10 Earned Media KPIs To Track for Marketing Success

Earned media KPIs can provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of organic marketing efforts. Earned media refers to publicity and exposure gained through promotional efforts without any form of payment to the publisher. It includes mentions, shares, or coverage of a brand, product, or service in various media channels, such as news articles, social media posts, reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Earned media is generated organically based on the quality and relevance of the content, as well as the brand’s reputation and relationships with stakeholders. Tracking earned media KPIs is important for several reasons:


  1. Earned media carries a higher level of credibility and trust among audiences compared to paid advertising.
  2. Positive coverage in industry publications, mentions by influencers or thought leaders, and social media shares can expose the brand to a wider audience and attract potential customers.
  3. By securing earned media placements in relevant industry publications or by being quoted as an expert in news articles, B2B marketers can establish themselves as thought leaders and authorities in their respective fields.
  4. Earned media can contribute to lead generation and conversion efforts for B2B marketers. 
  5. While earned media requires effort and resources to cultivate relationships with journalists, influencers, and other stakeholders, it can be a cost-effective way to amplify the brand’s message and reach a targeted audience. 
  6. Earned media mentions and backlinks from reputable websites can improve a brand’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. 


Overall, earned media KPIs play a crucial role in B2B marketing strategies by helping brands measure their credibility, visibility, and authority within their industry, ultimately driving lead generation, conversions, and long-term business growth.

10 Earned Media KPIs for Marketers

While free publicity and exposure sounds great, how do marketers know if their earned media efforts are paying off? The best way to ensure your approach is having a measurable impact on your marketing effectiveness is by focusing on these 10 key performance indicators (KPIs):

1. Media Mentions

There are numerous media monitoring tools available that can track mentions of your brand, product, or relevant keywords across different media channels such as news websites, social media platforms, blogs, and forums. These tools use algorithms to scan and analyze content in real-time and provide reports on where and how your brand is being mentioned.

Marketers can also use Google Alerts to monitor the web for specific keywords or phrases. Marketers can set up alerts for your brand name, product names, industry keywords, or any other relevant terms, and Google will email notifications whenever new content containing those keywords is published online.

2. Share of Voice (SOV)

Your Share of Voice is a calculation based on the percentage of total media mentions in your industry or market that your brand receives compared to competitors. It indicates your brand’s visibility and reputation relative to others. A higher share of voice indicates greater brand visibility and influence in the market. Once you know your SOV, the next step is to track this metric over time to identify trends and changes to your market position. This can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and adjust your strategies accordingly.

3. Reach and Impressions

For earned media mentions on social media platforms, marketers can use the built-in analytics tools provided by each platform (e.g., Facebook Insights, X/Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics) to track reach and impressions. These tools typically provide data on the number of people who have seen your content (reach) and the total number of times your content has been displayed (impressions). 

If your earned media mentions include backlinks to your website, you can use website analytics tools like Google Analytics to track the traffic generated by these mentions. Look at the referral traffic sources report to see how many visitors are coming to your website from earned media channels and analyze their behavior on your site.

4. Sentiment Analysis

This refers to a method of assessing the overall sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral) associated with your brand in media mentions. Positive sentiment indicates brand advocacy and a strong reputation, while negative sentiment may require reputation management efforts.

There are several sentiment analysis tools available that use natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to automatically analyze the sentiment expressed in text-based content, such as news articles, social media posts, and online reviews. These tools classify content as positive, negative, or neutral based on the language and context used.

5. Engagement Metrics

Monitoring your engagement metrics can be a good way to evaluate the level of audience interaction with your earned media content, including likes, shares, comments, and mentions. Higher engagement indicates increased brand awareness and audience interest.

Just as with Reach and Impression metrics, marketers can use the built-in analytics tools provided by each platform to track these metrics. By tagging the URLs shared in earned media content with UTM tracking parameters, marketers can attribute website visits, conversions, and other engagement actions back to specific mentions or sources.

6. Inbound Links

How many backlinks are you gaining? Are they from high-quality sites? Monitoring the number and quality of backlinks to your website or content from external sources is another solid metric to monitor. Quality inbound links from reputable websites can improve your site’s search engine ranking and credibility.

7. Web Traffic

Similarly, analyzing the amount of referral traffic generated from earned media channels to your website can help measure the effectiveness of your earned media in driving audience engagement and conversions.

8. Brand Awareness and Recall

Consider conducting surveys to measure changes in brand awareness and recall among your target audience following earned media exposure. Increased awareness and recall indicate effective messaging and brand visibility.

Brand lift studies can also help marketers measure the impact of earned media on brand awareness and recall. Compare key brand metrics (e.g., awareness, favorability, purchase intent) among exposed and unexposed audiences to evaluate the incremental lift generated by earned media mentions.

9. Influencer Impact

We also recommend assessing the influence and impact of influencers or key opinion leaders (KOLs) who mention or endorse your brand in their content. This includes metrics such as follower engagement, reach, and conversion rates. Keeping tabs on this metric over time can also help you determine if your earned media efforts are paying off.

10. Conversion and Sales

Last but certainly not least, marketers can track the direct impact of earned media on sales and conversions. This could include tracking coupon redemptions, online purchases, or other desired actions taken by consumers after engaging with earned media content.

Boost Marketing Performance by Tracking These Earned Media KPIs

By tracking these earned media KPIs, marketers can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate the impact of their efforts on overall business objectives.

If you’re looking to boost the performance of your earned media initiatives, reach out today. The crew at VSSL has helped many businesses supercharge their earned media performance and we’re ready to help. Get in touch with us today!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *