How to Create Earned Media Plans in Growth Marketing

Written by Asena Atilla Saunders

So far we have elaborated on how to create owned media (website/app, social media, content, email) and paid media (PPC) plans by giving you some tips and essential information throughout the way.

As the name implies, earned media (in other words free media) is the content that your brand earned, but which it isn’t paid for. Shares, reposts, (digital) word of mouth, reviews, or recommendations can be listed as earned media. So actually it is driven by organic search engine rankings for your content and when practiced well, it is one of the best ways to drive related traffic to your website.

An earned media marketing strategy consists of some methods such as social bookmarking, republishing, backlink activities, and guest posting. We will elaborate on these issues below with some tips, where we explain how to fill out the Earned Media tactic fields.

Before you start our guide, you can also check our article from the following link to have a comprehensive understanding of earned media marketing:

What is Earned Media and How To Use It

Now let us walk you through the entire process of creating an Earned Media plan through our online learning platform: the Growth Marketing Hub. And don’t worry if you don’t have an established brand. The Growth Marketing Hub is designed to give you the opportunity to exercise each module and process so that you can just practice and learn.

Earned Media Planning with the Growth Marketing Hub

You might need the data from your Growth Marketing Strategy input (full brand check-up, personas, positioning, etc.) in order to create your Earned Media plans. Before you start, please make sure you have completed the previous stages on the Growth Marketing Hub

For those who don’t have an established brand, or if you haven’t completed the previous steps, you can use the Growth Marketing Hub to simply exercise each module and process.

We start with the “Earned Media Planning” menu at the Growth Marketing Hub panel and select the “Create a New Earned Media Tactic” box.

Create a New Earned Media Tactic

With this module, you will exercise and learn the important points to consider when creating an earned media plan. 

1- Choose or Create Your Brand/Product

At this step, you can either choose one of the brands/products you have created at the “Internal Checkup” phase- from the dropdown menu, or you can easily create a new brand. 

Select an existing brand:

Or create a new brand:

Click “NEXT STEP” to proceed.

2- Choose or Create Your Persona

Again, you can choose one of the personas you have created in the “Persona Creation” phase from the dropdown menu, create a new persona, or simply choose all personas.

Choose an existing (specific) persona:

Create a new persona:

Choose all personas:

Click “NEXT STEP” to proceed.

3- Tactic Details

Let’s say we are planning to republish an existing article on Medium.com.

  • Target Page & Content to Distribute: This is the direct link to the content or website you want to distribute.
  • Target Website to Publish: This can be a third-party website or a social site (social bookmarking). In order to determine the right website for your earned media activities, you should run an SEO analysis to make sure the website is credible.
  • Social Bookmarking: In order to provide users with more accurate and related results, Google takes into account people’s behaviours (shares and recommendations) while determining the importance they attribute to content on the internet. The more shared and recommended your site is on the most used social networking platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter, the more Google cares about it. That is why the more your site is shared on social bookmarking sites, the faster it is indexed by Google and begins to appear in higher rankings in search results.
  • Guest Post: Guest posting is basically a method where you write and publish an article on another website and get a link to your site in return. It’s a good way to connect with a new audience, especially when the website you published has a good number of subscribers/followers.
  • Republication: Republishing is publishing your existing content on other platforms such as LinkedIn or Medium to achieve greater visibility, brand awareness, and reach new readers. However, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind:
  • Even though republishing sounds like copying and pasting your content, it is important to acknowledge that Google might flag your website for having duplicate content as it will see Medium or LinkedIn as the original source. So, try to make adjustments to your article before republishing.
  • Another way is to syndicate, which is publishing a portion of your article by providing the readers with your website link at the end. By bringing them back to your website, you will drive referral traffic.
  • Last but not least, don’t republish your article immediately after it’s published on your website. You should wait at least two weeks for that content to be indexed by Google and take your website version as original. 

Related growth metrics: Earned media is all about referral metrics. So you can choose visits from referral websites, conversions from referral websites, conversion quality from referral websites, etc.

View My Earned Media Plan

You can see all of your created Earned Media Tactics on this screen. The first tactic you see on the display will be the last one you created.

You can also create a new tactic, search for a tactic, copy, print, and download your plan as an excel sheet or PDFs, or remove the tactics you have completed or want to delete from the list.

When you click “details”, you will access the tactic details, where you can copy or delete the tactic separately.

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