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Understanding Earned Media: Definitions and Examples



Earned Media


Ah, the world of marketing—a constantly evolving realm filled with buzzwords, algorithms, and techniques. You’ve probably heard terms like “owned media,” “paid media,” and of course, “earned media.” But what exactly is earned media? Why is it important? How can you leverage it for your brand? Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive right in.

What is Earned Media?

Earned media is any publicity or brand recognition that you didn’t pay for or generate yourself. Think of it as the modern-day word-of-mouth. It’s when other people talk about you, write about you, or share your content—for free! Think it’s easy to come by? Think again!

word of mouth

The “Three Ps” of Media

Before we dig deeper, let’s quickly differentiate between the “Three Ps” of media—Paid, Owned, and Earned:

  • Paid Media: This includes all your advertising efforts. From Google Ads to sponsored posts on Instagram.
  • Owned Media: This is the content that you create and control. Think your website, blog posts, or social media channels.
  • Earned Media: This is where the magic happens! It’s the media you haven’t paid for, and it’s not generated by you. But, it’s about you or relevant to you. Are you getting the picture?
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Why is Earned Media Important?

You might be asking yourself, “Why should I care about earned media?” Good question!


First off, earned media provides a level of credibility that paid and owned media just can’t offer. It’s like a friend recommending a restaurant versus a restaurant’s ad telling you they’re the best in town. Which would you trust more?


Another advantage? Cost-effectiveness. Let’s face it, advertising can be expensive. Earned media, on the other hand, costs you virtually nothing.

Extended Reach

Last but not least, the reach. Imagine a popular blogger mentioning your product or service in their blog post. Their audience becomes your audience, almost instantly. You just can’t beat that!

Examples of Earned Media

Let’s look at some concrete examples to get a better grasp of what earned media is all about.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is a goldmine for earned media. It’s when your customers share their own experiences with your brand or products. Picture your customer posting a selfie wearing your product on Instagram—that’s earned media!

Press Coverage

This is when a journalist or editor decides your brand is noteworthy and writes about you. And no, a press release doesn’t count; you paid for that.

Press Coverage

Online Reviews

Sites like Yelp or Google Reviews are platforms where people freely express their opinions about a brand. Good reviews are golden tickets in the world of earned media.

Online Reviews

Social Media Mentions

When someone tweets about your brand or tags you in a Facebook post, that’s earned media. You didn’t pay them to do it; they did it because they wanted to.

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Social Media Mentions

How to Leverage Earned Media

Alright, we know what it is and why it’s important. So, how do you get more of it?

Quality Over Quantity

Always focus on creating quality products and services that people would naturally want to talk about. Ever heard of the phrase, “Build it, and they will come?” Well, it’s true here too.

Quality Over Quantity

Engage with Your Community

Don’t just sit there; get involved with your community. Respond to comments, share user-generated content, and create a sense of belonging. The more engaged you are, the more likely people are to talk about you.

Monitor and Measure

Last but not least, always keep an eye on your analytics. What’s getting you the most attention? Is it that viral tweet or an online review? Use this information to steer your future strategies.


So, there you have it, folks! Understanding earned media is not just a fad; it’s a necessity in today’s digital landscape. It’s cost-effective, extends your reach, and most importantly, it’s real.

Earned media is like that song you can’t get out of your head—catchy, authentic, and viral. So, are you ready to be the next big hit?

Shabbir Ahmad is a highly accomplished and renowned professional blogger, writer, and SEO expert who has made a name for himself in the digital marketing industry. He has been offering clients from all over the world exceptional services as the founder of Dive in SEO for more than five years.

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