2013 – The Year you Become a Media Company


Let’s start with a simple question. What do Red Bull do? They make an energy drink. We all know that. ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings!’ as we’ve seen so often on their deceptively simple ads.

So why, if you go to the front page of the Red Bull website, is there no mention of an energy drink? Sebastian Vettel, Novak Djokovic, skateboarding, gaming, surfing… Not one mention of an energy drink.

And that’s before we talk about Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull Stratos – as I wrote a few weeks ago, probably the most effective piece of sponsorship in the history of marketing.

What Red Bull are doing here is creating a lifestyle around their product, and they’re creating content to tell their story. What’s more, they’re doing it so well that many people who don’t ever drink Red Bull (that would be me) will quite happily read what they’ve written and watch the videos. In short, they’re doing media better than some of the media companies and – as one article I read put it – connecting with their customers’ “passion points.”

Another company travelling down the same road are Coca-Cola. They’ve recently launched The Coca Cola Journey. Go and have a look: it’s a million miles from the traditional site you’d expect to find – and the comparisons with Red Bull are obvious. They’re both moving towards being media companies.

But, you’ll argue, Red Bull and Coke have nothing to do with me. They’re global players. I’m running a 5 man SME in North Yorkshire and I’ve no plans to move beyond North Yorkshire. The last thing I need to worry about is “media” – whatever “media” means these days…

Wrong.

I assume that most of you use the brilliantly simple Dropbox. Whether you do or you don’t, go to their website and take a look. You’ll find a short (less than two minutes) video telling you exactly what they do. I find I’m increasingly looking for a video like this when I go to a website. Tell me what you do, show me how it works – and do it in two minutes or less.

Recently I wanted a simple, initially free, app that would analyse some social media stats for me. There were about four or five possibilities: the one I opted for was the one that had the two minute introductory video.

I know that’s a million miles away from Red Bull and Coke – but it’s a small step on the same road. And I think 2013 is going to be the year when a lot of us find ourselves taking that first small step. It’s the year to be in front of a camera or a tape recorder, making a short video for your website or recording a podcast.

Nothing – and nobody – tells your story like you do. Nothing gives potential customers the chance to know, like and trust you better than your own words. I appreciate that for many people it will be a serious step outside their comfort zone – but it’s the direction the world is moving in. At TAB we’re already starting to use video testimonials on YouTube and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

If your website runs on WordPress or a similar content management system it’s very easy to upload a short video. Go ahead and have a go. And think outside the box a little bit. It doesn’t have to be shot in your office. We live in an incredibly beautiful part of the world, so think about the Moors, the Wolds or the coast as a backdrop.

I’m absolutely convinced this is a great way to tell your story and introduce yourself to potential new customers and clients. You can say an awful lot in two minutes, and in one of next year’s early posts I’ll take a look at the content you should include. In the meantime I’ll leave you to reflect on your customers’ “passion points.” That should drive away the first chills of winter…

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