Why should organizations focus on earned media visibility, i.e. the publicity it receives from third-party sources such as media coverage, reviews and social media mentions? When a company receives the desired earned media exposure, it can improve the company's reputation and credibility in the eyes of potential customers, investors and other stakeholders.
- Quality: Ad value does not take into account the quality or tone of media exposure earned, which affect exposure value. An article that highlights the company's strengths and main messages is much more valuable than a brief passing mention with a neutral or negative tone. Advertising value does not take a position on the content of visibility.
- Impact: Earned media exposure has a different impact than paid advertising because it is perceived as more credible and reliable. Advertising value does not take into account differences between earned media exposure and advertising in context. This leads to an inaccurate estimate of the true impact of visibility.
- Incorrect comparison: Ad value compares earned media exposure to corresponding ad space, but the two are not comparable. Earned media exposure provides editorial content, while advertising is paid content. Communication and advertising are different things, as are cost and value. The value of earned media exposure cannot be accurately measured by advertising value
- Lack of standardization: There is no industry-wide standard for calculating advertising value, which leads to inconsistent and unreliable results. This makes it difficult to compare the value of media exposure in different media or campaigns.
- Not suitable for the digital environment or social media: Advertising works differently online than in the printed press. Online advertising is based on paid impressions and not guaranteed publication places. Thus, it is not possible to give any kind of reliable assessment of advertising value in terms of online advertising, let alone social media content.
The visibility of earned media is in a completely different class in terms of value and is essentially different from the visibility of paid advertising. Advertising value simplifies the evaluation process and does not take into account the characteristics or content of earned media exposure.
Instead, choose metrics that are based on the goals of your communication
It is important that companies get a comprehensive understanding of the value of earned media to support decision-making in communication strategies. So what's in place of ad value? It is essential to set the metrics in such a way that they can be used to evaluate the achievement of communication goals. The selection contains plenty of more comprehensive metrics for evaluating media visibility, such as qualitative reach, attention value, presence of main messages or important themes in the media, and visibility of experts. The findings of media analyzes can be mirrored and also combined with other data sources relevant to your own communication goals, such as reputation studies or customer surveys.
For setting communication goals and measuring them, you can find the best tips in our e-book "Barcelona principles 3.0 - What every communicator should know about measuring communication", where you get to know the best international practices for measuring communication and how to use them in practice.