"You have to think and act like a media company..." (10 min read)
Sorry for the grammar, but these notes are written quick and dirty.
in march 2018, i posted a photo on Instagram, which shows one of my students and me shooting funny pictures via a tablet, using the social media app "musical.ly".
Nevermind... i posted this photo to thank all of my students and creative fellows for bringing me in the social media game one and a half year ago. THESE KIDS have a remarkable media company mentality, it seems they sucked it up with their breast milk and living it since they got in touch with social media...
Two days before the post, i was sitting at a meeting with social media consultings from L’Oréal in stuttgart, in charge for a hairdresser company. We discussed a subject i have been talked about for a long time now.
I already spoke to many of you, but now it feels like i have to write it down:
Understand, that in today´s digital era, you have to think and act like a media company.
Whether it is for your personal brand, your company, a service you offer, or whatever you are up to.
Because of the smartphone, the internet itself and social media, anyone can produce and distribute content at scale now. It is just the access to it.
Never before have artists, consumers and brands had the ability to produce content in such a direct and easy available way. Just 15 years ago, you had to spend hundreds of thousands of euros on media and marketing to promote your brand. TODAY, there is a easy access to it...
Take your phone, record a 1 minute clip about your "thing" and run ads on Facebook or post it for free on any social media platform you want. The cost of distribution at scale has fallen to "0". Younger generations, which were born at a time where the internet, YouTube and Facebook already existed, participate themselves seamlessly on social media and have a kind of media company mentality in itself.
And to me... it’s all about participation to play a role in this "attention game". Especially when you want to get heard as a creative person, a company or whatever you are. The attention lies on social media now.
Social media is no longer a niche market or something like that, it is already fully implemented in our society.
So if you want to get heard in this noisy social media world, you have to think like a media company AND THIS implies two things.
Content and Distribution
There is no excuse not to be creating content around your "thing", art, brand, your service, product or business. If you don’t have something to say, document.
It is the advice I gave to all of you, who already know me. Document in video form at scale and film your day-to-day procress, this automatically creates content at macro and also at micro.
use still images from the video footage you got, for photo posts, also use the audio from the footage to create a audio post or even create a podcast, start a blog, do a questions & answers show...do it do it do it, choose any medium you are comfortable with, whether it is text, audio, video or photo...
...all of it works.
Interview your employees, interview your best buddy, your wife, write three sentences about something new in your industry, your ideas, your projects... share and re-share other’s posts. All you have to do is to start.
My students already have such a mentality in their everyday lifes.
Yes indeed, it is often undirected, totally nonsense, pure and without any pupose, but once you got that mentality, once you smell that "freedom" in speaking, you are able to do real damage in a positiv way, with a real purpose, directly and also pure, something which will lead you to authenticity and simplicity, which is definitly needed in social media.
Actually, I am still at the beginning but i got the mentality since one and a half years now.
Patience is the key. Treat social media like you run a marathon. Like life, which is /was never a sprint.
Once you are thinking like a media company, you are going to start prioritizing your "brand" naturally. Brand is everything if you are trying to create a something of value. Don’t get me wrong, but no amount of marketing budget is going to sell a shit product. But "brand"...
The sad thing about older generations is, that they have been growing up in a world, where for the last 50 to 60 to 70 years, every business, every commercial has been selling to them with every single word of their mouth. The reason for that is, because they only had one chance to do it.
Here is why...
it used to cost a lot to produce a commercial. It used to cost a lot to do a print. It used to cost a lot buying billboards on houses. It used to cost a lot to do a radio advertisement. But today and this is what these kids were born into, we have a digital landscape where you can produce so much more content with an enormous volume in a big ocean full of audience.
No one is looking to a print commercial at the busstation anymore, if you have to wait for the bus, you are diving into your phone. And here is the point, this is what creatives and brands like L’Oréal or other big players, ESPECIALLY ALL mid-size businesses have to know...
THERE IS AN ENTIRELY NEW WAY OF MARKETING
(for mid-size businesses: NOW ,THERE IS A WAY OF MARKETING!!!)
Instead of trying to sell, you have the luxury of creating entertaining or utilitarian content as the gateway to the long term sale. I mean...
Back to the meeting i was sitting in.
A big fat company which is already in sales for ages, told a mid-size business how to sale on social media instead of showing them how to build up there brand on it. BUT there is a big difference between building a brand versus being in sales. And here is the key: NO SALE IS REQUIRED, WHEN YOU ARE BUILDING YOUR BRAND
The content you create or produce doesn´t need to be related to your "thing", product, art, service or whatever!
