6 Ways to Win Earned Media Attention for Your Small Business

Posted by Prospero Team | August 5, 2022 | marketing, proposals
6 Ways to Win Earned Media Attention for Your Small Business

It’s great to get press attention through earned media as a startup. But when you’re first establishing a presence in your niche or market, launching an outbound outreach strategy is necessary to help you generate that earned media attention.

Unsure of where to start? Use these tactics to develop a strong outreach strategy that won’t suck up your resources or workforce. 

What Is Earned Media?

Earned media attention is organic. This kind of attention comes to your brand naturally.

You don’t create it yourself (that is owned media), and you don’t pay someone else to create it (that’s paid or partnered media) — it just happens. Earned media is media you did not create or pay for but mentions your brand. 

Examples of earned media might include:

  • A YouTube product review video created by an individual whom you did not pay or collaborate with
  • Social media mentions from individuals or other brands
  • An online review written by a past customer
  • Media coverage of an event you put on
  • A word-of-mouth recommendation
  • Organic search engine traffic

Sometimes, there’s overlap between different types of media. It’s important to remember that earned media has nothing to do with paid advertising. It’s important to remember that earned media has nothing to do with paid advertising.

Importance of Earned Media Attention For Small Businesses

Earned media attention is important for your business because it can foster feelings of trust. For example, 92% of consumers trust a user’s experience as shared on social media more than they trust a brand’s advertising.

In addition, earned media is more credible because it’s not media you produced yourself.

Instead, somebody who genuinely thinks you’re great and wants others to know shares it.

Earned media can help you increase your brand awareness and reach new audiences. It’s also highly effective for lead generation and conversions. Leads that surface from earned media outperform paid media leads by 10-15%.

Many experts think earned media is the most valuable type of media. It’s also free to you and has lower effort than many other media types.

The bottom line: Earned media attention is important, and the more you can get, your business will be better off.

6 Ways to Generate Earned Media Attention

It might seem like you have very little to do with earned media. After all, what else is there to do if you don’t create it and don’t pay for it?

But for businesses, earned media isn’t completely hands-off. You can take strategic actions behind the scenes to help your brand get more (and better) earned media attention. 

#1. Create Shareable Content

Question: What’s one of the best ways to get social media mentions? Answer: Creating content that’s shareable.

Social media mentions are important. When someone talks about your brand on social media, this allows their friends and connections to become aware of your company.

And when you monitor your mentions, you’ll be able to get an accurate idea of the social sentiment around your brand.

The easiest way to get people to talk about your brand is to create content your target audience wants to share.

In many cases, finding a timely hook will be your best bet. For example, what’s in the trending section of Twitter right now? What is your target audience talking about? 

And how can you create content that taps into these trending topics? Whether it’s serious topics or memes, if you can incorporate a timely hook into your content, that content is more likely to be shared. And you “earned” those shares and mentions by writing a killer blog post.

Another way to create shareable content is to use influencer marketing. If you conduct an interview or launch a campaign with an influencer, their followers will likely share it because they’re fans of that influencer. They trust that influencer — and, by extension, they’ll be more inclined to trust you.

#2. Build Contact Lists

One of the best methods to get earned media is intentionally focusing on building media relationships. You can start developing these relationships by creating a database of contacts for outreach.

To do this, you’ll need to find people’s phone numbers so you can contact them. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy as a quick Google search. You may need to use other methods to help you round out the entries in your PR CRM (customer relationship manager).

If you’re aiming to contact journalists, try using an online journalist database where you can search for contact information. These media directories can be a helpful place to access the information you need. Social media sites like Twitter could also provide phone numbers on some profiles.

If you’re going to make cold calls, “warm them up” by researching your prospect ahead of time. You may want to send them an email first or engage with their social media posts so they’ll recognize your name. If you share any connections, make sure to mention those. And leave a brief voicemail if you don’t get through.

Once you’ve connected with journalists and publishers, maintain those relationships over time.

The idea is for them to talk or write about whatever your brand is doing naturally. You want to stay top of mind so they’ll think of you if an opportunity arises. 

#3. Craft Strategic Press Releases

Host an event or campaign that grabs people’s attention. Then write about it in a way that’s likely to be published and shared.

You’ve probably seen crazy or innovative PR stunts from big brands come across your Facebook feed. Of course, your campaign doesn’t have to be wild. But if you can create a creative or funny spin on a traditional marketing campaign, it will be easier to generate attention for your brand.

The other step in this process is to craft press releases about your campaign and shoot to get them published. Write press releases in a style that appeals to the publishers who would be most likely to share about your brand.

You can send these press releases to the people on your contact list from step #2.

#4. Generate Backlinks 

Backlinks — links to your site from another website — have to be earned. And by creating blog posts that people want to link to, you can generate more quality backlinks and attention for your business.

When writing blog posts perfect for backlinks, many of the same principles for creating shareable content apply. In addition, your blog post needs to be optimized for SEO so it’s easy for writers and researchers to find.

Finally, do keyword research to help you narrow in on long tail keywords with the most engagement for topics people in your audience and industry are interested in. 

Publishing a blog post that’s a compilation of statistics is a great way to generate links. Even better if you have original statistics from a study or survey you performed!

Looking at what your competitors are doing with their content can also help you figure out the best type of content to get more links.

Make sure everything you publish is well-written and includes many relevant images (again, bonus points if these images or infographics are original).

The bottom line is that your content needs to be high-quality to get organic links.

#5. Be The Expert

If you position yourself as an expert in your industry, people will come to you to weigh in on questions or issues. They’ll want to link to your content or get your CEO on the phone for an interview.

In other words, when you act like you know what you’re doing, you can get a lot of earned media attention. 

Demonstrate your industry expertise by creating content that hones in on your target audience’s pain points and solves their problems.

If needed, it can be helpful to hire a freelance writer or subject matter expert who has experience in your field. They’ll have the hands-on experience and the writing chops needed to communicate with your audience. 

It should go without saying that to create this kind of content, you need to have a solid idea of who your audience is.

Tactics such as performing keyword research, running surveys, or reading online reviews can help you delve deeper into the pain points you need to address.

#6. Use Multiple Channels

Where do you distribute your content? One distribution channel isn’t enough. You need to blast your content across multiple media channels for the best results.

After all, the more eyes you get on your content, the more chances you’ll gain earned media attention.

Consider distributing your content via:

Sharing your owned content on these channels will increase the likelihood of getting earned media attention.

You can also ask your employees and team members to reshare your content on social media, helping your brand get additional exposure. 

Gaining Earned Media Attention

Earned media attention is important for your small business.

If you’re getting a lot of earned media, you know you’re doing a good job reaching your target audience (assuming this earned media attention is positive). But if you aren’t, you can take steps to improve. Go create your proposals and send them to your prospective partners.

It might take a little time, work, and outreach. The results, however, will make a major difference in your brand’s bottom line.

Author’s Bio: John is an experienced content marketing professional at Datanyze. When he’s not busy developing highly engaging content ideas, he usually hangs out with his pack of dogs for a walk.


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