Edelman B2B

Explore marketing insights and trends from our B2B team as we evolve the way we drive our clients' business forward.

Earned Media

Here’s where earned media should live in your marketing funnel

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When it comes to mapping out your marketing mix, where earned media lives might seem like an obvious answer: at the top, driving overall awareness and acting as part introduction and part thought leadership on behalf of the brand.  

But that’s not the only place it should be. Lining up solid earned media coverage that tells your story is only half the battle. The other half is ensuring that content is amplified to reach the right people at the right times at the right point in their decision-making cycle. 

Winning earned media today 

Despite continued concerns around “fake news,” Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer showed that trust in journalists and mainstream media is increasing, especially as readers seek out reliable and corroborated information. That makes earned media an even more valuable win in the B2B landscape. 

That said, landing a story that reinforces your vision or validates your product or service is tougher than ever before, as the traditional newsroom continues to shrink, leaving fewer resources to write traditional feature stories. In addition, reporters are working against a never-ending news cycle. The hunger for of-the-moment content drives them to deliver on continuous deadlines ranging from feature stories to email newsletters to social content 

This means we need to reset the rules on how we pitch and work with reporters to secure earned content. And, for B2B marketers, it means once we land a solid piece of content, we must make earned content work smarter and harder to make an impact 

Driving consideration, preference and purchase  

If it gets in front of the right customers and prospects at the right times, an earned piece can go beyond awareness and play a significant role in the consideration phase. However, this can’t be left up to chance. Putting paid support behind a solid earned piece will ensure you get more of the right eyes on your content.  

When it comes to building preference, a solid story can continue to move a lead through your marketing funnel. Sharing that story on social channels can further extend its life and ensure it is reaching those who already have you in their consideration set. 

By helping earned content carry through your owned channels, you can also move engaged audiences to purchase. Earned can also be a great purchase or post-purchase confirmation for customers by reinforcing that they are making the right choice. 

Jennifer Thomas is a Vice President in Edelman's B2B Marketing and Corporate Communications Group.