If a media outlet prints a story, does anyone read it? Maybe. When’s the last time you went directly to The New York Times’ website to read a story? It’s more likely that you read it in their newsletter, or on social media, and even there it’s too easy to miss.
Positive earned media is still the best way to build credibility, but it can also be fleeting if no one reads it. To illustrate just how crowded the news stream is, we looked at the top 10 most visited publications over the past 12 months:
Across these news outlets alone, over a million stories are published each year -- that’s an average of 2,800 per day!
Combine this trend with distracted readers and you’ve got yourself a true dilemma. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend an average of 16 minutes per day reading for leisure, and individuals ages 15 to 44 read for an average of 10 minutes or less per day. Compare that to social media use that averages 135 minutes per day.
Attention spans are short and organic reach of earned media is no longer enough because, at least on Facebook, algorithms are now filtering out news and emphasizing puppy pictures from friends and family instead. Not only that, but the customer journey has become more complicated, with prospects using multiple devices and consuming content on many channels while performing research to inform their buying decisions. Great content can quickly vanish if you do nothing to make it stand out.
Amplification brings content and hard-earned news stories directly to the people we want to read them and keeps them there. It also allows us to use that content in new ways that drive action. If you start to view securing a placement as the beginning of the process -- not the end -- PR can be more effective than it’s ever been.
Prioritize content that fits key target audiences and maps your amplification plan accordingly to the channel, medium and tactic most appropriate. Consider a combination of the following:
Amplification of earned media can result in much more than increased readership and impressions. According to a study by the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising (IPA), earned media can increase the effectiveness of a paid campaign by up to 26 percent.
A great example is product promotion. Let’s say a company launches a new product and has secured a highly-rated review from a top publication. Rather than leave it to chance that people will see it, promote a quote from that product review on LinkedIn with a custom social graphic to allow a consumer to read the review and purchase the product all in one click. Try similar campaigns on other social media platforms and monitor to see which perform best and at what cost. You could also feature that same quote on your homepage or key landing page to help boost organic conversion.
Monitor the results of your coverage closely to determine what content is driving the most impact. If an article is generating lots of qualified website traffic or conversions organically, amplify it for as long as it’s relevant using both paid and organic methods and try to replicate the content in your go-forward earned media strategy.
To learn more about our integrated approach, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angela is a creative marketing professional with a decade of experience designing innovative campaigns for digital PR & SEO outcomes for hundreds of startup and established brands across a wide range of categories including retail, healthcare and B2B. She is an expert at crafting strategies that blend earned and owned content, social media amplification, influencer relations and SEO fundamentals to improve brand awareness, stimulate audience engagement, and fuel sustainable organic traffic growth.