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Choosing Your Strategy in a Media-Centric Business
I was talking to a mastermind buddy who was working through whether to pursue a sponsorship strategy. His concern was that he wasn’t sure whether it was a long-term play or a short-term play.
Here’s the deal: Books are probably the only long-term play we have in a media-based business, but books (at a certain level of platform size) aren’t a good short-term business play. Every other business strategy that’s based on a medium is at best mid-term, depending on how long “long” is. In the mid-2000s, blogging was the star strategy. By mid-2011, social media took center stage. Around 2013, video crested and fizzled quite a bit in the mass market (though YouTube channels are still growing), to be replaced by podcasting as the jewel in 2014. Groups have peaked or are close to it; it’s looking like blogging (albeit with a different style) may be picking up again; and virtual reality (VR) is being explored. In between all of these are experiments like micro-video (Snap), micro-audio (Anchor), and interactive video (Facebook Live, Periscope, and Blab). I suspect that interactive video will be either a hyper-niche or a thing of the past by 2018. Caveat: Media saturation is audience-dependent. Some audiences are still discovering blogging as a Thing, while others are already SO done with groups and interactive video. My work keeps me closer to the future edge of media, even though I don’t consider myself a futurist or early adopter. Saturation and media history aside, my point in sharing this is to encourage you to stop worrying about how long-term a play something is and, instead, determine what your play is. The media wheel may very well come back to you and we’re going to continue to see faster adoption-and-saturation cycles. It’s dizzying, and unless you’re in a business that requires you to know about media adoption and saturation, it’s better to focus on doing your thing your way because at the end of the day, your audience will focus on you, not the medium. Yes, knowing where the market is going is good information, but knowing what you can and will stick with long enough to become masterful is even more important.