What is Earned Media? An Explained Guide

what is earned media

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Years back, on a sunny afternoon, I visited a cozy coffee shop in Brooklyn. The smell of fresh coffee and the snug atmosphere welcomed me. While chatting with the barista over my latte, I tweeted about my great time there. That tweet was shared by many, and a local food blogger noticed. They wrote a shining review, drawing in lots of new customers. This shows what earned media is – getting noticed naturally through real endorsements like reviews and social media.

Earned media is different from ads or the brand’s own words. It’s all about fans spreading the word, something that’s more trustworthy. In our online world, it could be a good review or a popular post. Let’s explore more about earned media and how it can boost a brand’s strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • Earned media comes from customer reviews and media shout-outs, making it genuine and powerful.
  • People trust it more than ads because it’s based on real experiences and opinions.
  • In today’s marketing, earned media means good online reviews, being mentioned on social platforms, and more people finding you naturally.
  • If brands work on making customers happy, they’re more likely to share their good experiences, spreading the word even more.

Understanding Earned Media

Understanding earned media is key for anyone looking into new marketing strategies. It’s different from media you pay for or own. We’ll look at what it is, why it matters, and share some examples.

Definition of Earned Media

Earned media is all about the buzz around a brand that people share naturally. This includes things like word of mouth and media mentions. Buzz is built around the brand without it directly making the noise. Brands get this by being great at what they do, not by paying for it.

Importance of Earned Media in Marketing

Earned media is super important in marketing. It builds a brand’s credibility. By working with influencers and doing good PR, brands can get more of this kind of media. It helps reach more people and build trust over time.

Examples of Earned Media

Earned media can show up in many places. Think about a great review on Yelp. Or when a brand appears in a news article. Even showing up high in Google’s search results is a win. These are all examples of how people naturally talk about or show support for a brand.

Earned Media TypeDescriptionPlatform Example
Social Media TestimonialsUnpaid, user-generated praise or reviews shared on social platforms.Facebook, Twitter
Media CoverageMentions or features in print and online news publications.The New York Times, Forbes Online
Customer ReviewsAuthentic feedback left by customers on review sites.Yelp, Google Reviews
Search Engine RankingsOrganic placements high up in search engine results.Google Search

How Earned Media Has Evolved

In the past few decades, earned media has changed a lot. It comes from moving away from traditional media to newer marketing ways. This has made earned media bigger and more important. Now, it uses digital spaces to connect with people like never before.

Traditional vs. Modern Channels

Earned media used to live on TV, radio, and newspapers. This meant brands got noticed through others recommending or talking about them. Now, with modern marketing, there are digital places like social media, blogs, and reviews. These digital spots let information spread fast and far. They have opened new ways for brands to use earned media.

Impact of Social Media on Earned Media

Social media has changed the game for earned media. With sites like Facebook and Twitter, people can quickly share their thoughts. A post or review can go viral, reaching millions in no time. This quick and wide sharing boosts the power and trust in earned media. It makes it big in today’s marketing world.

Role of User-Generated Content

User-generated content is key in earned media. It includes customer reviews, blog posts, and social media updates. People trust these real stories more than ads. Plus, they often share them too. So, brands get more trusted and known by encouraging this type of content.

Traditional ChannelsModern Channels
TV, Radio, NewspapersSocial Media, Review Sites, Blogs
Third-party endorsementsUser-generated content
Slow disseminationRapid and extensive reach

What is Earned Media?

Earned media is how a brand gets noticed without paying directly for it. People talk about the brand because they like it. This could be through a good review on Yelp or in a popular blog post. These mentions show how a brand can do well in natural, uncontrolled settings.

Brands can become more visible by getting real support from their fans. This is powerful because it comes from true, unsolicited stories from happy customers. These stories are often seen as more reliable than ads.

Brands work to build strong connections with their customers. They then encourage these customers to share their stories. Earned media is special because it lets customers tell the brand’s story. This makes the brand more trustworthy than just ads.

In short, earned media is key in today’s marketing. It shows that when customers share their stories, it’s huge for a brand’s reputation. This is why it’s important to build real relationships with customers.

Earned Media vs. Paid and Owned Media

Knowing the differences among earned, paid, and owned media is key in making a great marketing strategy. Each one helps a brand reach more people. They also make a brand more influential when used together well.

Key Differences

Earned media happens naturally when customers talk about a brand or when it gets mentioned in the media. This can be through great reviews, social media shout-outs, or news stories. On the other hand, paid media is about ads that a brand purchases, like Google Adwords or social media ads. Owned media refers to the content a brand creates for its own channels, such as its website, blog, and social pages.

