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Content Marketing

You Are a Content Company, Whether You Know It or Not

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
7 min read

In our everything-online-all-the-time world, being able to grab and hold someone’s attention on the Internet is power. For businesses, that power tends to translate into money.

“No matter what your product is, no matter what your business is selling, all companies are now, by default, content companies. And if you are interested in selling a product, you have to have content and a following,” says Jason Silva, the Emmy-nominated host of the Emmy-nominated show Brain Games on NatGeo.

Catching attention online is precisely how Silva launched his own career. After a stint working for Al Gore’s Current TV, Silva started making videos about the philosophical perspectives, ideas and musings that he was personally obsessed with and publishing them on video-sharing platform Vimeo. People liked the videos he created. He started getting asked to give presentations all over the world. A few months later, National Geographic eventually reached out to him, asking him to be the host of the channel’s show about how the human brain works. Today, Silva’s YouTube channel, “Shots of Awe,” today has more than 200,000 subscribers.

Related: Jolt Yourself Out of Your Routine. That Billion-Dollar Business Idea Could Be Waiting.

Silva’s goals is to invoke wonder, awe, and curiosity in his viewers. “I am selling passion, curiosity, wonderment, ideas, discourse,” says Silva. His tool, though, is creating and sharing videos and ideas online. Content is what starts the conversation.

But that’s not just if you are an “idea DJ” like Silva. People become interested in brands because of stories they read, videos they watch, or pictures they find online. That’s where companies make their first impression with new customers.

Related: What Separates Entrepreneurs From Mere Mortals: The Ability to Take Risk

Take for example, GoPro, which makes high-definition cameras that can be worn and mounted in a variety of different ways. What GoPro does -- arguably even better than make cameras -- is share the videos that customers make with their GoPros. The company has close to 3 million subscribers on its YouTube channel.

“The brand, just by default, gets the halo effect. People are like, ‘I want to buy that. I want to buy whatever is associated with that content that I love so much,’” says Silva.

Watch this video to hear how Silva built his own brand on the shoulders of his content and learn what social media tools have been fundamental to catapulting his ideas through the Interwebs.

Related: Your Online Content Should Deliver 'Cognitive Ecstasy'

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