Understanding the value of earned media

By Jessica Collings, Senior Account Manager at The Flywheelers

With the rise of information at B2B buyers’ fingertips, how much of it is influencing their decisions? The answer? A surprising amount. And it comes from a trusted source – earned media.  

Earned media refers to non-paid media exposure, specifically when your organisation or product is organically mentioned in the media. This could happen when a publication includes you as a source in an article or even in a broadcast segment.  

How it can help you 

Earned media plays a vital role in your wider communications and marketing strategy, helping to get your brand directly in front of the decision-makers that matter and establish third-party trust in your company.  

By tapping into earned media, you can leverage your insights and expertise to educate your potential customers on relevant topics. Research has found that buyers are more likely to engage with vendors who educate them on relevant topics, with 92% more receptive to a vendor who has helped them understand a specific area in technology. 

Not only this, but creating consistent content can build trust with buyers, with 90% of tech buyers more likely to respond to a tech vendor’s outreach if they’ve seen multiple pieces of their content online. 

Don’t just take our word for it – recent studies show that B2B buyers use independent media sources like analyst reports and industry publications for business guidance. Over 60% of global technology buyers rely on analyst websites and content when researching solutions, with 59% also spending an increasing amount of time on independent media publisher sites, suggesting a preference for unbiased information. 

So, how can businesses leverage earned media to build awareness, establish credible thought leadership and ultimately influence potential customers?  

Embracing the power of trade media   

Earned media isn’t all about product press releases and announcements. It’s about creating high-quality content that positions your business as a trusted source and industry thought leader that can resonate across multiple channels.  

B2B publications, alongside social media and industry newsletters, remain a top choice for decision-makers. They speak directly to decision-makers within key industries, such as CIOs and CSOs who are often not the focus of mainstream media.  

By engaging with trade publications such as Diginomica or Computer Weekly, you can speak to your potential customers in a level of detail that would not be possible in national media and highlight the problems your brand is solving in a language they will understand.  

And let’s not forget about podcasts. Podcasts are becoming a valuable channel for thought leadership content, with 37% of B2B buyers regularly listening to them. They enable audiences to connect a face or voice with a brand, providing organisations with the opportunity to showcase more personality than other types of media allow.  

The role of long-form content in educating customers   

By crafting long-form articles and offering your insights for reactive commentary and feature opportunities, you open yourself up to discussing a range of topics, whether its tapping into the ongoing changes of AI or discussing the latest security trends. 

Long-form content allows organisations to dive more deeply into a subject matter and talk about topics which are often ignored by mainstream press. Trade media offers the opportunity for organisations to discuss deeper topics in greater detail, allowing you to use language and delve into topics that may not be possible otherwise.  

Putting earned media first  

Ultimately, prioritising earned media can greatly benefit your business growth. By creating high quality content, maintaining brand visibility and establishing a strong brand presence across relevant channels, businesses can build trust, educate customers and influence B2B buying decisions.  

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