How Do You Evaluate Earned Media?


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How Do You Evaluate Earned Media?

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How Do You Evaluate Earned Media?

Unlocking the secrets to gauging the effectiveness of earned media campaigns, we’ve gathered insights from marketing experts and company leaders. From monitoring engagement and sentiment to recognizing industry awards received, explore the diverse strategies shared by fifteen professionals, including marketing managers and CEOs, to measure your campaign’s triumph.

  • Monitor Engagement and Sentiment
  • Use Social Listening Tools
  • Analyze Key Performance Indicators
  • Consider Both Qualitative and Quantitative Factors
  • Note Increase in Brand Mentions Post-Launch
  • Integrate a CRM with Media Monitoring
  • Track Leads and SEO Post-Campaign
  • Conduct Audience Impact Surveys
  • Measure Event Engagement Increase
  • Calculate Conversation Impact Score
  • Set and Track Clear, Measurable Goals
  • Observe Competitor Reactions
  • Analyze Changes in Customer Acquisition Costs
  • Evaluate New Platform Prestige and Relevance
  • Recognize Industry Awards Received

Monitor Engagement and Sentiment

Although the unbiased and authentic voice of earned media has made it a powerful, valuable, and effective marketing tool both for marketers in today’s marketing environment and for potential customers looking to assess the credibility of a brand, and the possibility that their expectations as customers would be satisfied if they were to patronize the brand, the truth is not all earned media campaigns produce the desired success of customer conversion and boost the brand’s credibility.

In order to ensure that the success of my earned media campaign is thoroughly measured, I keep a close watch on the level of engagement this campaign generates, and also make sure to track the emotions behind every feedback and interaction as customers engage with these, through sentiment analysis.

Monitoring these two metrics helps me effectively measure the success of our earned media campaign because they help me gain a deeper understanding of how customers receive these contents, how it resonates with them, how valuable and meaningful they find these contents, and what impression of the brand these contents leave on them.

Peter DuboisPeter Dubois
Marketing Manager, Findbyplate

Use Social Listening Tools

Utilize social listening tools and sentiment analysis to track brand mentions across various online platforms. Monitor not only the quantity of mentions but also the sentiment expressed in these mentions.

Measure the number of times your brand is mentioned in online conversations, including social media, forums, blogs, and news articles. This provides an indicator of how widely your brand is being discussed.

Evaluate the sentiment associated with each mention. Positive sentiment indicates favorable coverage, while negative sentiment may suggest areas for improvement. Neutral mentions contribute to overall visibility but may not significantly impact brand perception.

Andy MckennaAndy Mckenna
Owner & Managing Director, Best Reception

Analyze Key Performance Indicators

The best practice is to measure key performance indicators such as site traffic, social media engagement, media mentions/comments, and overall brand visibility. Also, we recently started to look at metrics such as share of voice, sentiment analysis, and earned media value to gauge the impact and effectiveness of our campaigns. I recommend using tools like Google Analytics for site traffic, Hootsuite for social media, and Mention for media monitoring to gather data and analyze the results.

Tom MolnarTom Molnar
Creative Director, Fit Design

Consider Both Qualitative and Quantitative Factors

We evaluate their effectiveness through a nuanced approach, considering both qualitative and quantitative factors. Rather than just tallying brand mentions, we assess the credibility and relevance of these mentions, focusing on their impact on our target audience.

We also track the broader effects of these campaigns on metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, and conversion rates. This comprehensive analysis helps us understand the full scope of earned media’s influence on brand engagement.

Furthermore, sentiment analysis plays a crucial role in our assessment. Understanding the sentiment behind discussions about our brand is essential for shaping our strategies and nurturing meaningful connections with our audience.

Shawn ManaherShawn Manaher
Founder, The Content Authority

Note Increase in Brand Mentions Post-Launch

As the founder of MBC Group, I’ve had substantial experience navigating the intricacies of digital marketing and closely examining the metrics that denote success, especially in the realm of earned media campaigns. One of the most pivotal aspects of measuring these campaigns’ success is tracking the increase in brand mentions across digital platforms.

