The media landscape is changing and people consume news differently now than they did 10 years ago. According to a recent study, 62 percent of Americans get their news on social media, with almost a quarter doing so often. Even though people are now getting their news via social media, it doesn’t mean they necessarily trust it. In another study, a large majority of respondents considered local and national news organizations more trustworthy sources of information than social media. This means if you’re looking to build consumer trust and authority within your industry, earned media placements still play an important role in your marketing mix (we recently discussed this further, here). It also means you should explore ways to make sure the right audience sees and shares your earned media coverage to increase its reach and boost your brand.
Earned media, or an organic story written by a news organization, can range from feature stories highlighting a big announcement in a local outlet to company commentary within a national publication or a thought-leadership byline by an executive in a trade magazine. Wherever the coverage lands, it’s likely that days, weeks or even months of research, editorial outreach, prep and interviews went into it. Although the results are well worth it – including growing brand awareness and influence within outlets your customers trust –securing coverage in any type of publication takes hard work and budget.
Instead of spending the time and energy getting a reporter to cover your news or campaign only to move on to the next opportunity, here are four ways you can continue to merchandise your earned media wins:
Amplify via your corporate social media handles: Use your company’s social media handles to further spread your coverage by drafting specific posts based on your audience for each platform. For example, if you landed a byline discussing your company’s business products, it might make for a good post on your B2B-focused LinkedIn page. Whichever social platform you use, tagging the outlet and reporter, if possible, as well as reposting with different copy and at different times of the day are also ways to extend the life of your coverage. On that note, a good rule of thumb is to always vary the content across your different social channels. Not only is replicating the same post ineffective, it’ll also appear like you’re out of touch with what your customers want.
Feature on your corporate blog: If you have a corporate blog or news section on your website, reposting the text from an article can help boost your search engine performance by making your website more likely to appear in search through keywords found within the article. Be sure to check the guidelines for each specific outlet as some may limit or restrict the timeline for reposting. If you have a newsletter be sure to link to the article. A strong piece of coverage is also a great item to share with prospective clients via email.
Promote internally: Turn employees into brand ambassadors by encouraging them to amplify earned media on social networks. Whether it’s through email or an intranet site, send the article along with suggested social posts and images for easy amplification. Since messages shared by people in our own social circles tend to be well received, it’s a great way to reach potential customers. In fact, a study by Cisco found that posts from employees generated 8X more engagement than messages from the company’s own channels. In addition, employee social media accounts typically have 10 times more reach than corporate handles.
Put paid behind it: It’s worth the investment to put paid support behind promoting your article because it helps drive real business results, including increasing website traffic or your visibility among perspective customers. Paid social advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience, especially through awareness building ads on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Another option is to run display advertising on industry websites, publications or message boards, which will ensure you are growing awareness and creating demand with the right target audience. Focus on high-quality ads with clear call-to-actions and consistent messaging. If you need more help, download HubSpot’s interactive guide for making banner ads that don’t suck.