When trying to get your name out there, or a product seen, you have three different types of media at your disposal.
Owned media: Your website or blog.
Paid media: Paid advertisements on other websites or in a magazine.
Earned media: The publicity you get when other people talk about your company or product, such as on Facebook or a product review.
Earned media is proven to be the most effective kind of publicity you can have. People trust an opinion of a friend or family member more than a marketing message from a company. You can get customers to be your voice and advocate for your company to their friends and family. However, earned media is not easy to acquire. People will not share just anything with their friends and family, only those which they truly believe in.
So, how can you increase your earned media?
Create great content. If you make something that your consumers like, they will share it. That means you need to think about your audience and cater to their needs. This may mean helpful blogs, or beautiful pictures. For some it might mean creating funny videos. Making things that are valuable to your customers is the only way to consistently get them to share it for you, thereby increasing your earned media.
Inspire engagement. Some content will need more push to be shared and publicized by your customers. There are many ways to encourage engagement.
You can create polls determined by likes or comments about a new product or a pop culture topic. By asking for their opinion, your customers will feel important and if they feel heard they will more want to engage in the future.
You can also incentivize engagement by offering something in return for their advocacy. For example using a Splurgy promotion, you can offer a discount or an entrance into a giveaway for sharing a message about your company.
Respond to and engage with your customers. If your customers comment on a blog post, or tweet your company and you do not respond, they will not feel heard. Even if it’s something simple like, “I love @Splurgy!,” a quick response can truly make the difference between a customer feeling valued and just being one of the masses.
This is even more critical if customers have a question or a complaint. Responding to critiques or helping to solve a problem via any of your social networks will not only make a customer feel satisfied with your customer support, but will also encourage them to engage with you in the future. The more you engage with your customers the more they will reciprocate, because they will see how important their feedback is and they will feel heard, encouraging continued advocacy.
Don’t forget that you can use your owned and paid media to increase your earned media as well. For example, a Splurgy promotion on your website (owned media) can help encourage your current customers to promote your business. Or if you utilized Splurgy’s sponsored promotions, you can use paid media to connect with new customers.