Two weeks ago, Gary Vaynerchuk was the main keynote at NAHREP at L’ATTITUDE event in San Diego. I thought his presentation was great. One of the things I appreciate about him is that he does not hedge his opinions. He is fully committed to them, and I consider him one of the best experts on business trends in the digital economy. Gary Vee says unequivocally that unless you are creating content on social media, your business is going to die. I believe this is a bit of an overstatement, but there is definitely some truth in it. The book Platform Revolution describes the emergence of platforms as a business model; Platforms are entities that facilitate engagement between customers and businesses but don’t necessarily provide any of the actual products or services.
A few years ago, Netflix was an efficient platform where movie studios could reach more customers. It famously displaced the Blockbuster video chain by providing more convenient and cost-effective service, however, it did not become the entertainment juggernaut that it is today until it started creating its own content. Vaynerchuk and others believe that all businesses need to start thinking this way, especially businesses that are in highly competitive markets. You might think that this means real estate brokers of the future need to own the homes they sell to consumers, the way home builders do. Zillow and other iBuyer companies seem to think so, however, Vaynerchuk would probably say that isn’t the only or even the best way to compete. Companies that possess IP such as high-quality video content that draws people to your business is the differentiator every successful business of the future will need. Essentially, every business needs to start thinking about themselves as a media company of sorts.
Most Content is Bad
Being a content creator is tougher than most people think. The pandemic forced everyone to communicate through platforms like Zoom, however within a few months, people started to say that everyone was “zoomed out” and tired of virtual events. The reason people felt this way was because most of the content being produced was crap. There are two types of video content: totally amazing, and complete crap. There is nothing in between. If your content isn’t amazing, it’s simply not good enough to retain an audience. If your IP isn’t going viral, your audience is telling you that your content isn’t good enough yet. Originality is key. Keep innovating until something breaks through, and don’t settle for good.
Creating Content should not be your business
Most content creators, even the good ones, are broke. This is because legitimate online influencers who are making a lot of money creating content are rare. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s almost impossible to make a good living simply by being an online personality. Your content should lead consumers to another product or service. If you’re just getting started, some of the biggest opportunities are in B2B businesses. While there are fewer customers, there are also fewer competitors. High-quality content being created by B2B companies is rare and the opportunity to stand out is greater.
A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. The pandemic has accelerated our transition to a fully digital economy. Like all trends, it won’t be stopped. You can fight it and die a slow death or you can find a way to leverage it to your advantage. Good Luck!