Sounds a bit like a lead-in to a joke, doesn’t it? Like the difference between you and a media company is that you haven’t laid off half your staff, or the difference is that the media company has likeable characters, or . . .
Actually it’s a great blog post by Joe Pulizzi – The Difference Between You and a Media Company:
The only difference . . . is that a media company leverages content in order to sell paid content and sponsorships . . . A non-media company needs to create that same type of content, but they do not get paid content or sponsorships — they do it to sell products and services
(His title also reminds me of one of my all-time favorite album titles: The Difference Between Me and You Is That I’m Not on Fire, brought to you by the same folks who also released My Pain and Sadness is More Sad and Painful Than Yours).
Pulizzi also points to eMarketer’s – 2011 Trends: Content Marketing is Critical – in which Geoff Ramsey writes:
Marketers should base their magnetic content ideas on well-researched customer behaviors, attitudes and lifestyles. This entails altering your emphasis in marketing from “selling product” to identifying and solving a consumer need or want that transcends or complements the physical product or service you are selling. Ask yourself this critical question: Besides your product, what can you do for the consumer?
Content produced by retailers must drive awareness and ultimately sales, but in order to do so it is important not to lose sight of the fact that it is still content and must be interesting, helpful, fun, appropriate, and engaging.
Maybe at the end of the day the difference between you and a media company is less significant than you think, given that media companies are also increasingly finding that subscription and sponsorship revenue is not enough . . .