What is Earned Media Value, & Why is it Essential for Businesses?

Imagine you run a cozy bakery famous for its melt-in-your-mouth croissants. One morning, a renowned food critic walks in, samples your pastries, and writes a glowing review in a prestigious newspaper. 

The next day, your bakery is buzzing with activity – lines out the door, customers raving about the “critic’s favorite.” This surge in popularity, driven by an influential source, wouldn’t have cost you a dime in advertising. That’s the power of earned media. But how do you quantify the value of this positive buzz? Here’s where earned media value (EMV) comes in. EMV is like a secret currency that measures the worth of all the positive mentions and discussions your brand generates organically.

Intrigued? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of EMV, exploring its importance, how to calculate it, and, most importantly, how to leverage it to turn brand buzz into a powerful marketing asset. 

What is Earned Media Value (EMV)?

EMV is a metric used to estimate the value of exposure your brand receives through earned media channels. In simpler terms, it’s a way to quantify the worth of the positive buzz you’re generating. This can take many forms, including:

  • Social media mentions and shares from satisfied customers or brand advocates.
  • Positive reviews and testimonials on online platforms or review sites
  • Press articles and features highlighting your brand story or products in reputable publications
  • Organic influencer marketing, where influencers genuinely promote your brand to their audience
  • Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family, and satisfied customers

Why Should You Care About EMV?

Understanding EMV offers several crucial benefits for marketers:

  • Compares Earned Media to Paid Media: EMV provides a chance to measure the effectiveness of non-advertised expenses against the advantages of traditional advertising. Through this, you can figure out the ROI of your strategy and make logical moves going forward. The next move will be to place your product into a case and get a positive blog review from a notable blogger with the same number of people who could have seen your paid ad campaign. It gives you the ability to know the EMV of the review, which appeals to the cost-effectiveness of earned media over paid media.
  • Measures Brand Awareness: If the EMV is high, it means that your brand is in the mouth of people who are discussing your brand. It is one of the most powerful instruments to measure brand awareness and marketing effectiveness. The more positive emotions they get associated with your brand, the more chances they have to remember it when making purchases.
  • Identifies Influential Channels: You will learn how to calculate EMV for different earned media channels, and ultimately, you will better understand which channels are the most effective for reaching your target audience and producing priceless impressions. By doing this, you are able to find out which channels work most efficiently, and you will receive the highest returns.

Calculating Earned Media Value (EMV): Not an Exact Science

There is no single standard for expressing EV, which is why it is not always accepted by all. One common example is computing the whole reach (impressions) of your PR activities by using the CPM (cost per 1000) meter. CPM is the cost that you pay for advertising to 1000 people who are on the same medium.

As an example of the above, let us say that your restaurant gets positive feedback on a popular food blog that reaches 10,000 people, and the CPM for that is $5, while the same kind of advertisement on that platform may cost you $5 CPM. Your estimated EMV would be: As for the expected equity multiplier, it would be:

EMV = Impressions x CPM, EMV = 10,000 impressions x $5/1000 impressions, so EMV = $50.

The estimate of EMV is an estimation. For instance, the review’s tone, source credibility, and kind of response from the users are some of them. It can also influence the cost of the Earned Media. The same negative review with an extensive reach might be more valuable than a positive review with a low reach but a high engagement rate (comments, shares). The reason is that the negative review will create a negative sentiment among users.

Maximizing Your Earned Media Value (EMV)

So, how can you generate positive buzz and maximize your EMV? Here are some key strategies:

  • Create stirring content that your audience will love and will use as well.
  • Social media lets you communicate with your customers, reply to their comments and queries, improve your brand recognition, and create a loyal community.
  • Invest in developing bonds with industry influencers who can authentically share your brand with their audience.
  • Measure your EMV by looking at metrics like social media mentions, website traffic, and brand sentiment to see how it is going and highlight areas for improvement.
  • Social listening tools are an excellent way to find out what people are talking about your brand on the Internet and understand how you can join the discussion.