For instance, after releasing a particularly engaging content piece or a product launch, we monitor spikes in online conversations about our brand, using tools that allow us to capture mentions across social media, blogs, and forums. This gives us a tangible measure of the reach and engagement level of our campaign. A specific example that highlights the effectiveness of our approach involved the launch of our AI chatbot, AiDen. We meticulously tracked the conversations around AiDen and our brand before, during, and after the campaign.

By analyzing the data, we observed a noteworthy increase in brand mentions that correlated with our campaign’s rollout phases. The earned media from this launch not only increased our brand’s visibility but also brought in a significant uptick in website traffic, as observed through Google Analytics. The increased website sessions, alongside higher engagement rates on our site, were clear indicators of the campaign’s success.

Moreover, we pay close attention to the sentiment of the mentions and discussions about our brand and products. It’s one thing to have your brand mentioned more frequently, but understanding whether these mentions are positive, neutral, or negative is crucial for evaluating the true impact of your earned media efforts. For the AiDen campaign, sentiment analysis helped us identify overwhelmingly positive feedback, signaling not just increased awareness but also approval and interest in our product.

Another critical metric we consider is the backlink quality and quantity garnered through our campaigns. High-quality backlinks from reputable sites not only boost our SEO efforts but also direct valuable traffic to our site. For AiDen, noticing an increase in backlinks from tech and marketing-focused websites validated the relevance and impact of our campaign in our target sectors.

In summary, measuring the success of earned media campaigns goes beyond mere visibility. It encompasses detailed tracking and analysis of brand mentions, sentiment analysis, website traffic, engagement metrics, and the quality of backlinks. These indicators help paint a comprehensive picture of a campaign’s effectiveness.

Matthew MontezMatthew Montez
Founder, The MBC Group

Integrate a CRM with Media Monitoring

To effectively measure the impact of our earned media campaigns, I’ve integrated our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system with media monitoring tools for precise lead-source tracking. This allows me to attribute specific customer interactions and conversions directly to our earned media efforts, offering a granular view of their effectiveness in driving business outcomes.

Analyzing this data helps me pinpoint which media channels and content types yield the highest ROI, enabling us to refine our strategy and focus our efforts on the most impactful media opportunities. This approach not only enhances our marketing efficiency but also provides valuable insights into customer pathways and preferences.

Hardy DesaiHardy Desai
Founder, Supple Digital

Track Leads and SEO Post-Campaign

Through my tenure at Cleartail Marketing as founder and CEO, I have cultivated a deep understanding of the metrics that matter most in measuring the success of earned media campaigns.

One of the most crucial aspects we focus on is the direct impact on leads and sales conversions. For instance, after a successful earned media placement, we meticulously track any spikes in inquiry calls and emails, associating these with specific media mentions through tracking tools and CRM integrations. This approach was instrumental when we amplified a client’s niche product launch, resulting in a 40% uptick in qualified leads directly traceable to the earned media effort.

Another essential metric is the change in organic search rankings and search volume for brand-specific terms following our earned media campaigns. We employ SEO tools to monitor variations in search rankings for keywords associated with the media coverage. By analyzing these trends, we’re able to discern the effectiveness of earned media in boosting organic visibility and awareness. A specific case involved a B2B client for whom a strategic media mention not only elevated their search rankings but also doubled the search volume for their brand name within a month, unequivocally demonstrating the power of well-placed media mentions in enhancing SEO efforts.

Furthermore, the engagement and sentiment around our brand and client projects in the digital space post-campaign are invaluable for assessing success. Utilizing social listening tools, we gauge audience sentiment and engagement levels across platforms, tracking increases in positive brand mentions and interactions. This was notably effective for a campaign where we targeted industry influencers for a client, leading to a significant boost in positive online conversations around the brand.

By synthesizing data from these different sources—lead and sales conversions, SEO impact, and sentiment analysis—we craft a comprehensive view of our earned media campaign’s success, guiding strategic decisions for future initiatives.

Magee CleggMagee Clegg
CEO, Cleartail Marketing

Conduct Audience Impact Surveys

To gain direct insights into the effectiveness of our earned-media campaigns, I conduct comprehensive surveys with our audience and customers. These surveys are invaluable in understanding the penetration and impact of our brand messaging, offering firsthand feedback from those we aim to reach. This feedback loop enriches our understanding of the campaign’s success, providing qualitative data that complements the quantitative metrics and guides our strategic adjustments.

