In my last article, I touched on the benefits of utilising (video) podcasts as a part of your content strategy. According to Gary Vaynerchuk (author of Crush It!), “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”. While I do not completely subscribe to this; there is truth here for many companies.
Becoming A Media Company Is NOT For
I’ve said for a very long time that marketing requires some combination of the following resources, time and/or money. So your marketing mix really depends on what your goals are for your business. If you’re looking to sunset your business in the near future; you have been operating at, or near capacity, becoming a media company isn’t something that you need to focus on.
Some businesses, particularly solopreneurs that only require a few high value clients and have a reputation for working with these few clients for a long time, you also might not need to become a media company. These companies should probably rely on a marketing mix that will help them to nurture relationships.
As an example, if you’re a supplier/manufacturer of some unbranded products (ie., artificial Christmas trees), and you have been dealing with Walmart, Canadian Tire, Michael’s, and Target to name a few, a few high value clients that you’ve been supplying for years, it’s more important to further nurture these relationships rather than to spend resources in trying to inbound new clients. It’s probably a better idea to spend those resources in developing new/better products for these clients as they are likely utilising major chunks of your capacity.
It really depends on what your business goals are.
Becoming A Media Company
Content is king. This is truer now than ever before. That being said, what type of content depends on you, what your business goals are, and what resources you have to invest into content marketing. How much money do you want to spend on developing content versus how much time you want to spend on developing content.
Anytime you’re able to delegate the development of your content, I would encourage you to do so. As small business operators, we don’t have a whole lot of time to be developing content. I get that. But if you’re not in a position to delegate these responsibilities, I would suggest looking at where your strengths are.
If you’re not comfortable writing, first write in small snippets. X (formerly known as Twitter) is great with that. Majority of us have access to a smartphone of some sort these days. Taking a quick photo to Instagram isn’t too difficult to do. Having a few quick words to caption the photo is a great starting point! The key is to just get things going and develop some consistency with delivery of your content.
If you are comfortable writing, start writing blog articles. You don’t need a whole lot of technical prowess, and it’s a great way to start building on SEO for your website. Compared with video and podcasts, it also takes significantly less time to do. Most importantly, writing is the basis for all other media that you might get in to later on. I would also suggest to file the articles you put together that are of more evergreen nature separately. Because as you start getting more comfortable with writing, and start wanting to branch out into audio and/or visual media, it’s likely you can quickly adjust what you’ve written for scripts.
There are also other benefits. If you get to a point where you can write articles consistently, you can also turn those articles into a newsletter. You can pull snippets and passages from your articles and turn them into social media posts. Since some of the things that SEO is looking for is authority, relevance, new consistent updating, and authenticity, writing is going to be a great benefit to building your SEO scores as well.
And of course, let’s not forget, writing is also therapeutic. It gives us some time to focus on doing a specific task, and completing an article helps create a sense of accomplishment as well! So the thing is, to just start writing!
Pretty much everyone I’ve ever spoken to has hated the sound of their own voice (myself included). This is because when we speak, we are creating vibrations; when we listen, we’re ingesting soundwaves. What this means is that when we’re hearing our own voices live, the sound is actually distorted. This is the sound that we’re used to hearing. So when we hear what we think is our own voice in a recording, it’s actually a voice we don’t really recognise, and it’s a voice that sounds foreign to us. And yet, eerily, the cadence and the words do sound like it’s something we’re saying, which leads to a cognitive disconnect in our brains.
But here’s the kicker. The voice that you hate so much when you listen to your own recorded voice… That’s the voice that everyone else hears. I’m not saying this so that you stop speaking altogether, but to assure you that your voice is FINE!
I’ve been hosting the Koyoti Small Business Podcast for a few years now, and I still hate the sound of my voice. But to get around it, while I am editing, I’ve stopped listening to the recording as my own voice, but just some other person’s voice. Within the podcast, I’m often speaking with people I’ve just met for the purposes of the interview. So I treat my own voice, just as one of theirs. Just someone’s voice; distancing myself from well… me.
But the reason I chose to do an audio only podcast and not embark on a video journey is two-fold. One, editing audio is a lot less work than editing video. If I were to someday start producing video podcasts, it will happen in one of two ways. I will either put them up raw (with zero edits), or have someone do the video editing instead.
More importantly, cameras and I don’t get along. While I do know some video coaches that would definitely be able to help me, I simply don’t have the time to embark on this journey. So it’s a matter of choosing a medium that you’re more comfortable with (or the one that you’re less discomfortable with).
But this doesn’t mean that you can’t still have videos if you’re doing an audio only podcast. Again, you can pull snippets and turn those into short video posts for social media. You can run the podcast like you would a presentation. With slides that correspond to the topic that you’re covering. Or if you prefer, you can even just have a static image that runs the length of the video. So you do have options.
The best, of course, is if you can put together video content. Out of all the things that you can do for video, the video podcast is probably the easiest one to do. There are a litany of benefits for doing video. This article is getting long enough as it is, so I’m just going to list out some of the many benefits.
YouTube isn’t just a video platform, it is also a search engine.
If you’re doing a video podcast, you can simply pull the audio from the video, save it as an audio file, and voila, you have an audio podcast as well.
You can’t get much more authentic than having your actual face in front of a camera and showing the world that this is actually you speaking.
Even more than audio, video is something that you can have a lot of flexibility with when it comes to generating additional content. You can cut the video in any number of ways for additional content. You can add-in additional assets to spice up this additional content.
You can use the script/transcript, and quickly modify them to become articles, or use snippets to add to your articles.
Now look. While Gary V encourages everyone to play in an omnichannel sandbox and to continuously play with new platforms as they come out, if you’re doing this on your own as a small business owner, it’s a lot of work and very time consuming. I would suggest instead, to focus on one or two platforms that your potential clients/customers are hanging out. Whatever platform(s) you choose, that content can also be used in future content as well. Snippets can be pulled from existing content for future content. Why do you think that when TV and radio hosts are away for whatever reason, that there’s such propensity for some “best of” episodes? Developing that library of content means that the content can be used in a myriad of ways later on. Even footage that ends up on the cutting room floor can maybe be used as future footage for behind-the-scenes content, or a bloopers/out-take reel.
The bottom line is, regardless of what medium you want to use, just start developing content. Down the line, you will benefit from doing it. Even if you don’t start publishing the content yet, you can start with a documenting approach to get started, to potentially be used as future inspiration, or even future content.