There are three types of mainstream media online. Paid media, owned media, and earned media. Owned media are media assets that you or your company owns including websites, blogs, and so on. Paid media are media assets that are obtained through external investments such as display ads, sponsorships and paid searches. Earned media are media assets that are built through word of mouth, buzz, viral shares and so on.
From these three types of media, earned media is considered one of the most powerful as it carries the most weight and credibility compared to the other two. Some marketers even consider earn media as the holy grail in marketing – the peak of all your marketing efforts.
Why is this so? This is because consumers trust friends more than they trust brands or paid ads or even celebrity brand ambassadors.
Let me ask you this, who you would believe? A logo behind a brand or people you know? I’m sure you would pick the second and you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re not alone. According to a survey done by Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Meanwhile, only 36% of consumers trust completely ads on social networks. That is a HUGE difference and surely marketers must now tap into these 92%.
While earned media is tough to build, there are tools out there that can help you increase earned media. More importantly, these tools are built to help you increase what is defined as measures to capture earned media – such as shares, retweets, pins, +1′s, etc.
Here are my 9 recommendations for tools to increase earned media.