06 Aug How to Measure Earned Media Value in Influencer Marketing
Measuring the impact of your influencer marketing can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Let’s talk about earned media value and how measuring it helps bring in better results for your business.
What is earned media?
Earned media consists of all the content and conversation around your brand or product that has been created by somebody else and published somewhere other than your owned channels.
It is gained as a result of your efforts in paid and owned media. You can think of it as the amplification of your activity, as news sites and social media users pick up your campaigns and help spread the word.
Earned media can include press coverage, social media mentions, shares and retweets, product or company reviews, and blog posts authored outside your company. Increasing the visibility and reach of your content through social media engagement will increase your earned media.
What is influencer marketing?
We get to know new products and services through people we trust. It happens with friends and family and also with our favorite social mavens. When they mention the restaurant they visited or a new outfit they tried, it intrigues us. We become curious.
That’s why brands are looking for influencers. Their content lands organically in our feeds and ends with higher engagement rates and wider exposure. For example, we might skip right past a Nike ad from their business profile in our newsfeed. But if a friend or one of our favorite social media profiles posts a picture with their new kicks, we are more likely to stop and say, “tell me more.”
Influencer marketing can be particularly significant for small businesses, as it can help you gain attention for your brand much faster than simply using your own channels. These influencers can be micro-influencers (everyday people with a large social following), big brand names and celebrities, or even employee brand influencers (see this article).
How is earned media value (in relation to influencer marketing) calculated?
There are multiple ways to keep track of earned media value–there is no one comprehensive way to do it. What you will look for depends largely on your goals with certain campaigns or in reaching out to influencers. You may be looking simply for brand exposure and visibility, may be interested in positive engagement, or maybe you are solely interested on the sales aspect. So, what you focus on depends on you, but here’s an overview of where to start.
If you are interested in promoting awareness of your brand and generating impressions, you’ll want to know many people social media influencers of your brand reached with through relevant images, tweets, posts, blog shares, or videos. Even if you initially focused your influencer marketing on Instagram, you’ll want to check all channels, as others might have also shared or mentioned your content through different means.
You can also check out “Social share of voice”. This basically involves looking at your competitors and seeing how much people talk about you compared to them. You can learn more about how to do that here.
Keep in mind that certain mentions are worth more than others. For example, if a popular Instagrammer were to mention your brand in one of their posts, great. But, whether they post a picture of your product, tag your brand in their photo, or mention your brand in their post description, each has different weights. Photos and post descriptions are always visible in newsfeeds so those are more influential than brand mentions. (Since brand mentions are only visible after directly clicking or tapping on a photo.)
Measuring brand engagement goes beyond looking at impressions and brand mentions. Instead, you want to know who is interacting with your brand.
Views, likes, shares, and comments all qualify and contribute to brand engagement.
Because you aren’t the one posting, you won’t be able to directly see how many times content an influencer shares about your brand is being shared or how long it is being viewed. However, after launching a campaign through social media influencers, use social media analytics to look at page likes, followers, YouTube subscribers, and more to see if your brand audience has grown across your streams. You can also check your blogs for unique visitors.
If what interests you most is sales, then you need to measure your ROI for you influencer marketing. It can be difficult to track which sales are coming from influencer channels and their extended reach. Here are two suggestions to make that job easier.
1. Isolated Marketing
Isolated marketing is one way to measure an influencer’s direct impact on sales. Instead of introducing a new product through many campaigns and multiple channels, limit your marketing efforts to only influencer marketing. With no other possible traction, you’ll be able to know and track the source of new leads and online purchases.
2. Promo Codes
Having influencers promote your brand with custom promo codes will let you follow immediate impact and earned media value spurred by the influencer marketing. Generating these promo codes is usually simple, and attainable through e-commerce sites such as Shopify.
So why is it worth it to measure earned media value from your brand influencers?
Well, discovering your most shared content helps you to understand your audience and what type of content they most want to see. You’ll gain insights into which types of headlines and tweets have engaged them, and know to create similar content in the future. And, by measuring ROI, you will be able to track which types of products are most successful.
By monitoring metrics around earned media you can discover the most influential individuals sharing your content. You can also reach out to these influencers to enhance the relationship. In contrast, if certain influencers aren’t producing much engagement or naturally bringing in earned media value, you might reconsider if those influencers are really worth your money.
Measure earned media value and get better content. Better products. Better influencers. And better results for your business.