When it comes to content strategy and how I recommend companies think about what they need to be doing to succeed, one short statement has informed my thinking perhaps more than any other:
“Every single company out there, whether they know it or not, is a media company in addition to the business or product that they specialize in.” – Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee)
There’s a few pretty incredible things about this statement, which I’m going to unpack fully. But first of all, perhaps the most amazing thing is that this was written 7 years ago. Seven! So one initial question to ask yourself is – how have you built your content machine over the past 7 years? Are you happy with where it is today?
But let’s back up and take each part of the statement in turn.
“Every single company out there”
It’s very tempting to think – this doesn’t apply to me and my business. “We are unique, we don’t have to participate in this content arms race.” Stop and examine that line of thinking for a minute. When your competitor puts out a great new video, do you get an email from someone on your board asking why you don’t have videos like that? In 2021, no company is exempt from putting out great content.
“Whether they know it or not”
Is ignorance an excuse for not putting out content? Will your investors and shareholders give you a free pass because you didn’t know any better? Content marketing is by no means a new discipline. There are many organizations who have been beating this drum for years, providing many great (and sometimes free) resources to help you make great content. Covering your eyes and ears won’t help you when your competitor is grabbing all the attention – and market share – in your space.
“Is a media company”
Here’s where the objections might really start to fly. “I’m not a media company. Publishing content is not how I make money.” Really? While that might be true on paper, in every other sense, great content is what fuels demand for your product or service, whatever that might be. By thinking like a media company, by acting as if your business success depends on the content you produce (because it does), you’ll leapfrog competitors and create a hedge around your business that truly is a unique differentiator.
“In addition to the business or product that they specialize in.”
It’s not an either / or situation. Of course, you’ll need to continue developing great products and services that customers love. But in addition, you also need to build a content machine that produces high quality content at scale. Doing both well – there’s the rub. Finding that balance isn’t easy, but the more you build out capabilities for each, the stronger your position becomes. Customers want to buy from people who prove they understand them better than anyone else. Employees want to work for organizations that are authentic and engaging. Investors are attracted to companies who look and sound better than everyone else in that space.
Not sure how to get started with thinking like a media company or producing more content? Book 15 minutes on my calendar for a quick strategy session on how you can make this your best year of content ever. Or learn more about my content creation services here.