– you maybe recognize, i try to be keep this part open to you -
You can post what you find by yourself in web, like “these are the articles you need to read”. You can post about the news, your technics, your customers itself, even yourself...as long as you are focused on BRINGING THEM VALUE!
With "them" i mean your endconsumer. AND THIS is the only way going to build reputation and relationship for building your brand. By the way, this is where the "Social" in social media comes from.
Lets stay in Stuttgart.
An example... a hairdresser's company speaking about art or a soccer game maybe in a video or a facebook post, is not going to confuse their customer into thinking they sell paint or footballs now. NO.
BUT what it does is... it potentially connects a fan of art /or football fan to use their services of getting a haircut. AND ALSO creates a culturally relevant piece of content that humanizes the brand and builds relationships. WHICH every hairdresser already does DURING A HAIRCUT by talking to his client, so why not on SOCIAL media ?!?!
...ok, so not every word out of the hairdresser's mouth is about 50% off sink the next haircut, but MAN!... it builds up a HUGE RELATIONSHIP! DONT BE A FOOL BY BEING TOO ROMANTIC ABOUT YOUR DOMAIN!
This is a part, where way too many people struggle with...BEING HUMAN, but it is also a real and simple way for anyone, anywhere to begin creating content organically and easily.
BE HUMAN. This is why KIDS and STUDENTS are sharing things way more human, they are not caught in 70 years of sales oriented, closed and filtered media content. They watch homemade shows of real persons on open platforms.
Content is not always enough, people sometimes underestimate distribution. If you create something interesting, but no one ever sees it, it becomes irrelevant.
The first way to do it, and this brings us back to my meeting in Stuttgart, is buying and running ads. These two lovely women from L’Oréal did a great job in showing us this way. It is simple, deploy 50 or 100 euros against your content on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Google and you will attain a certain amount of reach by targeting a specific audience by age, geography, likes and more. This is what Facebook can do for you. When you deploy money on it, it is called Facebook targeting.
Everyone with a certain amount of budget can run facebook ads. You put your "business" (or whatever you are) adress, select a radius around it and everybody in this geographical radius will see your post... will see your ad in their Facebook feed. IT IS THAT SIMPLE. Like doing flyer advertising... and the coolest thing about it is... that it is currently underprized.
SO this is how Facebook and Google works, they steal "our" time, the time of us users, grab attention and run commercials against it, more or less intrusively. Only the "sponsored" mark let us know, that this what we are see right there is a "advertisement". BUT like as oldschool print and flyer marketing at your mailbox at home, we throw the unnecessary shit out of the newspaper at the same time we grab it. This is why every post has only 1,7 seconds to catch our attention on social media. Our, lets call it "bullshitsensor" which recognize every "commercial" and "ad" as we see them, is perfectly skilled/elaborated over all these years.
//THIS IS A HOLE OTHER STORY I HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT IT SOON//
The second and much more difficult way to distribute is to explore "influencers", people with a good amount of followers. A lot of you may heard, what "influencer marketing" is, but let me explain...
Message every single individual on social media, with more than 500 followers who might be relevant and potencially interested to promote your "thing", "brand" etc. and offer them your service or product for free, i mean...
reach out, collaborate, connect and provide value to them. In return they might promote your brand, by bringing awareness to your art, product, service or business.
One shout out from one influencer could be just as valuable or more, than all the money you spend in ads.
Because, it is all about DISTRIBUTION. The "influencer" knows his "followers", his own customers,best, if you already grabbed the influencers attention, you may got the attention of his followers too.
BUT REMEMBER it is all about providing VALUE.
No influencer is going to shout out your product for free unless it’s really good.
Yeah, so this is a short excerpt from the meeting i spoke about in the first place.
I got everything from listening to and observing my students. This hole thing is the number one opportunity of this generation. I try to "coach" it, i try to open ways to it and i try to spread this mentality around it, because i think you should all be doing it!
So L’Oréal, BUT especially mid-size businesses wiht no big budget... if you don´t start thinking like a media company and prioritizing brand along with content, you are going to lose. This is the way the world works now.
Thank you for READING! I really appreciate that!
BUT i mean you can read about football, art or even haircuts, but when you are really in that moment and your are standing on the playing field or in front of a blank canvas or a lovely womens head, filled up with hair you dont wanna fuck up... because you only read about it, still lets you shake of your ass...
JUST DOING IT LEADS TO OPPORTUNITIES NOT READING ABOUT IT.
So you maybe know, that the coach is always the one, who is willing to win... the game. ;)
03/2018 Jürgen Auerswald