Have you been getting mixed results from your content marketing efforts? Have you adopted a brand storytelling approach and gotten better results, but you’re eager to do more? In either case, we advise you to start thinking like a journalist – specifically, a brand journalist.
Why brand journalism? Because brand-generated content is now a commodity. Quality journalism, with its focus on answering vital questions and featuring authentic points of view, is now more valuable than ever. Brands can and should be developing quality journalistic content that goes beyond marketing pablum and becomes truly useful to their marketing efforts.
We’ve penned blog posts on behalf of a client’s physician thought leaders, for example. While the physicians don’t write the stories — our brand journalists do — the output is hardly different from a compelling piece in Becker’s Hospital Review, a leading industry publication. In fact, these blogs are so successfully composed in the journalistic style that Becker’s itself has praised them and even shared them with its readers.
Interviews with key opinion leaders are central to any brand journalism strategy. Original, authentic, knowledgeable insights can anchor earned, owned and paid stories effectively. Likewise, brand journalism research can generate insights that are both newsworthy and feature-article-worthy. Data points are story anchors, too, and brand journalism supported by data can drive extensive earned media coverage as well as lead-gen programming that features the same data behind gated online pages.
We see a few forward-looking companies that are beginning to employ brand journalists. Yet, most aren’t aligning those resources to a larger, more strategic, more disciplined editorial function rooted in editorial calendars, original research and regularly scheduled interviews with key opinion leaders who hold sway with the brand’s key audiences. Nonetheless, we are confident that brand marketers and communications pros already know that high-quality brand journalism performs better than traditional content marketing. The real challenge for marketers is reshaping their approach to ensure that their brand journalists not only are telling stories authentically, but that they are telling the right stories- the ones that hit home with customers and other stakeholders.