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Paid and Earned Media: How to Use Them Together?

  |  November 30, 2012   |  Comments   |  

Consider this approach to measure the impact of Facebook ads on earned media.

This is not going to be another write-up on the importance of paid or earned media and strategies thereof. I would try to focus on how we can look at data, which is available to marketers/agencies from their paid campaigns and the data that they have from brand pages on social sites.

Take the example of Facebook Insights. If you export the data on an Excel sheet, you must have seen there are various data points. Hence, analysis of the same could prove to be a difficult task. Combining or comparing these two data points can really throw up some interesting data.

What's the impact of running a Facebook paid campaign on earned media? How does the pace of a paid media campaign affect earned media? Does it increase the percentage of fan acquisition in anyway? These are some of the questions marketers would certainly like to know. Although earned media is not solely dependent on paid media, we still have to keep a tight watch on such interesting concepts.

Here is an example of how we can compare the two and make some sense of available data. The paid media here was only Facebook ads.

(*Data changed for illustration purposes)

When you use various Facebook ads (like ads or standard ads, etc.), it is difficult to rely only on clicks for some of these ads have the "like" link built in the ad only. Hence, using "impression" count for analysis is preferable to the "click" count.

When impressions are distributed, instead of burning the same quickly, "like" increased, and so did PTAT (people talking about this) and CTR. For example, if you have bought three million impressions (in CPM deals), then impressions can be distributed over 30 days (or over the length of the campaign) by asking the vendor you're using. Keep a tab if there is a trend with the exposure levels with various response metrics (CTR, viral reach, organic reach, etc.).

If you have multiple creatives running, insights can become even more interesting. Depending on the campaign objectives, changes can be made in "paid media" accordingly.

Facebook Insights give a lot of data points for brands to evaluate. You have to carefully select these data points, otherwise you can be lost in the data. The above table is not exhaustive and the fields can vary as well. But the point of doing this paid-earned analysis is to see if there is any story in the numbers.

The above exercise should be done on a good number of campaigns before you can generalize anything. However, from a campaign point of view, the above exercise can really provide weight to your recommendations.

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MP  Singh

Maninder Pal Singh has more than 6 years of Digital Media Experience with expertise in areas viz Display, SEM, Mobile, Social Influence Marketing and Web Analytics. He has worked with leading media groups like GroupM and Lintas Initiative Media. He has successfully delivered both Brand and Performance marketing initiatives and digital initiatives for brands like Maruti Suzuki, P&G, Nokia, Pernod Ricard, Castrol, Expedia, Perfetti Van Melle, Hero Honda and Yamaha among others. An ardent blogger and an amateur photographer, Maninder also teaches Digital Marketing at B-schools.

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