One of the talks that I was really looking forward to go to during South by Southwest was the science of predicting earned media. This panel was led by a company called Visible Measures and included people form media agency and brands.
As we all want to make the most out of our paid media when we support a specific content, especially when we have limited resources, I made sure to squeeze every word and concept the panelists came up with.
Not that I am an expert about it, but they actually didn´t tell me anything new, though the flow of the conversation help me structure what I already knew and also contrast some believes which I haven´t yet proved with real life results from brands such as Hershey, that I hereby share with all of you.
First clue – To go viral you don´t need just luck
If you wait for some Luck to help you spread your content and gain some earned media, it is probably that you end up seeing pigs flying before you see your consumers sharing your content. So it is important that you apply some science to your content sharing in order to make it more bound to be shared.
Second clue – Science is fine, but a little bit of luck won´t hurt
If you have also a bit of luck on top of all this science, it will also play a spectacular role in spreading your content. The science gives you the basis for a geometric sharing trend, but when luck comes to join the sharing party there is an exponential transformation in this sharing trend.
Third clue – The more we know our audience, the more they will love our content
Gather insights about your target audience and make sure you deliver the right content to them. Make sure you know what is interesting to your target, what sort of content do they consume on the internet, and what is the format of this content, so when you start thinking about putting together the best piece you get all these insights in consideration.
Fourth clue –Content will work better in the right channels and communities
Knowing where your audience normally spends their time online, and also their habits and commonalities in these channels while help for sure determine the how in all this science. The earned media, for example, generated from certain Real Madrid content that is pushed in to a Barcelona centric community will be less than if we had it pushed into a Real Madrid fans community.
Fifth clue – Influencers as distribution catalysts
Deliver this content to right people. This doesn´t just mean that when you are pushing the content you have to reach out for your right target audience, but also that you need to identify certain individuals, or groups within your target audience, that will play a catalyst role in the distribution of the content.
Sixth clue – Investment will help your content start from a bigger user base
Having the right content pushed to the right audience in the right place will definitely work great, but if you add the correct media plan to support it will give the content the right boost that is needed when you plan on maximizing the earned media of your contents. Investment will help your content start spreading form a bigger user base.
Seventh clue – Measure everything to make the most out of your money
The measure of all activities is key as well. Especially when we are using paid media to boost the spread of our content. Knowing what and how to measure will help us optimize the allocation of our investment to maximize the return of it.
Eighth clue – Be prepare for real time and generate happy coincidences
We were talking about luck before. There are two sorts of luck, the one that you don´t have control over, and the other one that you can prepare yourself for, to seize it when the opportunity comes.
Preparing yourself for events to seize an opportunity on real them is one of the things you can do, like what Oreo did with Superbowl last year.
The other thing you can do is to generate happy coincidences, like when your audience is looking for a specific topic on the internet and they “magically” discover a piece of content of your brand that is related to what they are searching. You cannot use this for everything, but certainly doing your homework about studying your insights and having some investment will help do so for some occasions.
At the end is all about knowing you audience, defining the right content for them, follow some rules when you distribute it to make the most out of your resources, and last but not least, never wait to have luck to drive the performance of your content but embrace it when it appears.