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9 min read | January 4, 2023

Earned Media Value: What Is It and Why Is It a Key Indicator?

Earned media value (EMV) can be a highly valuable metric for measuring the return on your marketing efforts. It can help you quantify your exposure and calculate the value you are creating with your posts. However, it’s not always easy to understand and implement in your marketing strategy.

Our goal today is to help you with this.

We are going to explain what earned media value is, how you calculate it, and why it’s such a crucial performance indicator


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Definition of Earned Media Value

Earned media value is an influencer marketing KPI used to measure the value that your campaigns generate. It takes into account the number of social interactions on your posts, including social media shares, likes, and comments. You can also use it to measure the number of interactions on your blogs and the ratings, reviews, and recommendations that are published by users about your brand. 

Earned media value is an essential metric for identifying how effective your influencer marketing campaigns are. It can help you identify what’s working well, and what you need to improve in order to better connect with your target audience and boost awareness of your brand. Essentially, it helps you quantify how much of a reaction you are getting from each of your campaigns so that you can calculate the value and ROI of your influencer marketing efforts. 

Think of it as a formula for calculating the monetary value of the exposure your campaigns generate. In other words, the ROI you can expect to receive as a direct result of your campaigns. 

You can also use earned media value to determine the impact a specific influencer might generate for your brand. For example, you can use it to calculate the market value of third-party mentions to see which influencer might elicit more of a response from your target audience. This can help you pick an influencer that meets your campaign expectations. It’s also a very handy tool for calculating what a fair price is during the influencer negotiation process.

How to Calculate Earned Media Value

There are a few ways to calculate your earned media value, depending on your campaign objectives, content type, and communication channels.

The most common approach involves multiplying the total number of impressions that a campaign generates by the average cost for every thousand impressions (CPM), then multiplying this figure by your adjustment variable.

The formula is as follows:

EMV = Impressions x CPM x Adjustment variable

Let’s break this down so that it’s clearer.

Impressions: This is the number of people who see your campaign. For example, in the case of Facebook, it’s the number of times it appears in user newsfeeds. Every time someone sees your post, it’s counted as an impression. 

Cost per mille / thousand (CPM): This is the monetary amount you spend on your campaign for every 1,000 impressions. The formula for calculating it is 1,000 x (cost / total impressions). For example, if you have 10,000 total impressions and you invest $20 in your ad, your CPM is 1,000 x ($20 / 10,000) = $2 for every 1,000 impressions.

Adjustment variable: This is the tricky part. Your adjustment variable is how you measure the success of your campaign. This figure will vary according to the objectives of each campaign that you launch. In other words, it could feasibly be anything. For example, if your objective is to generate engagement, and you achieve 20 engagements out of 10,000 impressions, then your adjustment variable could be 20. 

Let’s bring all this information together now and go back to our original formula. 

If, for example, you launch a campaign that achieves 10,000 impressions and costs you $2 for every 1,000 impressions, and your adjustment variable is 20, then your calculation would be as follows:

10,000 x 2 x 20 = EMV $400,000

Keep in mind that although EMV is expressed as a dollar value, it doesn’t represent real-world dollars that you are going to get from an influencer. Think of it more as a benchmark that you can use to compare the value of an influencer compared to that of another to see who can generate the biggest impact. 

Why Is Earned Media Value a Key Indicator?

Let’s finish by looking at a few specific benefits of tracking this metric:

  • Helps you determine how effective your marketing strategy is and the impact it is having on your business in terms of value and influencer marketing ROI.
  • It can give you the insights you need to increase brand credibility and grow your audience
  • If you focus on engagement, the right strategy adjustments can help you generate more leads and form more meaningful connections with your audience. 
  • It can help you build a data-driven approach to your influencer marketing strategy

Earned media value is a highly effective measure of the value that an influencer could potentially create for your brand, especially compared to more traditional ROI calculations such as click-throughs and conversions. This can help you determine which influencer out of a shortlist can launch a more successful campaign. And by picking the best person for the job, you can boost brand awareness and increase your chances of hitting your marketing objectives.

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