Where I live, many people returned to work yesterday. Some started last week, but because of the way the Holidays fell this year a lot of people decided to take extra time off.
If you’re just back at it, don’t be too dismayed by the “Holiday Brain” you might be experiencing. I started working last week and it was darn hard. I was totally unmotivated, couldn’t focus and was generally dumber than I already am. It gets easier (as we all know).
Those just back it might be thinking about how to deploy marketing resources this year. It’s an important question, one that has a lot to do with your business’ eventual bottom line.
They say when you have a hammer everything tends to look like a nail. So, being a PR guy who loves content marketing and the social web, maybe I’m biased about the power of earned media. However, with mucho conviction, I want to tell you that earned media should be the key cornerstone of your marketing communications program in the coming year.
Here are 4 ways earned media can help build your biz in 2013:
- Trust building. The explosion in the amount of messages we’re exposed to each day has thrust earned media to the forefront of marketing. You still may need to consider buying that billboard or those radio spots but, increasingly, reputable data suggests that people place trust in third party endorsements more than media your biz can purchase . Whether it is the opinion of a close friend, or a review in a newspaper, modern humans love and seek third party validation.
- Reaching new customers. You might have a monster blog and a large audience that hangs on your every word. Alas, the chances of this are not that strong. Earned media coverage – particularly in those boring ass “traditional” media outlets the social media ninjas often decry – will expose you to people who don’t know about you. It’s a numbers game.
- Energizing your biggest fans. The social web has allowed content to get further than was ever possible. That hit in the New York Time you scored, has legs today. Post it to Facebook, send it to your email list and watch those who love you go ape. It’s very cool. Nowadays, you can take snapshots of when your fans go nuts over a big earned media hit and turn them into sponsored posts or tweets to get even more value and reach.
- Syndication means more returns from earned media. Todd Defren, one of the smartest people in PR, has talked about this a lot recently in the context of convergence. There now exist a variety of services that will take content you earned (or created) and syndicate it to audiences who care via sites that matter. As Defren has suggested, this is a watershed for the craft of PR; one that only increases the power and importance of earned media.
So, whether you hire an agency or take a course, putting resources into PR and earned media is a good idea in 2013.