Guide to Earned Media Value (EMV): What It Is and How to Use It

Christina Vasiliou
Christina Vasiliou
Sep 11, 2019

Earned Media Value, or EMV, measures engagement with social media content about a brand that is created by a third party. Tribe Dynamics uses proprietary technology to quantify the value of digital earned media content, making EMV the standard for measuring social media buzz and engagement. Earned Media Value, in combination with other metrics—including community size, community retention, and influencer fit—can all be used to evaluate the performance of influencer marketing campaigns, and benchmark brands within a given competitive landscape.

Why is earned media valuable in the first place?

Before we get into how EMV is calculated, let’s cover why earned media drives value for your brand. Earned media is content about a brand that is not produced by the brand itself. Organic influencer endorsements and word-of-mouth recommendations online that feature your brand are both examples of earned media that can drive some serious sales conversions. 

Earned media is especially valuable to a brand because of its relative trustworthiness in the eyes of the consumer. People are more likely to make purchases based on the advice of a friend or expert, than from a traditional ad or commercial. Organic earned media typically represents a content creator’s unbiased opinion, and is a key tool in building your brand’s reputation. Additionally, as a compelling digital presence becomes increasingly important to a brand’s success, so does earned media and a strong influencer marketing program. Robust influencer marketing programs that focus on building sustainable long-term relationships with online content creators are the best way for brands to increase the volume of earned media created about them—and in turn, their Earned Media Value.


How is Earned Media Value calculated?

Tribe Dynamics’ holistic approach assigns a unique value to each piece of content based on the engagement received from followers and other users. This value is then attributed to each of the brands mentioned within the post. In the chart below, you can find an overview of the creators, platforms, and user interactions that contribute to the calculation of EMV:

A chart listing the platforms, types of engagements, and types of content creators that go into the calculation of EMV.


EMV takes into account the platform where the post was created, because not all content is created equal! A YouTube video about your brand, for example, gets a higher baseline Earned Media Value than a Tweet, since a video generally requires more time and effort to produce and consume. Tribe Dynamics actively tracks earned media content created on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Websites, and Blogs. 

Content Engagement

After the post was published, how many followers responded (by liking, commenting, sharing, etc.)? The majority of a post's Earned Media Value performance depends on the engagement that it accrues. By using engagement instead of traditional measures like reach or estimated impressions, EMV provides a more accurate indication of the brand’s social relevance as reflected by real consumer involvement.

A scale illustrating the spectrum of content engagement, with video “views” on the lower end and “shares” on the higher end.


How can my brand use EMV?

Earned Media Value and its related metrics, including community size and influencer fit, allow brands to monitor the success of their influencer marketing efforts over time. Use EMV to benchmark the impact of individual posts, ambassadors, products, and campaigns for your brand. You can also use it to benchmark your brand’s performance against a competitor brand’s performance. Here’s an example: Benefit’s U.K. team used Tribe Dynamics’ software to track how much of its Earned Media Value (EMV) came from each of its internal influencer tiers. By tracking each tier’s EMV contributions, Benefit UK was able to establish more accurate benchmarks for like-for-like influencer activity.

Earned Media Value can easily become one of your brand’s core metrics for evaluating influencer marketing success. To learn more about your brand’s Earned Media Value, request a demo.

How much EMV is your brand generating? 

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