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Everything You Need to Know About Earned Media Value

By: Viral Nation | 4 mins read |
Meta: Earned media value, or EMV, is an essential metric to measure campaigns' performances. Learn everything you need to know about EMV in this article. With 67% of companies using influencers in their marketing initiatives, the creator economy has become integral to social media marketing. That's why brands need to use proper tools to measure their influencer campaigns' performances.  Earned media value (EMV) is one of the most popular key performance indicators (KPI) for influencer marketing. EMV is a statistic that aids marketers in calculating the value of their social media content and related activities. Many dismiss EMV because there is no standardized method to calculate it. However, EMV can still help gauge campaigns' performance. After all, it's better to have more tools than fewer. This article will teach you everything you need to know about EMV.

Why Earned Media Value Matters

It’s simple really, EMV is important because it measures earned media. Earned media is any content about a particular brand that is not created by its producer, such as customer reviews, influencer endorsements (or any UGC content) and word-of-mouth recommendations.  Earned media is useful for brands because people are more open to recommendations from someone they know than paid advertisements. It can also build a brand's reputation because a positive, unbiased review from an influencer is worth much more than any flashy advertisement. Many brands have used influencer marketing to increase their earned media volume. And to measure this growth, you need to use EMV.

Calculating earned media value

There are many ways to calculate EMV, but the most popular method is by using the following formula: EMV = impressions x CPM (cost per mile) x adjustment variable So let's go through the steps of determining the above variables to calculate EMV.

1. Determine impressions' value

Impressions are the number of views a piece of content receives and shows how often your audiences see your content. There are three different types of impressions:  
  • Organic Impressions refer to the number of times people view your content through your social media account without using advertisements.
  • Paid Impressions are the number of times people find the content you have paid to advertise.
  • Viral Impressions refer to the number of times people see content about your brand that is shared or created by an unpaid third party.
This step should be easy because most internet marketing platforms are equipped with tools that give impression data. You can determine the impression's value by multiplying the number of views of each content by the average view duration.  Let’s say you collaborate with a YouTuber who gives their reviews of your product. The video generated 50,000 views and had an average viewing time of three minutes. After multiplying those two numbers, you will have 150,000 minutes. This number is your impressions value.

2. Find the CPM

Cost per mille / thousand (CPM) measures the amount you're paying to show ads on a platform for every 1,000 generated impressions. The formula to calculate CPM is: CPM = 1,000 x cost / total impressions For example, You spend US$1,000, and you get 150,000 impressions. If we put it into the formula, it'll be: CPM = 1,000 x US$1,000 / 150,000 = US$6.6 per each 1,000 impressions

3. Find adjustment variable

The adjustment variable is the factor that causes EMV to be somewhat unreliable. How do you know which variable you should include in your calculation? Everybody has their own opinion.  You can unintentionally add disproportionate numbers into your calculation and make the result look better than it actually is. The usage of different variables in each EMV calculation also makes it hard to compare the result of one campaign's performance to the other. But to finish this calculation, let's use engagement value as our adjustment variable. You have 300 users who engage with your ads out of 1,000 impressions. That means you have an engagement value of 300.

4. Multiply all values

The next step is straightforward, just enter all the values into the formula and multiply them. EMV = 150,000 x US$6.6 x 300 = US$297,000,000

Metrics to measure EMV

In order to gain a well-rounded view of the state of your EMV, it is essential to use other metrics. Here are the most popular ones:


Sentiment is arguably one of the most crucial metrics to keep an eye on. It shows how your customers feel about your brand. For instance, you create a widely shared post and you think it's a success — but what if the sentiment behind those shares is negative? This can potentially ruin your brand's image in the eyes of consumers if not handled correctly.


Engagement is another useful metric that gives insight into what type of content your target audience prefers. Content targeted to smaller audiences that receives greater engagement is more valuable than content that reaches large audiences with little engagement. With the data that the engagement metric provides, you can adjust your strategy to gain better results. 

Share of voice

Combining EMV with the share of voice (SOV) metric lets you see how your brand compares to your competitors. It acts as a gauge for your brand visibility and how much your company dominates the conversation within the industry. The more market share you have, the greater popularity and authority you have among consumers.

How brands could leverage EMV

You can use EMV to find out how much brand recognition you have gained from influencers, posts, goods and campaigns. For instance, cosmetics company Kosas has used EMV during a campaign to promote its new Brow Team collection.  The company collaborated with the best EMV-generating content creators to spread the word about their new products. Kosas then closely monitored the campaign's EMV to gauge its effectiveness. You can also use EMV as a method of comparison against your competitors. CreatorIQ has used EMV to rank beauty and fashion brands. With this data, brands can gain a larger view of their company's situation in the market. EMV is helpful as a way to help marketers show the ROI of a campaign to other departments in their company. After all, it's much easier to understand something when the amount of money is clearly stated.  EMV may not be a perfect KPI and still requires a lot of improvement, but you should still give it a shot as the metric is particularly useful for measuring influencer marketing performance, which has become more prominent with the rise of the creator economy.  Identify the best time and strategy to use EMV - it can be a great tool to support your marketing strategy.