What's "Earned Media" Anyway?

What’s “Earned Media” Anyway?

Last week, I discussed how owned media fits into digital marketing’s triad of owned, earned, and paid media. Owned media is cheap, but time-intensive while paid media is a more expensive quick win for digital marketers.  Earned media is often the last or missing piece in a marketer’s digital arsenal, but it’s also the piece over which you have the least control.

Earned media is your owned media’s street cred. Earned media counts as any inbound links to your owned media: from online reviews, to social media shares and mentions. In SEO terms, the more others link to your content, the more authority your site has.

The problem is that not all links are equal. Links from popular, reputable sites boost your page rank. Bought links violate Google’s Quality guidelines and can result in penalties, particularly for small businesses.

Likewise, the context of your inbound links counts. Although all inbound links from reputable sites help SEO, some may hurt your reputation. A link from a positive review or mention is generally going to be better for your brand than a link from a negative one. Unless you can find a clever way to turn some bad publicity into a positive brand story.

In the end, you can only build links and acquire earned media with a great product or service, and great content. If your brand is worth talking about, you’ll be getting social shares, rave reviews, and inbound links in no time!

How long did it take you to get earned media? Did paid or owned media help you gain inbound links? Tell me in the comments section!

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