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Ron Sela
April 30, 2015

How to Do Brand Journalism The Right Way

While most companies in the recent past have made huge strides in brand journalism, most still have the concept of content marketing and brand journalism wrong.

Companies are focusing all their attention on writing to attract a vast audience, and with it more clients, while ignoring other aspects of content marketing.

Unfortunately, most of these companies are missing a wide range of other benefits of content marketing and gradually losing their footing in the market.

What is Brand Journalism?

Put simply, brand journalism, also popularly referred to as corporate journalism, is researching everything relevant to a company’s customers pool, creating content, and spreading it to appropriate people.

The primary aim is attracting and retaining the attention customers and potential clients.

It entails utilizing online platforms and even media outlets to provide all the relevant information about a company to its clients, potential clients, and other associates.

To this end, every company with a website, blog or any other online portal to the company is involved in brand journalism.

However, it takes more than just a simple online platform to harness the benefits of corporate journalism, the content you provide your audience and the manner in which you do it makes all the difference.

What Makes Brand Journalism Shine

The Relevance and Quality of the Content

It is important to provide relevant and correct information or else there will be a disconnect between the company and its audience.

The content should answer their questions, update them about new developments, and interact with the audience.

It is important to know your target audience, the company you represent, and the situation in the industry and the market.

Additionally, the quality of the content should be top-notch. Avoid mistakes in your writing and always ensure that the information is easy to understand and that it flows well, this is where writing skills are tested.

Other content such as short video presentations should also be professional and neat or else you will ruin the company’s image in a bid to strengthen it.

Alignment with The Company’s Strategy

While it is vital to keep the audience’s sentiments and opinions in mind, it is also important to keep the company’s plan.

As such, it is important always be in contact with the company especially when creating and spreading content with significant impact on the customers’ sentiments and decisions.

Utilizing High Interactive Skills

Successful brand journalism takes more than just researching and providing information to the company’s audience – you need to communicate with the audience by engaging them.

As such, the content you write should be engaging and should give the audience a chance to contribute and respond to the information, the same applies to other content such as videos.

Additionally, your social skills, both in person and in online media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook should be good.

The Power of Brand Journalism

As mentioned earlier, corporate journalism is designed to give a company authority in its industry and the market by first creating thought leadership and then attracting customers.

When executed properly, corporate journalism significantly boosts a company’s awareness in the market as well as its popularity.

Thought leadership marketing has attracted many companies to brand journalism, but not all of them do it right.

How Successful Businesses Utilize Brand Journalism?

The internet has made it easier and cheaper to reach people with little or no costs and with an impression just as good as news outlets, or even better.

For these reasons, companies are developing websites, blogs, forums, and social media pages in a bid to give their clients an online portal to the company as well as reliable news and information outlets.

Research Tools and Statistics

Information is a vital asset in the market, the first rule of brand journalism and content marketing is knowing the audience.

Companies are utilizing research tools to help them make informed corporate journalism strategies.

Statistics from research firms help with getting a better understanding of their clients and other aspects such as emerging trends, developments in the industry, and situations in the market.

To the convenience of the clients, some companies also offer free online search tools to make surfing and navigating easier and faster.

Media Outlets

Some companies are even developing their media outlets to incorporate brand journalism into their everyday operations. These are professional outlets that handle everything to do with corporate journalism.

What’s more, they go beyond writing also to create videos and even interact with the mainstream media platforms.

These are just some of the ways businesses are using brand journalism – while they apply to companies, in general, the different natures of businesses may necessitate more or less action.

The Power of Content Marketing

what-is-content-marketingContent marketing is very beneficial when it comes to marketing, but few companies harness its full potential owing to their ignorance – they tend to undermine certain aspects of content marketing and focus more on others.

However, content marketing is made up of several components that should complement each other for significant results.

Some would argue there is virtually nothing you cannot find on the internet – many people refer to the internet for their queries and shopping needs.

For businesses engaged in content marketing, having an online platform should be the first step to successful marketing.

