Historically, the media are very good at capturing the attention of consumers.
Successful media companies produce great content and more brands today are adopting a media company business model, as marketing and earning attention from consumers, with advertising and sales collateral, becomes more difficult.
In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we dissect the success of a brand who have gone all in with a media company business model, and we ask the question, could this work in real estate?
In September this year, we traveled to Cleveland in the United States to attend Content Marketing World. The largest event in the world focused on the practice of content marketing. Over 3,500 marketers from more than 60 countries were in attendance for four days of learning, networking and sharing ideas.
Many of the sessions were chock-full of examples of product and service brands from many different industries, all over the world, who have built large audiences with a content led approach to their marketing. One such brand is Lego, who has built a media empire with properties such as The Lego Movie, their YouTube channel and many other content led initiatives.
Other smaller companies included Hylands, a homeopathic company who created a website called the Pickleball Channel which is a platform dedicated to the sport of Pickleball – one of the fastest growing sports in North America among seniors. The Pickleball Channel is arguably the largest online resource for the sport of Pickleball anywhere in the world with an equally large audience.
The Pickleball Channel website is powered by Hylands Leg Cramps – a popular remedy for those who suffer from, you guessed it, leg cramps. And who do you think buys more of this product than anyone else? You guessed it, seniors who play Pickleball.
This is just one example shared at Content Marketing World of a brand who added value outside of their products, which in turn drives vastly more sales of their products than if they had marketed them directly to consumers with advertising.
But there was another example of a brand that, in an industry highly regulated much like real estate, has gone all in with this idea of becoming a media company. This is the story of a bank – yes, a bank – that turned itself into a bilingual media company, while still remaining a bank.
Jyskebank.tv creates programs about finance and incorporates compelling stories aimed at its primary audience of younger consumers and small businesses.
Their head office is essentially a tv station with cameras, lighting and crew stationed there full time. The bank produces a public-facing, award-winning web TV channel that runs 24/7 on Jyskebank.tv.
Asked why he turned a bank into a media company, Lasse Hoegledt, the brainchild of Jyskebank.tv said, “When we started in 2007 we were living in a media world getting more and more fragmented. We thought, ‘What can we do to get our message out to our audience without relying on older media.’” So, Jyskebank.tv was born.
Jyskebank.tv has won numerous awards around the world, including Europe’s Best Web TV at the Digital Communications Awards. The bank’s content is so good that it’s been picked up by a national Danish TV network. When the traditional media outlets need a financial expert, they call Jyske Bank and their videos regularly get thousands – even tens of thousands – of views on Facebook.
Today, Jyske Bank refer to themselves as the first ever media company to have their own bank.
Instead of interrupting what people in their community are interested in, they became what the community are interested in.
Jyske Bank are not alone. There were countless other examples at Content Marketing World of service brands who have gone down the path of becoming a media company and are seeing huge success. This approach to marketing is not unique to one industry. If you have clients and prospects, which you do, they are consuming content about something to do with real estate – they’re just probably not getting it from a real estate agent.
No one gave Jyske Bank permission to turn their bank into a media company. They simply took it upon themselves to engage, educate and inform people with helpful content with the goal of building an audience that would ultimately drive profitable change… eventually. As opposed to what we typically do in real estate which is create sales collateral that aims primarily to convince people why they list with us right now.
Jyske Bank used to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate advertising and sponsorships to get in front of someone else’s audience. Today, those very same organisations want to advertise to Jyske Bank’s audience. The power completely shifted as soon as Jyske Bank built an audience of their own.
So, what say you?
Could this work in real estate? Could this business approach be one of the disruptors to our industry that everyone keeps talking about?
It seems feasible that a major portal, a media company, could very well become an agency themselves one day. But for some reason, it feels weird when we talk about real estate agencies becoming a media company. Why this is, I don’t know.
Jyske Bank did it. Lego did it. Hylands Leg Cramps did it. Why is real estate any different?
Sure, there will be naysayers and those who believe this could never work in real estate. But what if it did? What if one of your competitors went all in and turned their real estate business into a media company that just happens to sell and manage properties?
With the cost of video and audio technology where it is these days, and the ability to publish content quickly and inexpensively to the web, it’s really any size business that could adopt a media company model with a small investment.
It didn’t happen overnight for Jyske Bank. They invested in the long game. They believed there was a better way to win attention and drive profitable change for their business. If you want these very same things, a media company model might just be the answer.
And as the late Steve Jobs put it best:
“The people who are crazy enough to change the world, are usually the ones who do.”
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