Your team is hard at work creating narrative, useful content based on buyer personas and pain points, and you’ve got content distribution locked and loaded. Social media channels are covered and you’ve even secured budget for some advertising. Looks like you’ve got content marketing under control.
But here’s the million-dollar question: Does your audience believe in the content you are putting out there? According to recent research by Nielsen (commissioned by InPowered), you may want to consider incorporating old-school public relations into your digital repertoire to gain trust among your buyers. Relying on PR best practices in the online world can secure you earned media—that expert content you didn’t write about your product or service but love seeing. You know, in the Wall Street Journal or on Mashable.
The March 2014 report, “The Role of Content in the Consumer Decision Making Process,” makes it clear consumers prefer earned media at each stage of the decision making process due to the non-biased position of third party experts. In fact, the research shows earned media is 80 percent more effective than branded content in the middle and bottom of the sales funnel and 38 percent more effective during the familiarity stage.
The report concludes: “Overall, our research suggests that there is a higher degree of trust from consumers when they are reading content from credible, third party experts. This trust is demonstrated by the higher lift scores with regard to product familiarity, affinity and purchase intent and its perception of being highly informative and unbiased.”
Bottom line: If you are not currently engaging in best practices for generating earned media, now is the time to start.
Realistically, for most brands—if they aren’t Apple, Amazon or Audi—securing earned media isn’t always easy. We need to take extra steps to earn our place in the media. But where do we even begin?
Here are three tactics to strengthen the chances of earning a place in the spotlight:
This isn't to say you should give up on your branded content. Instead, build trust with expert content and continue that trust by solving buyer pain points with your branded content. You know the drill!
Earning your brand in the spotlight isn’t easy, but it is worth the effort. What are your tips for garnering earned media? Share with us in the comment section below.photo credit: jDevaun