You may choose to set up multiple platforms such as a standalone blog and a separate business website or integrate them into one platform.

Regardless, each platform should be customized to reflect the image, values, and principles of the business.

Analyze Buyer Information

You need to know your audience in order to provide relevant information. As such, it is always important to conduct research on your target audience looking for information such as:

  • Who is the buyer – his/her age, gender, profession, tastes, and residence among other things
  • What are the buyer’s needs
  • What are the buyer’s opinions on the quality of the products and services and what are his/her desired changes
  • What influences the buyer’s decisions

Perform a Keyword Research

In addition to quality and relevance, the keyword is very important when it comes to written content and storytelling. It is what most people type into their browsers and consequently what search engines use when providing results and ranking online platforms.

To this end, it is important to consult research firms and online research tools to find out common and popular keywords – this will help you when developing your content.

Provide High-Quality Content

The main part of content marketing and what most business focus on, ignoring most of the other aspects. Here, written content is developed to educate and update the audience of new developments in the business.

The written content has to have a good structure, good flow and be of good quality.

Additionally, it should be relevant to attract the interest and attention of the readers and be written in a manner that it is engaging to read, the readers should feel involved.

It is important to acknowledge that writing is a respectable and vital profession – make use of professional writers and associated content developers to ensure the information you provide is right on point.

Run In-Depth Analysis

It is also important to follow up with the content you create and post. It can be done in many ways. For instance, give your audience an opportunity to contribute and respond to your content through comments, forums, or social media platforms.

Additionally, you can solicit the services of research firms to monitor your search engine ranking, online traffic flow, and even the impact of your efforts in sales and brand awareness, among other things.

The Role of Brand Journalism

Brand journalism helps create awareness about the company by keeping the audience updated about new developments in the business, the market, and the industry in general.

It utilizes journalism and creative skills to give the business online platforms complete with the brand logo, colors and many other aspects of the company.

It also manages these platforms and other related media outlets to ensure they are always engaging, informative and entertaining.

More importantly, brand journalism is involved in interacting with the audience, which comprises of clients and potential customers.

Communicating with the audience gives it the opportunity to collect relevant data to resolve underlying problems and improve the way the company conducts business to the convenience of both parties.

The Role of Storytelling

MZB003Storytelling goes a long way beyond providing the relevant information also to engage the audience and interact with them. Through storytelling, the information intended to reach the audience is developed giving regards to aspects such as tone and structure.

Tone and structure determine the reader’s’ impression of the business and consequently how they regard and rate it.

Through creative storytelling, information that would be regarded as being or too factual is given a twist of interest and even some humor to make it appealing.

What’s more, potential clients who may come across the content and benefit from it may develop ties, which in time will turn them into customers and even loyal clients.

This shows just how storytelling and brand journalism are intertwined and their importance in successful content marketing.

The Future of Brand Journalism in Content Marketing

Brand journalism has grown significantly in the recent past and integrated wholly with content marketing. Experts expect the trend to not only continue but also hasten and take new twists as more and more companies realize the benefits of brand journalism.

Some of the things to look out for is the even greater growth of brand journalism as a profession and career, the formation of formal news outlets, and, of course, new words to give meaning to the emerging trends and practices.

 

Image attribution: Lead/Featured image: Various sources – original unknown

Cartoon: Various sources – original unknown

http://moeinmosleh.com/?gallery=storytelling

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Profile photo of Ron Sela
Ron Sela is a digital marketer and conversion optimizer, focusing on maximizing ROI with content marketing campaigns.You can find and connect with Ron on Twitter at @RonSela and read his thoughts on his personal blog at RonSela.com.
  • Excellent post Ron. You mention that the primary aim of brand journalism is to attract and retain the attention customers and potential clients. Does that include whatever type of content they normally consume in the course of the day? For instance let’s say I run a pest control company out of Newark and I want to add regular content to my blog. Should my posts only be about pest control or can I branch out to other topics my potential customers also care about? There are only so many posts we can do on killing pests after all.

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