In class we had a look at the benefits, challenges and the role of Earned Media.
I think most smaller business’s have had to make huge cuts in their marketing and advertising budgets and as a result are looking more to earned media for reputation building and awareness. Which is not altogether a bad thing, since it is forms of earned media which customers believe to be most credible and transparent. It does take time and effort however and a huge drawback is it can be negative and you have little or no control of what is said.
One of the tools for earned media we looked at was PR and blogging, which I have some experience in. What we did was send our shirts to a blogger who blogs about products similar to ours and our target market would be included in his following. He had expressed an interest via social media in our products and so we sent him a few items to review.
The chance we took here was that he could have hated our products and really slated us in his review. This is the downside to earned media- I’m leaving the control in his hands. Yes I facilitate him by sending him a product for free but he has every option to be either positive or negative about it. In this case he loved the shirt and has since review two more of our product ranges- all good reviews. The traffic from him his site to ours is continuous and steady, even-though he wrote the reviews months ago new customers are still reading them.
What is clear from this example is that we have spent a fraction of the money we would have spent on advertising but the effect much longer lasting, and I believe because we are not associated with this blogger customers trust his opinion more than ours.