You don’t need to rely on big budget advertising anymore. Find out how your business can be a media company, and grow your brand. Read the guide from Apiro’s managing director Andrew Montesi.
Your company, irrespective of your industry, can be a media company. You, irrespective of who you are or what you do, are a media company.
It wasn’t long ago when we relied almost entirely on television, print and radio to communicate with the world.
But now that’s all changed. A major media company isn’t the only way to amplify your message anymore. You are a media company, and you can do it your way.
Major corporates are already taking full control of content with the aim of becoming the leading voice of their industries. Marriott is owning travel with its massive content studio, while few companies do premium content better than Red Bull.
It’s not just companies; many people, such as celebrity entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk are building personal brands and loyal followings that rival some mainstream media audiences.
Building a media company isn’t just for the big names. You can do it too.
But what are the benefits?
– Brand, authority and trust
Creating content is the ultimate way to build your brand. It is the best way to demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field, that you know what you’re talking about.
When you’re sharing knowledge for free, and creating engaging content that is beneficial to your audience, your name will carry authority in your field. People will start to trust you. And when they trust you, they will want to buy what you’re selling (whatever that may be).
When you’re recognised as a leader and a trusted name, people will share your content on social media and talk about what you’re doing and saying. The mainstream media will come to you. They will want to know your views, and they’ll want to put your name in their publication. No more grovelling press releases and pitches.
– A direct route
When you are your own media company you can speak to your audience directly, without filter or the need for interpretation via a third party.
You control the content, you control the message, you control the delivery to your audience.
– Online influence, low cost, few barriers
On a practical level, owning media and content leads to online influence. Your company will own organic Google searches in your industry, generating leads and growing your network.
We used to rely on aimlessly blasting our brands out on TV, print and radio ads hoping that the right people would hear our message. Now we can write a blog and deliver it via Facebook to a narrow demographic, with relevant interests in an exact location for a fraction of the cost.
You will, however, need to invest in strategy. Taking a scatter gun approach or applying a half-hearted effort will end in disappointing results and a loss of morale. It is important to work with a content, media and marketing expert who can help you set out your plan of attack, and roll it out.
– High quality content
High quality content is at the centre of your strategy. Add value, and give knowledge away generously. This will enable you to build credibility, as well as trust and rapport with your audience.
DO NOT spam people with sales pitches – that’s for marketing material such as brochures and flyers, not for your media company.
Make a commitment to “You Media Co.” and stick with it. You won’t gather momentum and grow by writing a couple of blogs then disappearing for months. Building a media company isn’t about being an overnight success, you need to play the long game.
– Know your audience
Find out everything you can about your target audience and their behaviours – who they are, where they are, how they consume media etc. Then choose your media channels accordingly.
Test ideas, ask for feedback and don’t fear criticism. Don’t be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working.
A media company’s channels
Thanks to technology, we have many media channels available to us often for free or with minimal set up costs. While you can do it yourself, getting the help of an experienced writer, designer or videographer will set you apart and is often not as expensive as you think.
Some of the channels that could make up the key elements of “You Media Co.” include:
Generally, the backbone of your media company. Your website brings together and hosts all of the other media elements that you use and control – either via a media centre within your corporate website, or as its own standalone media site.
Communicate and offer value to your audience with written content that answers questions and solves problems. As well as building your brand, a good blog with see your search engine rankings skyrocket.
– Social media
Social media platforms are among the best ways to deliver content to your target audience. Social media will also enable you to build relationships, communicate with your audience and listen. Make the effort to build a community.
Deliver your content directly to the inboxes of your audience and/or customers to be consumed at their leisure, and easily forwarded on. Drive traffic back to your website’s “media centre”.
– Design and imagery
Many people find it easily to understand and learn via visual elements. You can create beautiful infographics that educate your audience and can be easily understood and consumed.
Photos are powerful. They resonate with people. Social media is also built for imagery – Snapchat and Instagram continue to grow at an extraordinary rate, and Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds are designed so that images stand out.
Images are viral – easily understood, and easily shared and re-shared.
Forget about cheesy corporate videos. As a media company, you can influence with short films, documentaries and insightful commentary.
Radio in our pockets – consumers can choose to listen to anything and anyone they’re interested in, at anytime. Podcasting presents great opportunity, but the space is growing at a rapid rate and many experts already have the ear of large audiences. You can start your own podcast – I did, and I’ve started helping clients too.
– Speaking engagements
Speaking at influential events will strengthen your authority in an industry or on a topic and drive more interest in your other media channels. If you’re speaking at the right place at the right time, it will also drive sales.
– Your team
If creating a media company is your goal, and you’re determined to add value with high quality content, you’ll likely need to work with an expert content editor/producer, team or agency. The editor/producer will ideally have marketing knowledge and a complete understanding of your business goals.
The editor/producer will keep you on strategy, on schedule and pull together whatever is required to get the job done.
While building your own media company might seem like it will require a lot of resources, you can get excellent results with a lean budget – if you’re smart with strategy and management.
Is there still a place for mainstream media?
Of course. Unlike some others, I believe mainstream media outlets can still be important and influential. The relationship has just changed. Instead of a reliance on TV, print or radio, these channels just become another tool if we need them.
Major media is going through a shake up – maybe call it a state of “disruption” (as cliche as that may be). And the new direction that some are taking is exciting. Smart media companies are innovating, acquiring and, from an advertising perspective, recognising the changing tide and now offering new options including high quality branded content solutions instead of the stock standard ad campaigns.
The key difference now, in the new media world: you have full control, you have the power. You are a media company.
Tags: brand, business, content marketing, digital, marketing, media company, personal brand
If you’re interested in launching your own media company, Apiro can help. We advise on strategy, and give you access to the talent required to create amazing, high quality content. Contact us. Find out more about out content marketing service here.