Media Brand: What It Is, Types, Strategies, & Examples

Daniel Sanchez
June 4, 2024
Media Brand: What It Is, Types, Strategies, & Examples

The backbone of any successful marketing campaign? Killer content. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the concept of content-as-king proliferate across all industries — influencers have built massive followings with personal brands that fuel companies and great corporate brands have emerged, making sales without even mentioning their products.

Now, we’re beginning to see the rise of a new marketing motion that will revolutionize the B2B world and how marketers grow their top-of-funnel audience — Media brands.

 What exactly is the difference between these motions? And which is right for you? Let’s dive in.

The 3 Content Marketing Motions

Personal Brands

Your favorite influencers are at the heart of personal brands. From iconic personalities like The Rock and Taylor Swift to marketing gurus Chris Walker and Dave Gerhardt, these brands rely completely on the individuals behind them — you never see Taylor Swift selling tees, yet her merch flies off the shelves. 

People are more likely to trust humans over logos, which gives an upper hand to personal brands. These brands often also require less extensive investment and are extremely easy to start. With enough dedication, anyone can build a personal brand (yes, even you). Personal brands also come with some risks — one major risk being PR. But great influence comes with great responsibility. 

One wrong step and your audience’s trust can go down the drain. When you build a company around a single personal brand, you rely on the reputation of the influencer behind it. Too often, when a reputation is damaged, it’s gone for good. Without a bit of diversification, your business will be too.

Corporate Brands

What do McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, Vidyard and Gong all have in common? They don’t rely on influencers to power their sales. These corporate brands rely almost exclusively on the quality of their products and services. The content produced by corporate brands will almost always center on the product. For corporate brands, this adds value. Every piece of content is in direct association with what is being sold. So, every time you do something good, people reflect that onto the value of your product. But this motion is also very limiting. 

Focusing only on your product limits the audience you can reach to the 3% currently in the market for your solution. You miss the mark with the other 97% that someday will be in the market.

Media Brands

Media brands stand on their own two feet. They are built completely separate from a product. So, while you can talk about products within the content of media brands, it’s separated enough that the media exists as its own entity. While a media brand can exist within a company that monetizes through content, it can also live inside companies that build revenue through software and other measures. 

Take The Hustle, for example. It’s a daily newsletter that's part of Hubspot, but with over 2 million subscribers, it's a brand in its own right. Readers know it as The Hustle, not as Hubspot's newsletter. Some other great examples include:

  • Vidyard’s media brand Sales Feed
  • Chris Do’s media brand The Futur
  • The Morning Brew
  • The Local Optimist

Why Media Brands?

One of the most exciting things about media brands is they can be adapted to support (and incorporate) corporate and personality brands. With media brands, you can talk about your products and share their value as long as you remain somewhat separated — this is your chance to dive into your journey and talk with your readers on a higher level. 

With media brands, there isn’t an immediate sale at the finish line. Instead, you continuously share to:

  •  Build brand affinity with your customers, so that when they are ready to buy, your product is top-of-mind. 
  • Create content around all of the different problems your buyer experiences. 
  • Explode past the in-market limitations and build a relationship with the 97%  of the market that may not currently be shopping but one day will be. 

You can also utilize personal brands, many even, to fuel and build media brands. Incorporating a wide variety of views and insights can help you become your audience’s favorite brand without directly advertising your product or relying too heavily on singular influencers. Starting a media brand means you don’t have to lean on a logo, and you lose the risk of relying on an influencer’s reputation.

Media Brands: The Future of B2B Marketing

The future of B2B marketing is in developing a media brand. Traditional corporate branding often focuses narrowly on product features or uses outdated messaging, and the traditional content marketing strategy of blogging (sometimes to the void) is not providing users with the value they seek. 

People are sick of being sold to but the landscape continues to fill up thinly-veiled sales pitches. To cut through the noise, you need to move away from the worn-out B2B marketing approaches that your audience no longer responds to. By building a media brand, you can rejuvenate your demand generation efforts and turn prospects into fanatics while you’re at it.

Media brands funnel a significantly larger crowd directly into your channel that you otherwise would never have had the opportunity to reach. You gain the freedom to discuss all of the problems your clients are facing and open countless avenues for growth and connection. 

When you develop a media brand, you create a massive owned media platform where you choose which voices to highlight. Then, your brand can claim its stake in the market and build genuine thought leadership. Media brands offer true value to their customers beyond the products they offer. When implemented masterfully, that value returns in abundance.

Starting a Media Brand

Getting your media brand off the ground takes a lot of up-front work and consistent content pushes. We recommend deep-diving into audience research and crafting a brand that bridges the gap between your corporate brand and what your target audience actually wants to hear. 

Successful media brands leverage omnichannel distribution to maximize reach. We suggest establishing a presence on these platforms/mediums:

  • Podcast
  • Newsletter
  • YouTube, offering both short and long-form videos
  • Social Media, focusing on the platforms your audience is most active

The key to success is maintaining consistency and sticking to your plan. By starting a media brand you are not only revitalizing your content marketing and owned media strategies, you are laying the groundwork for some INSANE top-of-funnel awareness and demand gen.

Start a Media Brand with Sweet Fish

Creating a brand removed from your product isn’t always easy. It takes time. Collaboration. Trust in the process. But when you position yourself in the market correctly, a media brand will build trust and affinity with your customers long before they are ready to purchase. In fact, there are tens of companies already doing this, with incredible success, and your company could join them.

At Sweet Fish Media, we specialize in  creating and fully managing B2B companies’ media brands. From creating the brand itself, to white-glove podcast production, guaranteed newsletter sign-ups, social media management, and more, we make it easy for B2B companies to launch and grow their media brands.

Learn more about building a media brand with Sweet Fish.