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  • Writer's pictureJade Hush

Leveraging Earned Media: A strategic approach to thought leadership and brand elevation

Companies are relentlessly working to distinguish themselves in the competitive marketplace. To achieve this, they deploy integrated marketing campaigns across various media channels, a strategy commonly known as PESO (Paid, Earned, Social, Owned). However, in the digital age where numerous channels compete for attention, the "E" in PESO, representing Earned Media, is often underestimated.


The essence of earned media

Earned media is content published by a third party that a brand hasn't paid for . This could be an article in a national media outlet, a podcast appearance, or a by-lined editorial in trade media. Establishing thought leadership through earned media is a strategic move that goes beyond mere publicity—it's about building trust, credibility, and authority.


The power of thought leadership

Thought leaders distinguish themselves by possessing strong opinions, experience, knowledge, transparency, a desire to share wisdom, and the ability to think outside the box. By becoming a thought leader, your brand can gain social capital, influence industry discussions, and position itself as the go-to resource for industry-related matters.

According to Semrush, 65% of businesses already include thought leadership in their content marketing, with an additional 29.5% planning to do so soon. The numbers underscore the growing recognition of thought leadership as a valuable asset in the competitive digital landscape.


Why thought leadership matters


Drives credibility

Earned media provides instant credibility and publicity. This type of coverage highlights a brand's differentiators compared to competitors. This happens by leveraging the trust associated with third-party endorsements, journalistic standards, and expert opinions. It provides social proof, broadens your reach, and contributes to a positive online presence, all of which enhance your brand's overall credibility in the eyes of your clients.


Reaches target audiences

Earned media provides an opportunity to extend your reach beyond your owned channels. Media outlets have established audiences, and when they feature your brand, it exposes your message to a larger and potentially new demographic, including your target audience. Strategic outreach to specific media outlets that cater to your target audience can help ensure that your message reaches the right people. Tailoring your pitches and content to align with the interests of these outlets increases the likelihood of coverage that resonates with your audience.


Recognition that matters

When a brand's stories and messaging are shared by credible third-party outlets, executives experience a sense of achievement and positive reinforcement. Earned coverage from reputable sources creates a lasting impression. This recognition not only influences external perceptions but can also positively shape a company's culture.


Influencing decision-makers

Thought leaders have the power to influence key decision-makers in their industry. Whether it's shaping industry standards or impacting policy decisions, their insights carry weight and contribute to shaping the direction of their field. Organisations who leverage thought leadership often become leaders for guidance on future trends, potential disruptions, and strategic pathways, influencing their own organisational strategies.


Driving coverage in a competitive landscape

In conclusion, integrating earned media into your marketing strategy is not merely a passing trend; it’s a potent tool for establishing thought leadership, bolstering credibility, reaching target audiences, expanding content reach, and earning well-deserved recognition. However, securing coverage is no easy feat. In today's competitive landscape, it is tougher than ever for your pitch to stand out. A staggering 57% of top-tier publishers receive between 50 and 500 pitches each week.


Obtaining earned media demands considerable time and effort. This is why a trusted PR consultancy like Proactive International PR can be a valuable asset to your operations, identifying opportunities and enhancing your likelihood of success in the media landscape. If you're interested in learning more on how we can support in being the driving force behind your earned media success book a meeting with Jade Hush, our Marketing Director.

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