Examples of Recent EMV Campaigns

While specific EMV figures can be challenging to pinpoint, here are some recent campaigns that have likely generated significant Earned Media Value (EMV) due to their innovative approaches and audience engagement:

1. Duolingo’s Super Bowl Ad- Brilliantly Ridiculous (2024)

    Duolingo’s popular language-learning app decided to make a risky move by airing its first-ever Super Bowl ad in 2024. In the commercial, they showed a hilarious situation where a person, by mistake, attends a business meeting that is being held in a foreign language. Although the commercial was paid advertising, the viral nature of the social media craze that followed was organic. In its funny and relatable nature, the ad sparked a wave of memes, reactions, and discussions on social media, generating earned media.

    2. MyOatlyMoment – User-Generated Content Campaign (2023-Present)

      Oatly, the plant-based milk brand has been running the interactive hashtag #MyOatlyMoment for a while now. This campaign calls for sharing social media posts about the Oatly products the users have tried. With the help of user-generated materials, Oatly is able to build up brand loyalty and trust among consumers, which, in turn, leads to positive word-of-mouth and organic expansion of the audience. The campaign is preparing for a boost, which demonstrates the desire to strengthen user engagement in the future.

      3. Samsung Galaxy’s ‘Epic Night’ Campaign with BTS (2023)

        Samsung, a tech giant, partnered with the international K-Pop phenomenon BTS to launch the “Epic Night” campaign for the Galaxy S23 series, featuring the members of BTS. The campaign brought to life a set of cinematographic short films designed to provide viewers with a glimpse of the phone’s camera abilities through the lens of BTS’s creative ideas. The campaign got a lot of organic engagement because of the loyal fan army of BTS. In this partnership, the influencer received paid compensation. However, the magnitude of the fan-generated content, such as reviews and discussions online about the campaign, surely gave it the earned media value that can be described as tremendous.

        4. Chipotle’s “Canopy Commitment” Environmental Initiative (2023-Till now)

          Chipotle Mexican Grill’s “Canopy Commitment” project has captured the public’s attention. The multifaceted program covers two areas: tree planting to balance carbon emissions and promoting sustainable practices. The campaign has struck a chord with socially conscious consumers, amplifying media coverage and social media discussions appreciating Chipotle’s green initiative. This earned media, which is based on an environmental message, strengthens Chipotle’s brand image and attracts the attention of eco-conscious customers.

          5. Wendy’s Social Media Intelligence – Smart Responses and Conversations (Ongoing)

            Wendy’s, a fast-food chain, has managed to create a witty and often sarcastic personality for itself on social media. They are always in touch with other brands, referencing pop culture topics and making funny replies, which, in turn, creates a huge social media following. While Wendy’s is conducting social media accounts, the organic talks, shares, and reactions created by these interactions contribute significantly to their earned media value. With its distinctive method, the brand stays relevant in social media and gets the word out without conventional advertising.

            How Tagembed Can Help Maximize Your Earned Media Value (EMV)

            Tagembed is the all-in-one tool that helps brands and businesses realize their full EMV potential via its social media aggregation and UGC management platform. 

            • Increased Visibility and Credibility: By showcasing real-life customer experiences, positive reviews, and engaging social media content, Tagembed enhances your website’s credibility and trustworthiness. This social proof acts as a powerful endorsement, influencing potential customers and ultimately driving conversions.
            • Dynamic and Fresh Content: Maintaining a steady stream of fresh content on your website can be challenging. Tagembed eliminates this burden by automatically pulling in the latest social media posts. This ensures your website remains dynamic and up-to-date, keeping visitors engaged and showcasing the ongoing buzz surrounding your brand.
            • Drive Social Media Engagement: Interactive features of Tagembed, like the social media widget, drive user participation and create a space for your brand conversations. Such increased engagement is the fuel for organic content creation and extends the brand’s reach, which in turn leads to higher EMV.
            • Measure & Analyze EMV Performance: Tagembed allows you to know your social media performance. Keeping an eye on the metrics such as reach, engagement, and brand mentions will help you understand the effectiveness of your content strategy and determine what needs to be improved to achieve the best EMV return.

            The Takeaway

            Earned media value (EMV) is a precious metric for marketers who want to gauge the results of their non-paid advertising. Even though it might not be a perfect science, EMV gives a fundamental framework for determining the possible value of the positive buzz that your brand is creating.

            By using various tactics to create valuable content, connect with your audience, and establish meaningful relationships, you will consistently harness the power of positive earned media. By monitoring and analyzing your EVM, you will be able to fine-tune your campaign and squeeze the most out of your marketing budget.

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