Earned media can be a complex topic, especially for brands that grow with audience engagement. If it’s “free,” how much should you pay an influencer to generate it? And if you do pay, how can you tell where to direct your efforts?
Take Coachella, for example.
For 24 years, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has grown its brand through earned media—first as a reflection of emergent youth culture and now as a hub of the creator economy. With tickets now topping $500 and global stars like BLACKPINK headlining sold-out performances, Coachella the festival is now generating hundreds of millions in revenue annually, and its global status means creators have numerous opportunities to collaborate with the brand.
However, the value of specific types of influencer content has been called into question, as some influencers in 2022 and 2023 were reportedly charging as much as $2,000 per Instagram post to mention the event—and sometimes leaving early.
That brings us back to value. How can you really determine how much an influencer relationship, Tweet, or Instagram post is actually worth—and who should be sharing it?
What is Earned Media Value?
While most marketers know that earned media is the publicity and attention a brand receives through channels that are not paid for, tracking it and then attaching a monetary value to that media is more complex.
That’s a problem because earned media is often considered more authentic and credible than paid advertising by consumers. When you have access to a tool that allows you to measure the value of earned media, you can:
- Discover the right influencers and brand advocates: By monitoring EMV, you can identify key influencers and advocates that are engaging in conversations with their followers about relevant products or services and bring them into your fold.
- Improve segmentation: EMV data can provide valuable information about the characteristics of the audience engaging with specific content. As you drill down into comments, likes, and shares, you can adjust your strategy based on new insights into your audience’s preferences.
- Optimize owned-channel impact: By understanding which owned channels are generating the highest EMV, you can add content to owned channels that will drive traffic while amplifying brand awareness and providing new opportunities to share content.
Calculating earned media value entails more than just counting likes, shares, and comments; it means transforming that data into a clear monetary value that can inform decision-making.
Accurate EMV measurement can help you:
Enrich Third-Party Audience Analytics: Earned media value measurement data can enhance the accuracy of audience insights from third-party audience analytics tools. Integrating EMV into your third-party analytics suite can provide a more holistic view of your marketing, branding, or sales performance by showing how much you could save (or how much you are losing) with a particular media strategy and revealing where targeted audiences are most engaged.
Benchmark against competitors: EMV measurement allows brands to compare their performance with competitors in terms of organic audience reach and engagement. That means you can use EMV data to estimate how much value in monetary terms competitors have gained from their media strategy and set your earned media goals accordingly.
Inform future media strategies: Access to EMV data can help you fine-tune influencer partnership strategy so that you can create the most long-term value. You can optimize your spending around long-term engagement goals with accurate, day-to-day information on the earned media channels producing the most value.
Using Social Index to Calculate Earned Media Value
It’s incredibly simple. Social Index calculates a monetary value per like, share, comment, and view and instantly shows you where your efforts deliver the most value.
Just plug the latest numbers from Social Index into the Earned Media Value calculator and discover which channels can reveal your highest potential ROI.
Here’s an example using BLACKPINK:
Based on BLACKPINK’s over two million impressions from a single Facebook post, they generated $819K VPV (Value per View) and $63K VPS (Value per Share) with a single share.
BLACKPINK generated approximately 78 percent of the social media buzz around performances at Coachella. The EMV derived from the group’s Coachella appearance may help the group secure additional brand sponsorships and drive new audiences to virtual concerts that have earned the group millions in direct sales. But earned media’s value doesn’t only matter for pop stars and well-known brands.
Marketers can extend the impact of their marketing spend by leveraging earned media to build brand awareness and connect with new audiences. Creating an effective strategy starts with data.