earned marketing. I’ve subsequently published posts further detailing the 8 paid marketing dimensions and the 6 owned marketing dimensions. This post is specifically about the paid component. Earned marketing is new fancy word for everything else in marketing that is beyond the brand’s obvious control such as word of mouth.
There are 6 dimensions in earned marketing. Earned marketing, like owned marketing, is not media. Earned marketing cannot be paid for like media, nor can it be controlled by the brand like owned marketing. The brand had tremendous influence over earned marketing, but what is it exactly?
But what is earned media?
Earned marketing is essentially word of mouth. It is everything the brand cannot pay for or control as it doesn’t own it. However the brand has tremendous influence over earned marketing. It controls its brand image, the buying process and actual consumption experience. There are 6 distinct spheres of actions and strategy in earned marketing.
6 dimensions of earned marketing
There are 6 dimensions in earned marketing. Each is independently important while also having some impact on the others. Each of them allows the brand to be present where relevant, gain insight into the consumer’s conversation, interactions with the brand and opinions of it.
Here are the 6 dimensions of earned marketing in further detail.
Is your brand present on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest or elsewhere in social media? Is your brand account fully completed with links to your other social accounts and your website? Do you have beautiful and relevant visuals in your header?
What do consumers find if they look for you here? It’s important to plant your digital flag on every social network that’s relevant to your audience or clientele. As a minimum, your account page should include your logo, relevant visual and contact information for your brand. Ideally you’ll want a social media strategy to activate your account and make it of interest to your clients.
Social Media Strategy
What is your social media strategy? What do you say, when and how, and on which social network? Your social media strategy is how you will create a conversation around your brand with your consumers and prospects. Your strategy will guide you to engage your audience appropriately across different social networks.
What type of contents will you publish on your accounts? Your strategy will guide you to publish images, pictures, text, promos and whatnot.
Once you have an account, how will you engage your audience? How will you respond to them should they comment?
Community management is the discipline that pays attention to what’s going on specifically between your brand and consumers.
Has any client ever offered a reviewed a you of your brand? Were those reviews good? Are they recent? When consumers take the time to consult peer reviews on any product or service, they want these to help them in their decision process towards your brand.
For reviews to be helpful there must be more than just a few. There must also be a few not so great ones there too to validate the good ones – we don’t want people to think the good ones were all fabricated or paid for.
Another important factor about reviews is they must be current. If there were a few a couple of years ago, they may no longer be relevant. Your service may have changed or your quality may have changed.
The final important factor about reviews is that there is no one place online where they should all be located. You must have reviews on a number of sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages and other sites relevant to your audience, geography and industry.
Finally, I’d offer a recommendation regarding reviews. Ask for them regularly of all your happy customers. This ensures a steady stream of new reviews showing up wherever your customers feel comfortable leaving them.
Are you paying attention to what people are saying about your brand online beyond your own brand account, channel or page?
Consumer may actually be discussing your brand, a specific store, product or service. People are also discussing your category without necessarily mentioning you. Are you listening for specific key words online? Have you set up alerts to let you know the moment someone mentions your name?
Being aware of online conversations about our brand or category are great, but they lead to you having to make decisions about whether or not you should jump into these conversations. You must decide whether it could be beneficial that your brand itself respond or if it might be best that a representative of your brand do so.
Have you identified influencers among your social media audiences? Have you reached out to them? Are you taking advantage of them? This is oftentimes the last of the 6 dimensions of earned marketing that brands act on.
There are tremendous benefits to empowering influencers about your brand. The important thing here is to always treat them with the same respect their own audience grants them. These influencers may love your brand, but they owe you nothing. You are not entitled to their goodwill.
Good relationships, as in every aspect of life and business must be cultivated.
What earned marketing is all about is being mindful in managing your digital brand reputation. Take it one step at a time, do it well and do it respectfully.