Marketers must become media makers

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

After watching both WWDC and Google I/O, I’ve walked away with this firm conclusion: success as a marketer means becoming a media maker. Just in the digital space, look at all of the forms of content you can now consume on iPads, Nexuses, Apple TVs, Google TVs (now with more ball shapes), the iTunes store, the Google Play store, and so on…

Google Play

Books. Music. TV. Movies. Photos. Blogs. Apps. Magazines. Social Networks. Games.

Here’s what our challenge will be as marketers: picking the right channels that fit our message and content. To do that intelligently and in a well-informed way, we’re going to have to try nearly all of them and see how well our content and our message fits to the channels.

You can make content fit in some fairly strange forms if you’re creative about it. Once upon a time, I did a financial services podcast for student loans to an audience of about 10,000 daily for almost 5 years. I would never have guessed that a 20 minute daily audio program would have worked that well, but it got traction and grew to a very respectable audience.

Try everything. There’s no rule that says you have to publish what you try. If something doesn’t work out, then toss it and try again. Fire up a copy of Audacity with a basic microphone and see what you come up with. Turn on Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, go grab your phone w/video or a cheap video camera at Target, shoot some material, and see what you can come up with. Use the office productivity suite of your choice (Google Docs available for the low, low price of free) and write a short eBook, then publish it to the Kindle store or iBooks or Google Play also for free.

The bottom line, however, is that you need to try things, to see where your content and message resonates. Your audience is on more platforms, more devices, more media than ever before. They are paying less attention to traditional methods of marketing and advertising than ever before. Be as ubiquitous as time, talent, and budget permit you to be, because if you’re not, someone else will be.

Photos from PAB2007

You’re not competing just with the big name in your industry vertical any more. You’re competing with Apple, Google, Amazon, Congress, Justin Bieber, and the rest of the planet for that wafer-thin slice of your customer’s attention. The more dishes you’ve got on the buffet, the more likely it is that people will grab a bite.

Need a starting point? Drop a few bucks and pick up Content Rules, by CC Chapman and Ann Handley, to learn the basics of many of the content forms mentioned above.

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One response to “Marketers must become media makers”

  1. Smart advice there, Chris. After what feels like years pretending to be a company I decided to go back to my roots and have been ploughing away at a daily digital show called, unsurprisingly, Digital Daily. It’s early days but I’ve been getting some nice stats back from Stitcher Radio and as a video show it’s been going down well on YouTube.

    And that’s where I think this tale gets more interesting. It’s one thing being a media maker – it’s another thing, and a deeper level of engagement is on the cards, when you start pouring your passion and prowess into it. Anyone can create, but few can do it with the personality and passion it takes to win people over.

    That doesn’t mean you have to be the next Carson or Letterman – just someone who is authentic and trustworthy.

    As Mr Coke might say – just do it!

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