How Earned Media Can Enhance Consumer Trust

By Brandon Farley | July 27, 2023

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In today's competitive marketplace, trust has emerged as a vital factor influencing consumer decisions. As a result, marketers are increasingly recognizing the value of earned media mentions in gaining consumer trust. Earned media, comprising organic influencer tags, op-eds, interviews, news segments, and documentaries, holds significant potential for building credibility, as it is not paid for or owned by marketers.

The impact of earned media on consumer trust can be summarized as follows:

  • Credibility and Authenticity: Earned media is often perceived as more credible and authentic compared to paid advertising. Consumers tend to trust recommendations and endorsements coming from their peers, influencers, or trusted sources more than traditional advertisements. When people see positive mentions about a brand from unbiased sources, it enhances the brand's credibility.

  • Social Proof: Earned media provides social proof to potential customers. When they see others talking positively about a brand or product, it validates their decision-making process. Positive word-of-mouth and endorsements create a sense of confidence and reassurance that the brand is reliable and worth considering.

  • Engagement and Interaction: Earned media often leads to higher engagement and interaction with the brand. Consumers are more likely to engage with posts shared by friends or influencers, creating a sense of community and personal connection with the brand.

  • Brand Awareness and Exposure: Earned media can significantly boost brand awareness and exposure. When content goes viral or gains traction through influencers or media outlets, it reaches a broader audience than traditional advertising channels, leading to increased brand visibility.

  • Word-of-Mouth Amplification: Earned media has a ripple effect through word-of-mouth amplification. When customers have positive experiences, they are more likely to share their stories with others, leading to organic brand advocacy and further building trust among their social circles.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Earned media provides a cost-effective way to increase brand trust. While it may require effort and creativity to generate, the overall investment is often lower compared to paid media channels, making it an attractive option for businesses.

  • Ad Blocking and Ad Fatigue Mitigation: As consumers become increasingly adept at blocking or ignoring traditional advertisements, earned media offers a way for brands to reach audiences more effectively. Genuine content that resonates with consumers is less likely to be seen as intrusive or annoying.

The significance of earned media is underscored by research showing that 44 percent of consumers are influenced by positive press when choosing a brand. Op-eds have also been proven to be a cost-effective means of shaping people's views, with costs ranging from about 50 cents to $3 per mind changed, according to Yale researchers.

Influencers play a crucial role in driving earned media and impacting consumer buying behavior. Over half of consumers prefer word-of-mouth and social media when discovering new brands, as revealed in a GRIN report. Additionally, 80 percent of consumers stated that social media directly influences their purchasing decisions, with a significant proportion showing a willingness to purchase influencer-endorsed products online.

As the industry standard for measuring earned media value (EMV) and campaign ROI, Social Index leverages expert analysis, machine learning algorithms—as well as vast proprietary and public data. The platform empowers brands and agencies to elevate their engagement and earned media ROI measurement to new heights.

We've revolutionized the measurement of earned media value (EMV) is Ayzenberg's Social Index and Earned Media Value Index (a.EMVI), which has assisted over 3,000 companies worldwide in quantifying the monetary worth of their social media actions and endorsements, constituting modern earned media. With the latest iteration of its Social Index, SI 3.0, several exclusive updates have been made available to its members.

The key highlights of SI 3.0 include:

  • Enhanced Accuracy: SI 3.0 boasts a new EMV engine and algorithm that provides marketers with more precise vertical values. This improvement in accuracy enhances the value proposition to customers, enabling marketers to make better-informed decisions.

  • Comprehensive Visualization: The new dashboard and EMV visualizer (in beta) allow analysts, media planners, and integrated marketers to analyze specific key performance indicators (KPIs) across various platforms and locations since January 2020. This feature proves invaluable for postmortems and data-driven insights.

  • Global Comparisons: SI 3.0 now offers global EMV values across key markets, including North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific countries. Marketers can compare EMV data between two locations, gaining valuable insights into regional performance for specific industries and platforms.

  • Real-Time Updates: With a.EMVI's new daily EMV updates, marketers can monitor the EMV of their influencer, content marketing, PR, and organic and paid social media campaigns dynamically. This real-time snapshot keeps them abreast of their campaigns' impact.

The impact of earned media on consumer trust cannot be underestimated in today's marketing landscape. With advanced tools like Ayzenberg's Social Index 3.0, marketers can harness the power of earned media to not only build credibility but also drive business growth and success.

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