What is Earned Media Value and How Can You Maximize its Value Through Influencer Marketing?

Jun 06, 2024


What is Earned Media Value and How Can You Maximize its Value Through Influencer Marketing?

Exploring how brands can maximize earned media generation by optimizing their influencer marketing strategy, across paid and seeded influencer activities.

1. What Is Earned Media And Why Is It Important?

Earned Media refers to conversations (written or verbal) about your brand as a by-product of your actions, i.e. publicity you have not directly paid for. Examples include user-generated content in response to your influencer campaigns, organically viral social media posts, and positive reviews on commerce platforms.

In today’s digital age, where authentic recommendations play a key role in shaping consumer choices, earned media is a vital part of an effective marketing strategy.

By having a clear approach for driving earned media enterprises can create a knock-on effect from their marketing investments to drive higher awareness, engagement and consideration. 

2. Where Does Earned Media Come From And How Can I Measure It?

Traditionally, earned media comes from 4 content sources.


  1. Publications & Broadcasters – e.g. PR coverage
  2. Blogs & Social Channels – e.g. User Generated Content (UGC)
  3. Product Reviews – e.g. Amazon Reviews
  4. Industry & Award Bodies – e.g. Award Wins (Cannes Lions) 

There are a multitude of metrics that contribute to the value of earned media, including but not limited to the following:

  • Awareness – Views and Impressions 
  • Engagement – Shares, Comments, Likes
  • Mentions – Tags, UGC, Reviews

The combination of these metrics allows brands to gauge the Earned Media Value (EMV) of a piece of content if they had paid for it.

Furthermore, earned media value is weighted differently depending on the medium in which the content is posted. For example on social media, a YouTube video about your brand attains a higher baseline Earned Media figure than a Tweet, as a video retains a longer attention span from audiences.

3. Influencer Marketing Can Play A Crucial Role In Creating Earned Media For Your Brand?

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to generate earned media and extend their brand reach.

Most commonly, there are two types of influencer marketing activities that generate earned media.

3.1 Paid Influencer Campaigns: 

In this case, brands will contract, onboard, brief and compensate influencers for the content they create, but with earned media being generated outside of the paid deliverables.

For example, the organic impression on an influencer post would not count as earned media. But, any mainstream media coverage of the influencer campaigns creative execution (e.g. a PR stunt) would contribute to Earned Media Value. 

3.2 Seeded Influencers Campaigns:

This is the most common source of earned media generation, where brands will seed products to influencers with a non-obligation to create content. 

Earned media is generated here through influencers creating content for the brand on a non-contractual basis, meaning any results generated are added value.

4. How To Optimize Earned Media Through Influencer Marketing?

There are a number of levers that can be pulled to optimize your influencer strategy towards maximizing earned media. 

This whitepaper will take a look at some of these levers and the enablers you can activate to pull them. 

Please note that this is a non-exhaustive overview.

Lever 1: Hyper Relevant Influencer Selection – Identifying the right influencers that will support the pursuit of your objectives. 

Paid & Seeding Example: Influencers with existing brand/product affinity that are likely to be genuine customers who will post organically for your brand.

Enablers to facilitate: 

  • Recruitment strategy including influencer selection criteria
  • AI powered influencer discovery tools (e.g. ARIA) to hyper-target influencers
  • Always on influencer scouting function that constantly assesses the market and looks to optimize current portfolio
  • Creator recruitment function e.g. ambassador programme with a sign-up page

Lever 2: Influencer Advocacy – Transforming influencer relationships from transactional to advocacy to increase non-contractual posting.

Paid & Seeded Influencer Example: An influencer who, after being introduced to the product and using it in their everyday lives, becomes a real brand advocate and will post organically outside of contractual obligations.

Enablers to facilitate: 

  • Engagement strategy including a reward scheme to create a win-win partnership
  • Personable influencer experience using a consistent point of contact 
  • Influencer CRM to store key influencer data and information such as birthday to facilitate personal gifting

Lever 3: High Quality Creative – Strong creative messaging and execution will get people talking about your brand.

Paid Influencer Example: An innovative and disruptive campaign can drive user generated content, press coverage and even award wins for your brand.

Seeded Influencer Example: By seeding influencers high-quality mailers that have innovative, creative or bespoke elements will increase the likelihood of influencers posting content about your brand for free. 

