From the Influencers

Funny, Informative Earned Media Gives Brands Best Return

November 23, 2016

Figuring out just which media to use in an advertising mix can be a challenge. After all, with so many different types from print to television to online and social, that's a lot of different fronts to cover with no guarantee of success in any of them. A new report reveals that in some of the biggest markets on Earth, earned media—promotion that's gained through someone else's mention instead of something that's paid for—is still delivering a lot of value.


With 62 percent of Chinese respondents, 47 percent of U.S. respondents and 44 percent of UK respondents all coming out in favor of earned media, it's clear this approach should be front-of-mind for many marketers.

Moreover, what customers want in that marketing varies according to the need at the time. For instance, content that has an emotional impact like making someone laugh gives it a better chance to be shared. The UK shares funny content most readily at 31 percent, followed by the U.S. at 26 percent and China at 18 percent. Content that offers information is valuable as well, with 46 percent of U.S. respondents, 47 percent UK and 50 percent China all planning to share content with product information.

JMRConnect CEO Mostafa Razzak, meanwhile, commented, “Social media has changed both how, and from where stakeholders receive and consume news and information. For advocacy to be effective, messages must not only reach influencers, but must also resonate across multiple channels to impact opinions, influence and solidify long-term perceptions. These statistics reveal several factors of critical importance to corporate communications, PR, and influencer marketing teams who, in addition to securing organic results like earned media coverage, are also charged with amplifying its visibility across social media.”

Razzak further noted, “For B2B, this data underscores the importance of employee engagement and advocacy on LinkedIn. Company executives, sales teams, engineering business development team, and anyone else in the company that helps drive day-to-day operations, through their relationships and social media connections to prospects, customers, and partners, are viewed as trusted sources of information that are directly connected to your target audience. By sharing company news, case studies, whitepapers, etc., on social media, they increase the likelihood that brand messages reach the right people.”

This offers up a noteworthy picture of how to frame advertising. Funny seldom goes amiss, but the biggest bang may come from an informative ad. It's also important to take this information with a grain of salt, as the respondents in the study may have been unconsciously skewed in one direction. In the end, however, the key point remains: a funny ad that offers product information will likely be not only well received, but also shared. The power of sharing is important, but when the cost savings are considered—free advertising is generally worth it—that only makes it better from there.




Edited by Alicia Young

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