In today’s society where sponsored content is everywhere you look, it could be easy to entertain the idea that earned media is losing power by being drowned out by paid pieces. But in reality, it’s exactly the opposite. With over 88% of consumers saying that ads have little to no influence on their purchasing decisions[1], earned media is now having more impact and speaking louder than ever before.

To put it simply, earned media is publicity that is based on the newsworthiness of a story or the expertise of the professional being featured, as opposed to content that is paid for.

At Agent99, through our public relations efforts, we see the power and impact of earned media across all of our clients’ businesses day in and day out. No matter what sector they are from – whether it’s food, travel, wine or a b2b offering – earned media is a marketing strategy that benefits allbrands and industries.

Now you might be wondering what these benefits could be, so here are a few of the most important ones:

It adds instant credibility. Appearing in targeted media outlets that speak to your audience in an organic sense (not accompanied by ‘Sponsored Content’ or ‘Advert’ tags) adds a huge amount of credibility. Consumers feel that if it’s legitimate enough for media to cover, out of the millions of stories they otherwise could have covered, it must be worth taking note of.

It’s much more authentic. With earned media, the journalist has no loyalty to the brand, meaning they can reveal the good, the bad and the ugly. This might sound intimidating, but if you have nothing to hide its actually gold, because it provides an honest portrayal of the brand or product. Consumers aren’t put off by something with a few small flaws, as long as they are blown away by the other X, Y and Z features. This authentic tone also ties into credibility, because the audience quickly realises it’s earned its spot in the media without having to pay for the position, which speaks volumes.

It has the potential to snow ball. Often a media story is syndicated, meaning the same piece of coverage is published across other outlets within the same network (NewsCorp, Fairfax, etc), or picked up by a totally new outlet. For example, if an article is published on there’s the potential it will also be covered by TV outlets, newspapers, radio stations, or by social media influencers. This ability to snow ball, and gain wider exposure, is something that is very rarely achieved through paid content pieces.

Earned media is an incredibly important strategy to assist in achieving a company’s marketing, sales and brand goals. With today’s society becoming more and more centred around paid opportunities via a very fragmented media and social media market, it will continue to be one of the only tools that will help to cut through the noise, and achieve traction with consumers. And best of all – it’s highly cost effective.

Agent Nic