You ARE A Media Company! Deal With It.

 Surprise! You're media company!

Media use to be just audio, video, print, and the modern day cave-wall (aka: billboard and bus signs). Those were the only places to effectively get the word out about your business. A split-second opportunity to scream your phone number a dozen times to anyone who could write and drive at the same time . Don't get me wrong, radio, TV and print are still very valuable ways to reach your audience but they aren't the only platforms any more. (Well, gaww-leee, Sargeant Carter.)

Yep, it's the wild wild west of the internet age. If you have a website, that means you are in what we marketers call "the media mix". AKA: You have become a media company. This may come as shock but you really have. You are a media company that offers something. It may be music, news, food, auto parts, or blenders.

 A media company, Jim?! You already killed me once this week. Isn't that enough?

"You have become a media company"

But you are communicating those things through media. Digital media. That's because the people who buy your products are connecting and communicating with you through your online media platform(s). Here are some things to chew on:

How Is Your Customer's Online Experience With You?
Is it serious? Enjoyable? Easy? Annoying? Think -- if you were a prospective buyer on your website, would it be simple to buy from you? If you were an investor looking to donate to your non-profit... would you know where to click? If you were brand new to your page... would you know what it was? Marketing data says that if it takes longer than a few seconds to answer the question someone is wondering... they'll leave (or "bounce") from your page. Ouch.

What Kind of Channel Are You?
In other words, what sort of content do you offer? People like free and they love to buy things they see value in. The truth is, nothing is "expensive". People will always have money (or attempt to save up for) things they genuinely see value in. For example, if I told you that you had two options:  1) give me $5 and I would give you $1 back... or 2) Give me $1,000 and I would give you $1,010 back... which would you do? The second. You make $5 for goodness sakes!

What's the point, Mark? The point is that your customers are the same way -- they spend into what they understand. And if you don't offer a quick and genuine, customer-centric explanation of what you do, people won't understand and they will simply be price-shopping.

What Is Your Programming? 
You have to deliver some content that helps or interests your people. When they tune into you, you are changing their habits. They stop doing something else and pay attention to you. Just like a TV show on the ol' TV, if you don't find it interesting, you're changing the channel. Be honest with yourself:  when is the last time you watched another company's video on "the 5 key differentiators of XYZ"? ..........never? Same with your customers. You have to be more creative than that because your audience expects it. Identify what your audience needs to hear (their "pain points", so to speak), and deliver relevant content in that vein!


What better way to do that than through consistent, reliable video content? Here's an example:


People are looking for you (or trying to anyway). And what's really cool (or scary) is that they no longer have to rely on the old-school ad method of "we-interrupt-this broadcast-with-this-swell-message-about-how-we-taste-great-and-are-less-filling".  You can give them content right away.

Your company is unique and can offer something that no one else can. You have a connection with the people who like what you do. You have content that helps people live better lives. More and more companies are beginning to recognize that. That's a good thing. 

Everything your company says and does has value. So remember, your customers aren't just customers, they are people. Your people. Your community. How does your media content reach and impact your community? You are a media company. Isn't that worth investing in? 


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About the Author
Mark Seignious, M.A., realizes his last name is a bit of an eye-chart. But, it rhymes with genius. Of course, after reading this post or others, you'll immediately just rhymes. Mark enjoys writing for Slate and Main plus shaping young minds as an Associate Professor at the University of Northwestern- St Paul.