Is there any reason to launch a new media company? In the era of Facebook, would it be profitable? 

In this article, we’ll discover the differences between e-commerce and media business. What does it take to start a media company and make money?

What is a Media Company?

If you create content with professional editors and writers, publish it periodically, it means that you are in the media business. Owners of newspapers and magazines establish media companies. They produce content, bundle it, and distribute it. Sometimes, they produce it in both paper and digital formats.

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A few examples of well-known media companies are The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and BuzzFeed.

However, the media industry contains film and music production,  graphics, art, etc. (any type of media content). And so, social media are a part of this industry as well. These digital communities are platforms for sharing user-generated content. Today, they compete with publishers for people’s attention.

What Does a Media Company Do?

Let’s focus on the activities of publishers as an example of a media company. Publishers provide readers with different info: breaking news, investigations, reviews, etc. Some media cover many topics – politics, business, economics, health, etc. Others specialize in one specific niche for their publications. However, every media company wants to be an influencer.

Obviously, besides print, publishers also put their content online. With websites, they have more opportunities to engage visitors. Besides text and photos, media companies create audio and video content. Thus, they can use alternative platforms (YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.) to interact with their audience in additional ways.

What are the Differences Between e-Commerce and Online Media Companies?

Every company today has to increase their influence by creating media content. The main differences between an e-commerce company and an online media company are:

  • the size of the target market
  • the method of interacting with website visitors
  • what drives profits

An e-commerce website and a media company approach building a sales funnel differently. A commercial one offers products to visitors in hopes of making a sale. The main “product” of online media is content. Thus, content and readers create value for publishers. The more traffic a media website attracts the higher its ratings. Popular media companies have more opportunities to work with advertisers than lesser-known ones. Thus, they have more potential revenue streams. 

Learn more about B2B companies.

What are the First Few Steps?

Now, we’ll find out the steps of starting a media company and how to promote it. If you want to start up an independent media company with your own content, follow our tips below.

Target audience

The first step is similar for any company. You need to target a particular group of readers. This will provide you with ideas for content, and give you direction on building a website. Depending on the number of potential readers, you can determine the size of your business.

As an example, suppose you want to establish an online sports magazine. Define your target group (or groups) – age, gender, region, etc. Connect the segments with particular sports (i.e. football, basketball, swimming, etc.). Now you can plan the limits of traffic for your website, the development stages of your business, and the marketing channels to interact with users. You know your audience’s interests, and what they need and buy. Based on this info, you can immediately build revenue streams by working with advertisers. 

Read about customer lifecycle marketing.

Benefits and value

Like an e-commerce company, you need to identify the valuable features of your media company. They will form your company image and a core message for readers. What differentiates you from your competitors? Stay unique. What new info will users find on your website? Make it clear for readers. Show the benefits they’ll get from your company.

Print or digital?

Substantial operating costs for a print publication are not appealing to a startup. However, you can easily start an online media company by just installing WordPress.

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WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System). Famous publications, such as Vogue and Rolling Stone, use it for their websites.

Even some well-known newspapers have discontinued printing to cut expenses. Also, some leading print media publish articles on their website before putting it in print. 

Advantages of digital media:

  • It is easy to make changes to articles, even after publishing
  • Interactivity
  • Ability to collect subscriber data
  • 24/7 access from any region
  • Ability to respond quickly to subscriber requests 

Learn how to start a news website.

Create content and attract users

Define categories and topics for creating content. Base your choice on the popularity of topics, search requests, trends, and/or keywords. Depending on your niche (news, stories, blog articles), plan a marketing strategy to attract new visitors, and interact with loyal customers.

For website promotion, you can use:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid ads in search
  • Guest blogging
  • SMM
  • Partnering with other media

However, your main task is to create high quality, unique, and useful content for your audience.

Read about unorthodox ways to attract visitors to your website.

Make a profit

What are your goals for starting a new media company? The most popular reason is to generate income. Ads are not the only source of revenue for media companies. What are the alternative sources of revenue for publishers?

We’ve collected some ideas for you on how to make money with an online media company.

  1. Google AdSense. With this service, you insert a programming code on your website to display ads. The amount of your revenue depends on your website traffic. Cost Per Click (CPC) differs for various industries. Generally, the rate ranges from a few cents to $1-2 per click. On average, the number of clicks on ads is less than 1% of website traffic. Calculate your approximate revenue using your website statistics (“Pageviews Per Month” in Google Analytics).
  2. Third-party ad platforms. Much like Google Ads, third party platforms connect advertisers with website owners. However, you get more potential for revenues. For example, ZEDO provides publishers with rich ad formats and videos for displaying on the websites. The company has tools for targeting and reporting. You can even find ad servers with ready-made promotional text content.
  3. Crowdfunding. If you’ve collected a loyal base of subscribers, ask them to help expand your business. Definitely, it’ll work if your company is highly trusted. For instance, perhaps you write about economics but want to hire someone to start a politics column. Crowdfunding can help you raise a basic amount of money for further investment.
  4. Paid content. Offer your subscribers access to especially valuable content for a fee. Membership is rather popular among online media. To encourage visitors to participate, offer bonuses with a purchase (calls to editors, consultation).
  5. YouTube Channel. Create video versions of your content, so that it can be posted on Youtube. Monetize your YouTube channel with ads.
  6. Partner program. Many companies have affiliate programs for sales of their products through their partner network. To take part in it and make money, you need to publish stories about products on your website and include an affiliate link. Members of these programs receive commissions when purchases are made through their referral link.

Another option for a company that already has an influence in their industry is to find a sponsor. Sponsors provide revenue for the media company and become their partner.

As stated above, once you attract an audience, and keep them engaged, your online media company will have more opportunities to generate revenue.

Tools for the Job

Let’s look at some tools for successfully starting and developing a media project.

CMS (i.e. WordPress). Build a media website. Use their free templates, or create a customized website structure of your own.

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Reach your target audience with all sorts of social platforms you can. Redirect users from social media to your website to generate traffic.

Video: YouTube, Vimeo. Use YouTube for hosting and monetizing your video content. Use Vimeo for live streaming, or publishing videos with no ads.

Photos: Imgur, Flickr, ImageShack. Store your photos externally to conserve disk space on your server.

Email: Aweber, MailChimp. Email marketing systems will help you to interact with subscribers personally, inform them about offers, and track their responses.

Push notifications: Gravitec.net. Push platforms are a great way to generate return traffic to your website. Automation tools make it easy to notify subscribers about breaking news, new articles, etc.

Try Push Notifications for Free

Summary

To establish an independent, reputable media company, one that generates revenue, you have to:

  1. Define your target audience and niche.
  2. Create valuable unique content.
  3. Determine your core message and the benefits to readers.
  4. Attract visitors with SEO, SMM, guest blogging, partner with other online media.
  5. Interact with your audience using email marketing, push notifications, social media.
  6. Create audio/video versions of your content, and post it on other platforms, in order to reach a wider audience. 
  7. Monetize your website and YouTube channel by displaying Google ads.
  8. Connect to third-party ad platforms (as an extra option).
  9. Expand your business with crowdfunding.
  10. Unlock specific sections of your website to paying members.
  11. Promote/sell products through affiliate programs, and generate commission revenue for your company.
  12. Look for companies interested in your content for sponsorship.

If you have any questions about web push campaigns, please contact the Gravitec.net Support Team.

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The Gravitec.net service is an easy-to-use platform for sending push notifications from websites. Push technology enables you to inform subscribers of updates and new posts. You can also create targeted and triggered campaigns, send notifications automatically, and see campaign statistics.