Earned media vs. paid media is a topic of much discussion in the marketing sphere. Marketers spend a great deal of time trying to understand the systems that enable them to extract greater value from their earned media efforts. Burst Media, a digital media and technology company, recently released a 2014 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report, which focuses on generating a higher earned media value through influencer marketing.
Bust Media ran 48 influencer marketing programs in 2014, which spanned 15 industries and employed 662 independent web publishers and bloggers.
Tessa Wegert, business reporter for ClickZ was quoted in the report:
An influencer outreach program is quickly becoming indispensable to the modern digital marketing strategy. Influencers are more valuable to brands now than they’ve ever been for their ability to deliver on social chatter, earned media, and action.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from the data is just how much ROI can be generated by using an influencer marketing program. On average, marketers who implemented an Influencer Marketing program in 2014 received $6.85 in earned media value for every $1.00 of paid media, according to the report.
The primary tools used by the marketers in the influencer marketing programs were:
- Sponsored blog posts
- Social syndication and branded content distribution
- Influencers and influential content
Each of these tools used rich media content, and influencers used as many tools as were available to them. From Google Hangouts and Pinterest boards, social networks were used to amplify the effect of the sponsored content.
All of these methods contributed to higher earned media value — referred to as EMV in the report — for the content distributed by marketers. Three industries performed above the $6.85 average. consumer packaged goods and food generated $11.33 per $1.00 spent, retail and apparel generated $10.48, while tourist destinations and travel generated $7.04.
Some industries saw far less impact for the efforts of influencers. The home and garden vertical performed the worst, with only $0.64 earned for every $1.00 spent. The key to success is focusing on the right audience.
David Neuman, social media manager for Prime Visibility said:
A strategy that focuses on targeting the right audience and providing them with great, relevant content will not only increase engagement, but will help to keep your brand “top of mind” to that audience.
View the report to learn more about the most seven most effective strategies of influencer marketing, and to see detailed benchmarks for the industries studied.