The web makes every business a media company

I was reading in The New York Times about how Google is now a media company and it struck me that the Internet gives every business the opportunity to be a media business or at least think like a media company.

Firstly, what is a media company?  A media company is a business engaged in the production or distribution of media.  Most sales,  leads,  and opportunities result from their media activities.

News Ltd is an obvious example of an old style media company trying to make it in a digital world. 

Google can be seen as a new style of media business as can telcos like Telstra who increasingly depend on the distribution of digital content to lock in subscribers.

So how can any business be a media company?

Get a website

If you have a website you need to produce great content to delight your visitors, rank in search engines, and build fans. If the content is good enough then people will link to it increasing your popularity.

Get a twitter account

As you know Twitter is a great way to communicate with existing and potential customers. To build fans you can’t be all business though,  you need to entertain,  amuse, or inform. When you get this right you are well on your way to being a media company.

Get a Facebook page

With 500 million users Facebook offers an easy way to reach people and let them connect with your brand.  As with twitter there needs to be a good reason for people to be interested.  Hold a competition, build a game,  get customers to send photos or videos of them using your products, or ask questions.

Make a video

YouTube is an amazing place to discover Justin Beiber or that new chick,  watch a monkey fall over,  or discover how to build a retaining wall.  Making a video of how to do something related to your product,  introducing your business,  or doing something crazy to delight your customers. It is easier than you think and doesn’t need Hollywood production values.

With an audience of billions the web makes it easy to extend your reach with simple but high quality media and content. In a competitive marketplace it could be what elevates you above your competitors. Start to see yourself as a media business and the rest will follow.

2 Comments

  1. Karl

    Jonothan,

    You wrote in your post the following:

    “A media company is a business engaged in the production or distribution of media. Most sales, leads, and opportunities result from their media activities.”

    Could the sentence have been rewritten as: “A media company is a business engaged in the production or distribution of content.”?

    How do you define “media”? Also how would you define “media activities”?

    Thank you,

    Karl

  2. Hi Karl,

    Thanks for the comment. I agree that your definition is a little less tautological than my hurried and reductive effort. In the simplest of terms media can be seen purely as content – textual, visual, dramatic, physical.

    In the context of the post, media is any kind of content produced for public consumption for commercial or promotional purposes. So it is not a diary entry, graffiti on a toilet wall, or controversially a painting. Media activities are simply the production, publishing, editing, analysis, promotion of content that is produced within the constraints of a clearly defined set of objectives which are most likely commercial or promotional.

    Without getting Walter Benjamin out the commercial and promotional aspect is what separates art from media.

    Cheers,
    Jon

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