Marketers: Have you Audited Your Earned Media Lately?

Earning media is half the battle.

Knowing where your cool brand mentions come from and analyzing which pieces of content lift your brand is a crucial yet a tedious part of a marketer’s role.

That’s why, every couple months, I have our clients do an earned media analysis to make sure they’re not overlooking any cool strategies or influential relationships.

Find past mentions

Finding earned media for your brand for the past few months or even years can be a great way to build relationships with influencers who already like you and to report to your boss on some cool stuff that marketing did.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the easiest way to track earned media that contains link backs to your brand because you can dive in really deep and go back really far.

Put aside a few hours, login and check out the posts linking back to your site.

This isn’t as important for SEO purposes as much as it is to know where your mentions are coming from. So many times I look at my GA and discover earned posts I had no idea I had!

Of course, GA can be a beast. It can get advanced or as simple as you want. So instead of getting overwhelmed with all the cool options and reporting functions, divert your attention to acquisition traffic and referrals.



If you’re a GroupHigh user, you can search through blog posts from the past year that reference your brand or product. Individual posts are linked to and easy to add to reports to see how well they did on social and traffic to your brand.




Twitter search

I focus more attention on Twitter than other social channels because it’s easy to navigate through years of past mentions.

If you go to your Twitter search bar and type in your brand name, you can uncover people who have tweeted about you. If you come up with too much info, you can go to advanced options to refine.

twitter search


What to note and track

When auditing and tracking earned media, the goal is to make sure you have a pulse on the people talking about you so that you can build off of the mentions that work the best for your brand.

Therefore organizing the following information may come in handy!

  • Who wrote the mention. Name, email address, blog and social info that applies.
  • Link to the blog or social post.
  • Give your own rating from 1-5. Was the mention enthusiastic? Authentic?
  • How many people clicked through to your site?
  • Social shares. How many shares did the mention get?

Keep this in a simple spreadsheet or google sheet that you can update frequently. I find if I try to track too much info I don’t update that often. If it’s a quick task then I will. Make it easy on yourself!

Track mentions moving forward

The main struggle I see when it comes to GA is marketers staying on top of it. So I always recommend to put a reminder on your calendar for once a week that reminds you to check in with GA. This way you can see earned mentions as they come in and act accordingly.

Pick a service to alert you of earned mentions. Talkwalker sends me alerts daily of the keywords I want to monitor and this helps me keep on top of my media.

I have HootSuite always running on my second monitor so I can see immediate social shares of my brand or tweets that mention my brand. What I like about this is that I can monitor for any conversations of “GroupHigh” even if they don’t link to or tweet directly at me.


As soon as you find a post, put it in your spreadsheet or GroupHigh tracker. You’re going to monitor the engagement it gets and then you won’t have to spend so much time on audits!

Next steps

Once you have a pulse on your earned media and you feel confident you are going to know about your brand mentions in real time, you may ask yourself, “what do I do with these cool posts?”

Amplify: Other than track their effectiveness and brand lift these are great pieces of content to re-use in all other areas of your marketing.

Nurture: Implementing your fantastic human-to-human communication skills, build relationships and nurture the people talking about you.

Audit competitors: And of course, you can apply these brand auditing tactics to your competitors and see what they’re doing and who is talking about them. It never ends!

When it comes to finding and tracking the media you earn, do you have a tip to share?

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