Enablers to facilitate

  • An agency partner with a success proven creative team in driving conversation & PR coverage
  • Insight & trend data to inform content creative 
  • Innovation & Interactiveness e.g. CGI, Virtual-try-on, branded soundbite
  • Experiential events that influencers and the public can attend to create content 

Lever 4: Continuous Optimization – Trimming the fat for low performing activities whilst scaling up high-performing/fast growing elements of your strategy to improve performance of influencer marketing 

Paid & Seeded Influencer Example: Assessing your influencer portfolio using data furnished segmentation around which influencer segmentations in relation to non-contractual posting rates. For example, for your luxury skincare brand, you may notice that Gen Z influencers have limited affinity to the product and are less likely to post for free than Millennials.

Enablers to facilitate

  • Centralization of all data to empower data informed decisions & knowledge transfer
  • Influencer CRM to benchmark performance, fees & data
  • Data enrichment to inform influencer segmentation prioritization
  • Process optimization e.g. testing new influencer briefing documents
  • Test & learn projects e.g. community-led, multi-brand campaigns

Lever 5: Scale – Setting up your influencer activities for scale will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your strategy

Paid & Seeded Influencer Example: Being able to quickly outreach, contract and brief influencers allows you to cast a wider net with your influencer campaigns and maximize the likelihood of reaching and engaging the right audiences and communities.

Enablers to facilitate

  • AI Powered tools e.g. for influencer identification or outreach
  • Automation e.g. influencer relationship management (FAQ’s)
  • Standardization of processes and ways of working 

5. Transform Your Earned Media Strategy With Prime Influence From Socially Powerful

In conclusion, leveraging influencer marketing to maximize earned media is essential for brands seeking to amplify their reach and impact. By strategically selecting relevant influencers, fostering authentic advocacy, creating compelling content, continuously optimizing strategies, and scaling efforts efficiently, brands can significantly enhance their earned media value. 

Through PrimeInfluence, our solution for influencer marketing, we help brands build comprehensive strategies that help them pull all the levers required to maximize earned media. A few services that use the dynamic creative optimization are:

6. Empower Your Brand’s Transformation Journey With Prime Influence From Socially Powerful, A Full Service Influencer Marketing Solution

PrimeInfluence is Socially Powerful’ s solution & service to help enterprises transform influencer marketing to be more efficient and effective.

These white papers offer some initial guidance on how to start your influencer marketing transformation journey.

Leveraging a suite of guidance, frameworks and proprietary digital tools built through Socially Powerful’ s vast experience & expertise in influencer marketing.

Empower your influencer marketing transformation journey today, with PrimeInfluence by Socially Powerful. 

Access expert guidance across: 

As part of the PrimeInfluence Solution we build integrated influencer marketing functions for our enterprise partners led by category leaders to support individual brand pods. 

We establish dedicated influencer marketing functions within the Socially Powerful for our enterprise partners. 

These micro-agencies deliver bespoke influencer marketing strategies through category leads that connect the team to each division within the business.

Ensuring each brand has access to the collective power of the agency but benefits from a bespoke touch through their category lead and brand pod.

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.



author image

Annette Klar

latest posts

Social And Influencer Marketing News + Insights

post image
post icon

Jun 18, 2024

Influencer Marketing Agency

Top 20 TikTok Marketing Agencies in the U.S. in 2024

Read more
post image
post icon

Jun 17, 2024

Influencer Marketing Agency

Top 20 Social Media Marketing Agencies in the U.S. in 2024

Read more
post image
post icon

Jun 18, 2024

Influencer Marketing Agency

Top 20 Paid Media Agencies in the U.S. in 2024

Read more
post image

Jun 18, 2024

Influencer News

The Future Is Eco-Friendly: Here Are The Sustainability Influencers Leading The Way

Read more
post image

Jun 18, 2024

Social Media Marketing News

The Future of Social Media is Rebellion 

Read more
post image

Jun 14, 2024

Influencer News

The Top Female Engineers To Celebrate This International Women In Engineering Day

Read more
post image

Jun 14, 2024

Influencer News

Niche of the Week: Men's Health Influencers

Read more
post image

Jun 13, 2024

Influencer News

The Role Of Influencers In Event Promotion

Read more
post image

Jun 12, 2024

Social Media Platforms

Cutting Through The Nonsense: The New Instagram Updates You Need to Know

Read more
View all blog posts chevron icon

Get in touch

We'll show you how to start powerful conversation, drive social engagement, build your brand, hit sales targets or meet other goals you have, wherever you are in the world.

Work with us chevron icon