Home > Brand Help > Campaign Reporting > Calculating Earned Media Value

Calculating Earned Media Value

Our campaign reports include a figure called Earned Media Value. Earned Media Value, sometimes called Total Media Value, is a prevailing method for determining return on investment for marketing campaigns particularly for influencer and social marketing.

Our calculation of Earned Media Value represents what you would pay to get the pageviews, engagements, and content had you purchased them on the free market, rather than getting them organically through our influencers. For instance, you could get pageviews by sponsoring content on Outbrain, and you could get engagements by purchasing a Twitter promotion. You don't have to purchase pageviews or engagements when you work with Influencers, so Earned Media Value represents the money you save by working with our Platform.

Market rates for content, pageviews, and engagements vary by vertical.

How are these figures calculated, and how should I interpret earned media value?

Our earned media figures are what you would have paid to get similar performance by directly purchasing engagements or impressions via Facebook, Twitter, Outbrain, Stumbleupon or other ad outlets, yet are earned "for free" by our influencers.

We start with industry averages and further scale by vertical based both on supply (there are fewer automotive influencers than fashion influencers) and, more strongly, advertiser value per vertical (automotive audiences are more valuable to advertisers than fashion audiences, per engagement). These figures are essentially industry averages scaled by supply/demand on a per-vertical basis.

Our EMV rates are conservative; we've seen consistent price inflation over the past year but have not inflated our own model, as we generally believe this inflationary model is unsustainable. We also grossly undervalue the content itself (what we call a "$200 fashion photoshoot" would cost much more in-house or through a modeling agency, yet has nearly the same quality). Finally, our influencers' audiences are actually engaged, high quality, regional and personal audiences as opposed to the overseas click-farm 1-click engagements you see on 80% of paid engagements.

Those other factors are tough to quantify, so we don't, and simply use earned media value as an index against the rest of the advertising industry, quality notwithstanding. With that context you can think of the EMV figure as the bare minimum you would have paid to run this campaign in-house while distributing to a brand new engaged audience.