Every post, mention, comment, like or tag related to your brand that’s posted on social media by anyone outside of your brand is earned media. While it has a lot of value for brands, it’s hard to monitor and definitely hard to calculate. Calculating earned media value (or EMV) is much easier when you are only monitoring the impact of a handful of people. If you’re a brand with a team of brand ambassadors backing you up, here’s how to see just how much earned media they’re generating.
What is EMV?
As we mentioned, earned media is all the buzz around your brand posted by anyone outside of your brand. Every time someone mentions your brand in a social media post, likes a post about your brand or tags your brand in a post, they’re adding to your brand’s earned media. It’s incredibly valuable to brands because it’s exposure you don’t have to pay for directly.
Since it’s so valuable, you’ll probably be asked to calculate it to show people in your team how it’s contributing to your brand’s sales. The problem with this is that there isn’t one agreed upon formula for calculating earned media value. Honestly, it’s a bit of an archaic term that’s stuck around for way too long. There aren’t any reliable benchmarks to base your calculations on either, so you can now see where the issues lie with EMV.
Here Are a Few Different Methodologies for Calculating EMV
- Method 1- Based on Non-Paid Impressions
Calculate: Non-paid impressions X default CPM (base off of what you usually pay for other media)
- Method 2 - Based on Organic and Viral Impressions
Calculate: (Organic and Viral Impressions Over Last 30 Days X Average CPM of Ads) X Average Customer Lifetime Value
- Method 3 - Based on Customer Touches
Calculate: (Percentage of Customer with At Least One Touch on Social Media / Average Number of Touches) X Average Customer Lifetime Value = Direct Revenue EMV
Calculate: Reached Users X CPM by Vertical X Conversion Factor = EMV
Believe it or not, these aren’t even all of the methods people have used to calculate EMV. Since no one can come to a consensus on the best way to do it, we’ll cover some valuable numbers you can report.
Earned Media Value of Brand Ambassadors
So we know earned media is all the online buzz about your brand, and with brand ambassadors, it’s how much buzz they’re generating when they post about you. To calculate the impact they’re making, take a look at each of their posts where they mention you and take note of the number of likes and comments it received. This gives you an idea of how much engagement a brand ambassador is capable of generating through their work.
It helps to include how often your brand ambassador is expected to post in your contract with them so you know how many posts to monitor. Keep in mind: there’s no magic number of comments and likes that means the post was successful. You’ll need to come up with realistic goals and compare that to what the brand ambassador was able to produce.
Have Your Influencers Report Back
Some numbers are easier to calculate than others. Obviously you’ll be able to see comments and likes, but for Instagram Story posts, you’ll need influencers to report back to you.
Instagram provides great analytics about a user’s Story posts, and they’re all in one convenient page that brand ambassadors can easily screenshot and send to you. The Instagram Insights page gives the following stats:
Skips forward through a Story
Taps on stickers (location, username tags, hashtags)
All of these stats can give brands an idea of how users felt about the brand ambassadors’ posts. It also helps brand ambassadors adjust how they represent your brand. Do people react better to photos or videos? Reviews or product demos? By looking at their followers’ actions while viewing their Story, brand ambassadors can change their approach to better relate to their followers.
Promo Codes and Affiliate Links
Let’s say your brand ambassadors use a “Swipe Up” link in their Stories to drive people to your website. While Swipe Ups can show how many people went to the link, it’s hard to tell how much that earned media translates into sales. An easy way to determine this is by providing promo codes or affiliate links to your brand ambassadors. This way, you can see how much of their following became your customer based on your brand ambassador’s posts. It also helps determine which brand ambassadors fit your brand, and which would be better suited working with a different company.While earned media is important for brands, calculating earned media value in the traditional sense isn’t where you should be focusing your time. Concentrating on definitive numbers and data is the real way to prove the value of your brand ambassadors. Of course, it’s important to work with brand ambassadors whose followers align with your brand’s target audience to make sure they’ll generate valuable earned media for you. Need help finding the right brand ambassadors for your brand? Contact Statusphere to get in touch with one of our influencer marketing experts!