What if there was a TV channel that was only about your brand? Something pretty amazing has happened in the last few years, thanks to the internet. Now, companies can produce their own content and become their own media outlets. The internet has democratized news and mass communication so much that people and brands are able to reach the same audiences as the news media, be read by the blog readers, and even host their own web TV shows and podcasts.
This trend actually started several years ago. While companies were still focused on traditional media, it was people -- citizen journalists, diarists, and entrepreneurs -- who started using the internet as a way to communicate with other people. And as it got more and more popular, brands started embracing the internet while still thinking in old media terms. Brands tried to earn media (public relations) and they tried to buy media (advertising), but they soon figured out they could own media.
What if your budgets were divided into earned, paid, and owned? Where would the majority of the money be spent? Would the money be spent on renting eyeballs, sending press releases, or on developing your own audience and your own relationships with your potential customers? Would this be done in lieu of financing media companies to compete with you for the attention of your customers?
Owned media is by no means free, but you can pursue this for a fraction of the cost of your other marketing channels. Audiences cost money to create and develop, but few brands spend enough in this area. The ones who do are the ones destroying their competitors. Let's take a look at a few of them.