Should You Own Media (and Not Rent It)?

As Jim Blasingame said in The Age of the Customer, the power over the buying process has shifted from the seller to the buyer. As marketers, this created the opportunity (and the need) to attract, influence, and nurture the buyer by creating content that assists the buyer in her journey.

While this is old news, there is now another opportunity for marketers: create their own content platform. Even today, most marketers are still renting media by placing ads in websites, print magazines, social media, and so on. Rented media still has a place in a marketer’s toolbox, since it provides access to the audience of media properties. When marketers rent media, it generates awareness of their product and brand and perhaps leads to visits to their websites.

Not bad, I guess. Except that most people who see your ad and visit your website are not ready to buy. So you buy the same ads in the same media next month or quarter and try to get the same people to come to your website and fill out a form. The cycle repeats.

Instead, imagine that you have your own media property that features content that helps businesses with the issues that they are dealing with day in and day out. Just like other media properties, you have people who visit your site regularly and subscribers to your e-mail newsletter. You now have a trusted communication platform of your own (where you can serve up marketing messages). A visitor who comes to your site who is not ready to buy has an opportunity to consume content, sign up for one of your e-mail newsletters, and so on.

Given the above, doesn’t it make sense to use your rented media dollars to promote your media property? This way you can communicate with your prospects (as well as customers) how and when you please, on a platform that you control.

Here are some examples of companies that have built (or bought) their own media platforms:

If you are wondering if your blog should be considered “owned media,” it might. Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Is your blog a destination that your target audience returns to regularly?
  • Does your blog have the characteristics of a media company?
  • Is the quality of your content as strong as the content you would find on the website of a major media company?

I firmly believe that brands that will succeed are ones that strategically harness the power of content. If you think the time for your brand to build its own media platform is now, but are not sure how to get started, check out our recent post on acting like a media company.

Get in touch to learn more about taking the first steps to creating a successful media property for your company.