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EMV: What is Earned Media Value & How do you calculate it?

Ellyson Beyer

16 Mar 2021 · 2 min read


Earned Media Value is a metric used by marketers to measure the success of their PR and earned media efforts. While it can be illuminating in helping marketers understand the monetary value of digital word of mouth, it’s a metric that takes some nuance to calculate.

Earned media is any content that mentions your brand that was not paid for or promoted through advertising and did not come from your own media channel. In simple terms, your digital word of mouth was earned, not bought.

Earned Media Value, or EMV, is a means to assign a dollar value to the various actions associated with different social media content types. These actions are then projected to be worth a numerical dollar value to your business.

EMV can be an incredibly insightful metric to have as it allows marketers to assign a numerical value to their efforts, helping them to more fully understand the ROI of their campaigns. However, EMV can also be subjective; there is no one, standardized way to calculate EMV across the entire industry. Therefore it’s advisable to include EMV along with other metrics designed to measure ROI rather than relying on EMV alone.

While there are many ways to calculate EMV, here’s a pared-down version of the most common calculation formula:


How many users were reached (impressions, reach, etc) or actions were taken (likes, comments, shares, etc.)


CPM by vertical (based on benchmarks or on what you normally pay for similar media)

Because EMV can be so subjective, Tagger allows its users to customize the way that it’s calculated per action taken in each campaign. Some of the EMV metrics we help our clients calculate are:

The dollar values assigned to each metric can be increased or decreased depending on how conservative or liberal our clients want to be with EMV calculations. They also vary based on the benchmarks of the social platform on which the content is posted.

So, for example, if a creator receives 1,000 likes on an Instagram Photo, using our EMV benchmark of $.10 per like, that post would provide an estimated value of $100. In essence, you are assigning a monetary value to a specific action, then multiplying by how many times that action was taken in your campaigns.

Because of how subjective- and even controversial! - EMV can be, Tagger offers a robust set of additional metrics that our clients can use to calculate ROI. Many of our users feel that raw data like Impressions, Reach, and/or # of hard engagements (likes + comments + shares) are more valuable pieces of data that they can tell their own story with as opposed to relying on EMV alone.

What do you think? Is EMV a good metric for marketers to have in their arsenal? Or is it too subjective to be truly valuable?

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