Advertising is evolving as consumers change the way they interact with content. Today, influencers and user-generated content such as TikTok videos are driving consumer engagement and ROI.

That makes earned media value (EMV) an increasingly useful metric for brand marketers, not just as a campaign enhancement but as a powerful tool to lead customer engagement efforts.

How EMV Works

EMV can do the heavy lifting for marketers, amplifying brand trustworthiness and visibility when audience reach and high-quality content is in sync with brand messaging. Unlocking the value of EMV starts with the basics: developing relationships with influencers and creators, producing high-quality content and optimizing social media platform strategy.

This article will explain the concept of earned media value, how it can benefit your brand and provide tips on how to implement an effective earned media strategy.

A Primer: What Is Earned Media Value?

Earned media value (EMV) refers to the estimated financial value of the attention and exposure a brand receives through unpaid or “earned” media coverage. EMV includes any media mention, endorsement, or coverage that a brand receives through channels such as social media, traditional media, or influencer marketing.

Marketers often focus their efforts on accruing EMV through multiple categories, frequently tied to specific brand equity goals:

Authenticity And Relevance

When consumers interact with a brand’s social media content, it can increase the brand’s relevance within consumers’ most intimate social circles-creating a sense of authenticity via the “passive” endorsement of a social share. Those powerful, organic connections to individual and group identity can amplify a brand’s ability to deliver brand messages through more traditional means like banner ads to sometimes ad-resistant demographics. 

Visibility and Credibility

When a brand is featured in traditional media outlets, depending on the context, it can produce a powerful, evergreen level of visibility beyond name recognition. Savvy brands can enhance their wider relevance to new audiences by weaving a public narrative on the brand’s identity into more personalized messaging to targeted audiences—contrasting the media narrative or supporting it to cement brand identity.

Accessibility And Value

Influencers make brands more accessible to new audiences by illustrating the practical side of a product or service’s value proposition. By interpreting a brand’s appeal into “what it means for me,” influencers do the same work that agency creatives attempt to do in a 30-second ad—illustrating product or service value to a broad audience—but without the gloss that often leads consumers to mistrust traditional promotions. Since many influencers are popular because of their deep connections to their audiences based on identity, they can leverage granular insights to optimize messaging for their viewers’ specific needs. 

How Marketers Quantify EMV—And Why It Matters

There are also multiple ways to quantify EMV. Here are some of the most common categories:

Media Impressions

Media impressions are the number of times a brand’s message or story appears in the media. They’re a simple way to measure the reach of your earned media coverage, as they quantify how many people were potentially exposed to your brand through the coverage. 

While media impressions are a useful way to measure the potential reach of your earned media coverage, they don’t necessarily reflect the impact of that coverage on your brand’s reputation or business objectives. Impressions can’t connect your efforts to actual ROI until those views are contextualized with audience data.

Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE)

Advertising value equivalency (AVE) measures the value of earned media coverage in terms of the pricing of similar advertising. For example, if your brand receives a positive review in a newspaper that would have cost $25,000 for a full-page ad, the AVE for that coverage would be $25,000. Still, context matters—access to the right data is key to connecting AVE to branding or sales goals.

Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement measures users’ level of interaction with your brand’s content, including likes, comments, shares, and other types of engagement. Social media engagement can offer valuable insights into the messaging that resonates with users. Still, it can be deceptive if viewed without actionable insights that interpret activity through the lens of audience branding objectives.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis measures the tone or sentiment of your brand’s earned media coverage and connects it to your marketing strategy. Sentiment analysis is typically conducted using natural language processing (NLP) algorithms that analyze the language used in the coverage to determine whether it is positive, negative, or neutral.

How marketers evaluate EMV matters because the definition of value depends on calculation. When data is obscured or presented out of context, strategy can fail as resources are devoted to media plans that can’t materialize results.

Social Index 3.0

Since 2017, has helped over 3,000 companies measure their EMV and campaign ROI through Social Index. And with the latest iteration, Social Index 3.0, machine learning algorithms have upgraded its data analysis capabilities. The Index uses vast proprietary and public data to help brands understand their customers and their brand’s power in the marketplace.

The Index also makes it easy for marketers to use its data to monitor strategy and enrich findings with insights from a range of data tools. Users can integrate the Earned Media Values API with their existing analytics or data reporting suite to gain continual access to fresh EMV data. 

Vincent Juarez, Ayzenberg’s Chief Media Officer, stated that The Social Index’s effectiveness in providing marketers with one of the most comprehensive tools for tracking EMVs. 

“Most platforms provide robust analytics in terms of video views, time spent, followers, likes, comments, and shares, among other metrics,” stated Juarez at the launch of the latest iteration of Social Index. “Filling the void and providing marketers with earned media or advertising value equivalents (AVEs) for platforms like TikTok provides a foundation for testing, learning, and optimizing future content efforts. It will also help standardize benchmarks to compare against other platforms.”

Social Index: Visualizer

Social Index 3.0 is introducing its latest feature, the EMV Visualizer, to help you better understand how specific KPIs perform on various platforms and locations.

The EMV Visualizer allows you to select a date range from January 2020, making it easy to analyze your historical data and enhance post-mortems. The EMV Visualizer is available for seven top social media platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social Index 3.0’s global values allow marketers to compare KPIs across key markets, North America, Europe, the Middle East and several Asia-Pacific countries. Marketers can gain insights that inform their future content strategy and social media campaigns by selecting any two locations and comparing the differences between the areas for the same industry platform and KPI.

This means that marketers can now track their global TikTok campaigns’ performance and use the data to optimize their content strategy for the platform.

Register for your demo today.