How to Earn Media Rather Than Paying for It
There are dozens of unique ways to market a brand or business: unfortunately, most of them cost money. These pricey yet highly-effective strategies can be great for earning major and immediate exposure, but not all businesses can afford to sustain the effort indefinitely. Even if paid media campaigns yield significant results, who doesn’t want to get some free publicity and attention?
Earned media is the best way to do this, and it is much easier than most people realize. Through a few simple yet flexible strategies, your business can respond to a plethora of situations and generate new business in the process. Below, we’ll look at these strategies and shed light on how easy it can be to take advantage of them.
Piggyback on the News
At any given point, there are countless news stories emerging around the world and in every community. Savvy brands understand that there is opportunity in anticipating and/or being the first to respond to a late-breaking event. This type of earned media is known as newsjacking and can be easily done with a bit of practice.
For example, a brand might offer free gift cards to a family who had their holiday gifts stolen. This type of action provides an opportunity for your business or brand to be mentioned in subsequent news articles about the primary event, giving you a bit of earned media while also pinging servers with links to your website.
Utilize Your Influence
Whenever a topic or subject is covered by media outlets, the need for expert advice and opinion is big. Why not find a way to insert yourself (and therefore, your brand) into the conversation?
Many business owners have discovered that it is easier than one might think to get a bit of air time or a by-line by simply stepping up. This can be done through a number of ways, but revolves mainly around maintaining a valuable online presence. Whether it be the maintenance of a business blog, industry Twitter account or simply a straightforward pitch to local news outlets proactively, you can generate plenty of unique opportunities for your business to be mentioned and featured.
Help Local News Outlets
There are limitations to what reporters and journalists can do on their own – especially when print and TV deadlines looming. As such, those who can provide a bit of assistance may find themselves in the position to generate a bit of earned media.
There are online sources such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) that help businesses and news outlets both get what they want. You may also find various requests for assistance from local reporters on Twitter and Facebook. Through these outlets, you can reach out and offer assistance – which almost always results in a mention of you and/or your brand pinging servers via the report.
Generating earned media isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Because so few people strive to do so in the modern era, the field is wide open for those who want to take advantage of it. Whether you decide to help a reporter, offer yourself up proactively or find a way to squeeze yourself into the story, your options are open.