Ryan HammillRyan Hammill
Executive Director, Ancient Language Institute

Measure Event Engagement Increase

For campaigns tied to events, I measure the increase in participation, registrations, and overall interest as direct indicators of earned media success. High levels of event engagement following media coverage suggest that our efforts have effectively boosted awareness and excitement.

These metrics provide a clear connection between earned media and tangible outcomes like event attendance and participation, affirming the strategic value of media exposure in enhancing event success.

Brooke WebberBrooke Webber
Head of Marketing, Ninja Patches

Calculate Conversation Impact Score

Measuring the success of earned media campaigns involves a comprehensive approach that goes beyond traditional metrics.

One method is the Conversation Impact Score, which quantifies the depth of audience engagement and sentiment surrounding the campaign. This score considers factors such as the level of discussion sparked by the campaign, the sentiment expressed by participants, and the influence of key individuals within these conversations. For example, we launched a campaign promoting our new product through a series of interactive webinars and engaging social media discussions.

By analyzing the Conversation Impact Score, we can assess not only the volume of mentions but also the quality of engagement, sentiment trends, and the impact of influential participants. This holistic measurement approach provides valuable insights into the campaign’s effectiveness in driving meaningful conversations and building brand advocacy, ultimately contributing to its overall success.

Satya SinghSatya Singh
Head of Projects, Scoop Global

Set and Track Clear, Measurable Goals

In measuring the success of earned media campaigns, it’s imperative to establish clear and measurable goals beforehand. These goals could include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting engagement on social media platforms.

Once the campaign is launched, metrics such as website traffic, social media mentions, shares, comments, and inbound links can be tracked and analyzed to assess its performance against the predefined goals. Sentiment analysis tools can also be employed to gauge the overall perception of the brand among the target audience. By aligning the campaign results with the established goals, marketers can accurately measure the success of their earned media efforts and make data-driven decisions to optimize future campaigns.

Mike WomackMike Womack
Digital Operations and Merchandising Manager, Premier Safety

Observe Competitor Reactions

I consider the reactions of our competitors to our earned media campaigns as an indicator of their impact. Changes in competitors’ marketing strategies or messaging in response to our coverage suggest that our earned media is effectively altering industry dynamics.

Monitoring these shifts provides valuable insights into the strategic value of our earned media efforts, highlighting their role in not just promoting our brand but also influencing the broader market landscape. This broader perspective is essential for gauging the overall success and influence of our earned media campaigns.

Sergey TaverSergey Taver
Marketing Manager, Precision Watches

Analyze Changes in Customer Acquisition Costs

One critical metric I analyze post-campaign is the change in our Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC). A noticeable decrease in CAC following an earned media campaign indicates that the campaign has effectively supplemented our marketing mix, enhancing efficiency and reducing the overall cost of acquiring new customers. This financial metric is pivotal in assessing the cost-effectiveness of our earned media efforts, providing a clear indicator of their value in our broader marketing strategy.

Shawn PlummerShawn Plummer
CEO, The Annuity Expert

Evaluate New Platform Prestige and Relevance

To determine the effectiveness of my earned media campaigns, I delve into both the volume and quality of media coverage we receive. It’s not just about the number of mentions; the prestige and relevance of the platforms mentioning us matter greatly, as they reflect on our brand’s standing in the industry.

Moreover, analyzing the sentiment of these mentions gives me a nuanced understanding of public perception. This dual focus on quantity and sentiment is vital for assessing our brand’s market presence and reputation, allowing me to fine-tune our messaging and strategy moving forward.

Bert HofhuisBert Hofhuis
Founder, Every Investor

Recognize Industry Awards Received

The receipt of industry awards or recognitions following an earned media campaign serves as a significant indicator of its success. Such accolades not only enhance our brand’s reputation but also provide external validation of our campaign’s impact and effectiveness.

Being acknowledged by peers and industry bodies boosts morale within our team and reinforces the value of our earned media strategies in elevating our standing in the industry. This external recognition is a clear testament to the effectiveness of our earned media efforts in distinguishing our brand.

Chad SultanaChad Sultana
Founder, Chad Sultana

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