How to use earned media to boost your brand
Published on February 11th, 2011 by Dagmar King
These days, effective communication is all about attraction, or pull – giving your audiences compelling reasons to visit your website, engage with your blog, and interact with your organization through social channels. When people reach out to you – and not the other way around – you’ve earned their attention and your brand credibility rises.
Got pull? You need to “earn” it.
So how do you create pull? Here is where earned media comes into play. It’s that highly coveted word-of-mouth stuff – the positive buzz about your organization that’s more persuasive than any content you can push out there.
Earned media is generally discussed in the context of paid media (e.g., ads) and owned media – the wealth of content your organization already owns (e.g., your company website and blog). Making your owned media readily available to your audiences, providing relevant content that resonates with them, and engaging them through your organization’s social channels, blog and interactive features lie at the foundation of creating pull and “earning” it.
Five tips for driving the conversation and turning your website into a content destination
A good place to start creating earned media is through your corporate website’s online media or news room. This is where folks go to find the latest scoop on your company or industry – not just journalists and financial analysts, but influential bloggers and consumers. Give them what they want.
- Add interactive features
Add surveys and forums that give your visitors ways to provide direct feedback – you can focus on specific issues or keep it open-ended.
- Include rich content
Post thought-leadership documents such as whitepapers, case studies, presentations and research results. These documents speak to your industry stature and help journalists develop story ideas.Display image galleries filled with high-res, easily downloadable logos and photos of your products, facilities and events that support your organization’s services.Add links to online videos that you believe would be of interest to your audiences. Video heightens the impact of news announcements, and if posted on YouTube, can increase your online visibility.
- Show off
If your customers love you, shout it to the world by showing off their logos. This adds to your credibility and can help potential purchasers make buying decisions.If your company has earned awards and accolades, highlight those achievements. This boosts your organization’s reputation and the information is often included in stories and directory listings.
- Share the love
Make it easy for people to engage with you and share your content with their friends and business associates.Prominently place links to your organization’s Facebook fan page and to your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and be sure to include a link to your company blog.Give journalists, analysts, bloggers and other visitors an opt-in so they can receive your news releases and announcements through RSS feeds or emails.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder
Don’t shy away from your website because of kindergarten tech skills, Today’s smart content-creation solutions are WYSIWIG, or should be – what you see is what you get. And don’t put so much manual labor on yourself – those smart solutions also streamline your workflow with features such as simultaneous news posting upon distribution and even built-in user privileges and controls so your team can work collaboratively in the same interface to create content that resonates.
It’s time for you to take control
Our new EasySuite 2.0 is a powerful example of a tool to help you own it and earn it… easily. Check it out and share what you think.