For many PR and marketing professionals, or simply business owners aiming to expand their customer outreach, earned media value is an invaluable metric. Yet, all too commonly it is referred to as a vanity metric, appealing to the successful as a form of ostensible arrogance. We disagree – with the correct use of EMV, we should help you understand how to calculate earned media value correctly and implement it into your marketing strategy for maximum effectiveness. While EMV can be subjective, it’s a useful metric for gaining value to an entire digital or social media campaign. Through the correct use of EMV, you can get an idea of how much your marketing efforts are worth. Essentially, it can help recipients understand the monetary value of digital word of mouth.
What is earned media?
Simply, earned media measures the quantity of content your brand benefits from that did not come directly from your own media channel. In these instances, digital word of mouth spread, and your company’s reputation is built without requiring any monetary investment e.g. paid for advertisement on your behalf.
Given the above definition, earned media is inherently ambiguous in its calculation. Yet, with factors like impressions, media reach, engagement, and CPM, we can find accurate statistics to determine the reach of social media content you publish. Thus, if your campaign achieved its goals, the earned media score should reflect the increase in your KPIs and ROI.
Calculating earned media value
Given its opacity, there is no one standardised method of calculating EMV. Key metrics are utilised by different marketers and platforms differently. Thus, it’s advisable to use EMV alongside other metrics as opposed to relying on EMV alone to measure ROI.
Determine the number of impressions
Firstly, you need to factor in the quantity of impressions you receive. This means the number of times the content and media you publish appear in audiences’ newsfeeds. This metric indicates the potential audience that could have interacted with your message, but definitely have come across it irrespective of their actions.
Calculate your CPM
Your CPM simply described your cost per 1,000 impressions. Essentially, this is the amount you pay for your campaign for every 1000 impressions it produces in the platform. CPM can be calculated through:
CPM = 1,000 x (cost / total impressions)
Assume you have invested £30 into a campaign which produced results including reaching 25,000 impressions.
Your CPM would come out to 1000 x (30 / 25,000) = £1.2 per 1000 impressions
We can use this CPM value to input it into EMV equation where EMV = impressions * CPM.
Thus our earned media value for impressions is 25000 x £1.2 = £30,000
Identify your variables
After figuring how to calculate earned media value and finding out its meaning, we can now substitute our favourable variables and tailor EMV to whatever metrics suit our needs the most.
Some of the EMV metrics that can be calculated are:
- VPCO = Value per comment
- VPL = Value per like
- VPM = Value per impression
- VPC = Value per click
- VPS = Value per share
To manipulate the equation to suit your needs, simply input your outcomes into the equation(s) for example say you received 250 comments from your campaign which had reached 25,000 impressions.
Your value per comment (VPO) would be:
250 * £1.2 = £300
Should you use EMV?
The key problem with EMV is described in the beginning of this article. EMV is not only hard to calculate correctly and effectively but also relies on subjective metrics. However, when used correctly, it allows a way to understand your marketing results further,
Perhaps most importantly, EMV informs teams of the value that these eternal, third-party posts truly have in an overall marketing plan. When used correctly, it can also play a role in marketing teams to determine the value of their outreach efforts.
Alternative ways of understanding your client outreach
Engagement metrics – this is a better, more informative equivalent of reach / impressions. Engagement metrics allow you hard actionable insights and numbers which is a step above impression. The more an audience engages with the content, the more valuable the content is and the more effective the impression the content leaves on an audience.
Sentiment – This is another aspect of EMV. Sentiment has a direct impact on brand reputation. A piece of content being shared quickly can be seen as a marketer’s dream, but its effect on brand image is also important – bad news travels even faster than good news.
Share of voice – The (VOC) is essential for EMV, this tells you what part of the end-discussion is generated by a certain online account. This allows you to track how and where your traffic is being generated.
Whether you are looking for effective and efficient lead gen, brand engagement / exposure or outsourced marketing, Brighter Directions have worked in the marketing space for over 15 years with large success in industries ranging from Healthcare, Finance, Construction to Tech and Education. Get in touch with one of our marketing experts and we’ll happily provide tailored marketing solutions for content, social media, PR or white label.