Synergy Between Earned, Paid, and Owned Media

Even though they’re different, earned, paid, and owned media work well together in marketing plans. For example, strong paid ads can boost a brand’s image and lead to more earned media. Content from owned media can be the base, making sure a brand’s message and info are always clear and appealing, which can then lead to more earned media.

Examples of Integrated Strategies

Good marketing plans mix earned, paid, and owned media to make a brand’s message louder. Imagine a company writes an amazing blog post and then runs ads for it on social media. This can bring in more readers and viewers, turning them into fans who share the content. By smartly using all media types together, a brand can connect with more people and grow bigger.

Media TypeDefinitionExamples
Earned MediaUnpaid exposure gained through customer actions or third-party endorsementsCustomer reviews, social media shares, news mentions
Paid MediaTraditional advertising or promotional placements that require paymentGoogle Adwords, sponsored social posts, banner ads
Owned MediaContent and channels controlled by the brandCompany website, blog posts, social media accounts

Effective Tactics for Earning Media

Gaining earned media boosts your brand’s visibility and trust. Effective strategies exist to obtain valuable media coverage.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer partnerships are key. Collaborating with influencers who reach your brand’s audience helps extend your reach. They offer genuine recommendations, sparking interest and discussions, leading to broader media coverage.

Public Relations and Media Mentions

A strong media relations strategy is essential. By connecting with journalists and media outlets, you aim for mentions in top publications. This boosts your brand’s credibility and attracts more organic traffic.

An effective PR campaign places your brand in the spotlight of newsworthy stories. This makes it easier for media outlets to pick up and share your message.

Encouraging Customer Reviews and Word of Mouth

Customer engagement is crucial. Getting your customers to review and share their experiences starts a ripple effect. This increases word-of-mouth awareness. By showing you value their feedback, you build a loyal community.

Creating Shareable Content

Investing in shareable digital content can significantly increase your earned media. Develop compelling and valuable content that’s easy to share. When your content provides value, it encourages shares and mentions, broadening your reach.

MethodKey BenefitsTechniques
Influencer MarketingExpanded Reach, Enhanced CredibilityPartner with relevant influencers, leverage influencer storytelling
Public RelationsIncreased Media Mentions, Higher CredibilityPR campaigns, build media relationships
Customer ReviewsTrust Building, Word-of-Mouth GrowthEncourage reviews, engage with feedback
Shareable ContentBroadened Exposure, Organic SharesCreate engaging content, optimize for sharing


In wrapping up earned media, we’ve learned it’s a key to digital marketing success. Although brands can’t fully control it, they can use it to boost their reputation. By engaging customers with genuine content and partnering with influencers, brands can grow stronger.

Earned media’s big advantage is that it’s real. It’s more trusted than ads. Positive mentions from happy customers or experts really help a brand. This kind of support builds trust and loyalty, which are very important in marketing.

The real power of earned media comes from both careful strategy and building real connections. Successful brands focus on getting people to recommend them naturally. They also work on being visible and appealing online. By doing this well, a brand can keep growing in the digital world.


What is earned media?

Earned media is the buzz around a brand from customers talking or media writing about it. It includes what’s said on social media, in reviews, and news reports. This type of media is seen as honest because it’s not directly paid for by the brand.

Why is earned media important in marketing?

Earned media helps a brand look more trustworthy. When someone else talks positively about a brand, it feels more real than an ad. This can make people more interested in buying or learning about a product.

Can you give examples of earned media?

Examples are when people post on social media about good experiences, or when a blog talks about a product. It also includes reviews on Yelp, Google, or Instagram, and news stories about a company. Anything that comes from customers’ real views or from programs like this.

How has earned media evolved over the years?

Before the internet, earned media was mostly on TV and in newspapers. Now, it mainly happens on social media, review sites, and blogs. This is because people can easily share their thoughts online.

What impact has social media had on earned media?

Social media has made earned media more powerful. Posts can quickly travel to many people, changing how a brand is seen by others. So, it can quickly become popular, good or bad.

What is the role of user-generated content in earned media?

User content, like reviews and social media posts, is important for earned media. These are real opinions and experiences that show what others think about a brand. It helps other people see the brand as trustworthy.

What are the key differences between earned, paid, and owned media?

Earned media is what others say about a brand, like from reviews. Paid media is advertising that a brand pays for, such as ads or sponsored posts. Owned media is content a brand creates and owns, like its website or social media pages.

How can earned, paid, and owned media work together?

All three media types can be used together. For example, a brand might first share a blog post (owned), then promote it with ads (paid). After this, good reviews by customers may come, or influencers might talk about it (earned).

What are some effective tactics for earning media?

Influencer partnerships and public relations are strong tactics. Asking for customer reviews and creating content that people want to share is also effective. These strategies can help boost a brand’s visibility and trustworthiness on different platforms.

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