Cast your mind back to Rome circa 59 B.C. when the first ever journalistic product was recorded in official notices called the Acta Diurna.
It’s unclear exactly what was recorded, but seemingly it was newsworthy, as a daily edition of the “gazette” was published and hung strategically throughout the city for all to read.
Granted, journalism is defined as “writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast”, but there are similarities between today’s online news landscape and content marketing. One might even argue the circulation of the Acta Diurna is an example of content sharing.
No matter where you stand in the journalism vs. online content marketing debate, one thing is certain: mastering journalistic skills can help take your content marketing strategy to the next level.
What’s The Difference Between Content Marketing And Journalism?
At its core, content marketing and journalism seem to share a common goal – producing quality content. But their intentions and methods are distinct. Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant material (like blogs, videos, or social media posts) with a clearly defined audience. The ultimate goal? To attract, engage, and drive these consumers towards a profitable action.
Journalism, on the other hand, prioritizes the delivery of accurate, timely news and information to the public. Journalists are neutral observers reporting on events, politics, or societal issues. Their goal isn’t to persuade or sell, but to inform, often guided by a stringent code of ethics.
So while content marketing and journalism both involve knowing your audience and communicating effectively, their end goals are pretty different. Content marketing is a bit like a strategic game, nudging the audience toward a purchase, while journalism is all about presenting facts and keeping people informed.
While the two are fundamentally different, there’s a smorgasbord of skills that overlap. And here’s where the magic happens for content marketers.
How Can Journalistic Skills Help My Content Marketing Strategy?
In the realm of content marketing, having journalistic skills is like owning a secret recipe. Journalists’ research skills can help dig up unique insights, making your content more intriguing. Their knack for clear communication allows for complex topics to be presented in an accessible, engaging way. Plus, their understanding of audiences can guide the creation of personalized content that truly resonates with your readers.
Essentially, blending journalistic skills into your content marketing strategy can turn your content from simply informative to truly insightful, relatable, and impactful. It’s about crafting content that not only informs but connects and captivates. Want to give it a go? Here’s how:
Stay Committed To The Truth
The media, and by extension journalism, is sometimes still referred to as ‘the Fourth Estate’; a watchdog, ensuring transparency, holding those in power accountable, and providing the public with the information they need to make informed decisions. This kind of commitment to the truth isn’t really necessary in content marketing, but it can still serve you well when navigating the new world of AI content generation and its impact on link-building strategy and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Now, Google has not explicitly outlined a policy that speaks directly to AI-generated content but continues to emphasize the importance of quality, relevance, and value in its content guidelines. Platforms like ChatGPT, Copy.AI, and Jasper have their place in the future of content marketing, but humanizing blogs, ad copy, guest posts, and other content, and staying committed to the ‘truth’ of quality in your writing will always yield the best campaign results.
Become A Subject Matter Expert
To create quality content, you need to know your stuff. Journalists become mini-experts on a topic before they write about it. They dive into research, interview relevant people, and immerse themselves in the subject matter. As a content marketer, this should be your modus operandi too.
Knowing your industry inside out not only enables you to create engaging content but also positions you as a trusted authority, which as we know, is a factor in Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines and how Google’s actual algorithm, PageRank, ranks online content. Simply put, becoming a subject matter expert can lead to more shares, more backlinks, and more trust from your audience.
Hone Your Storytelling Skills
Who doesn’t love a good story? It’s in our nature to be drawn to narratives, to characters, to drama, and resolution. Journalists understand this and use it to create compelling stories that keep their readers hooked.
As a marketer, this skill can be your secret weapon. Instead of merely presenting facts and data, weave them into a captivating story. Make your brand the hero, your customers the supporting characters, and the problems they face the villains. Your solution? The triumphant finale. This not only brings your content to life but makes it relatable, memorable, and engaging. Stories build emotional connections and these connections create loyal customers, not to mention they do wonders for user engagement.
Back Up Your Story With Facts and Primary Research
Now, we’re getting a bit techy but stick with me. Journalists don’t make claims without backing them up – they cite sources, quote experts, and provide evidence. The same should go for your content marketing, particularly for link building that builds website authority.
Adding quality do-follow links to your content not only provides evidence for your claims but can also boost your SEO. These links tell search engines that your content is credible and trustworthy, which can help improve your rankings. Just remember, quality over quantity is the rule of thumb here. So choose reputable sources, and sites relevant to your topic, and ensure they add genuine value to your content. After all, a good link is like a vote of confidence in the digital world – and who doesn’t appreciate that?
Be Deadline Driven
Finally, let’s talk about consistency. Journalists have deadlines. They have a schedule to stick to. They can’t just post a story when they feel like it. And guess what? Neither should you.
Consistency is key in content marketing. It’s about keeping your audience engaged and coming back for more. However, if social media is a large component of your content marketing strategy, then being deadline-driven is particularly important. According to leading social media scheduling platform Hootsuite, for the best results, here’s how often you should be publishing content on social media:
- Instagram – Post between 3 and 5 times per week.
- Instagram Stories – Post 2 times per day.
- Twitter – Post between 2 and 3 times per day.
- Facebook – Post between 1 to 2 times per day.
- LinkedIn – Post between 1 to 2 times per day.
- TikTok – Post between 3 and 5 times per week.
- Pinterest – Post at least 1 time per week.
- Google My Business – Post at least 1 time per week.
Set a schedule for your content creation and stick to it. Be it a blog post every week, a social media update every day, or a monthly newsletter – make a plan and stick to it. Your audience will appreciate the predictability and regularity of fresh content, and it also sends positive signals to search engines about your website’s vitality.
Whether it’s about unearthing insightful data, telling captivating stories, or maintaining a steady content rhythm, your journalistic instincts can be a powerful ally. Now, armed with these tips, go forth and create some captivating content!