posted in Content Marketing Strategy
Eight reasons to hire a journalist
Recently, we’ve been talking lots about the value that journalists can bring to a marketing department with regards to getting results from your content marketing.
They have a certain skill-set which lends itself perfectly to creating content that educates, tells a compelling story, nurtures and is highly shared on social media.
Some companies prefer to work with an agency that already has a team of journalists, others prefer to recruit their own in-house.
But, as a marketers, we’re generally not used to reading journalists’ CVs so when one falls on our desks, it’s not immediately obvious how their responsibilities might add value to our content marketing strategy and day to day activities.
Content marketing challenges
Before we look at a typical CV, let’s quickly remind ourselves of some of the challenges that marketers face when it comes to content marketing. They will usually include:
- Coming up with ideas/topics/titles ideas
- Creating original content
- Nobody sharing your content on social media
- Low levels of referrals to your website from social media
- Visitors not staying long on your website
How a journalist can help
Below is an example of a journalist’s CV, listing the various daily duties and (in red) how those skills can benefit your content marketing.
1. Become a thought-leader
Journalists have a keen eye for a story; they are always on the look-out for breaking news and are highly skilled at re-creating it with an original angle. Being the first to communicate this news to your audience will position your brand as a credible resource that is right at the forefront of your industry. This type of content is also one of the most-shared on social media and highly effective at driving traffic to your website.
2. Entertain your audience
One of the best ways to engage your audience is to educate and/or entertain them so that they become emotionally involved with your brand. Journalists live and breathe this kind of content; whether they’ve written for a newspaper or a magazine, their writing always seeks to create an emotional attachment.
3. Increase your content ‘stickiness’
Journalists are driven by the power of storytelling – they know how to create a thread which keeps your audience interested until the very last word of the article. Being involved in ‘page layout’ and ‘imagery’ also means they are very focused on driving people through the content in a creative and engaging way.
This not only keeps the reader on the page for longer but also motivates them to read related articles, keeping them on the site for longer too. This sends very positive signals to Google that you’re a website worth visiting, helping your SEO.
4. Increase click-through rates
You might have the best article in the world but if the headline you’re posting on social media isn’t enticing enough, then people simply won’t click through. If anyone understands how to create great headlines, it’s journalists. They’ve tried and tested them for years and know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
5. High quality content
Nowadays, if your content isn’t original and of the utmost quality, it will simply get lost in the masses of white noise; it needs to stand head and shoulders above the rest else you’ll have wasted your time and money. Journalists work in an environment where quality and originality are absolutely key and non-negotiable and that’s exactly how you should approach your content marketing.
6. Non-salesy content
Whilst some marketers can’t resist the temptation to constantly push sales messages out through their blogs and social media, it is widely recognised that commercially-neutral content travels significantly further on social media. Journalists come from a workplace which rarely produces self-promotional content; it’s always about providing maximum value to the reader.
7. Meet your deadlines
Content marketing is not a one-off campaign, it’s an on-going activity which requires advance planning. Letting deadlines slip is the first sign that things could soon start to go wrong but having a journalist on-board means that this is much less likely to happen. At any newspaper or magazine, deadlines are critical and bringing this mentality into your own department can massively improve your content marketing.
8. Stay within the law
It’s surprising how many companies that are producing content aren’t aware of the laws that govern it – and, believe me, there are many! One of the benefits of having a journalist working with you is that they will be fully up to speed with all the legalities you’ll ever need to know.