Many marketing departments are starting to introduce journalistic principles into their campaigns — and it’s not hard to see why. There are several journalistic principles and practices that can benefit your marketing efforts, especially writing content that speaks to your readers. While marketing focuses on the brand first, journalism focuses on the audience above anything else, drawing readers in and encouraging them to trust the content creator.
Let’s talk about the value of journalism in the marketing industry and the principles you can employ today to benefit your campaigns.
Why Is Journalism Important in Marketing?
Effective marketing and distinguished journalism often go hand-in-hand since, at its core, marketing is just a form of storytelling. Stories are one of the ways we connect with one another, and the emotional responses we elicit from the stories we tell our audience are what makes them interested in our brand. There’s more to marketing than storytelling, but your brand won’t make as much of an impact on your target audience if you can’t tell a good story.
Journalistic Principles for Marketing
The most critical skill marketers can learn from journalists is how to appeal to readers. Adjust your primary focus to the reader rather than your product or brand. It is best to show readers that they can trust you to do more than sell them a product. Here’s how you can do that.
Conduct Proper Research
Read Competitor Content
While marketers are already conducting research, they could benefit from utilizing journalistic-specific research techniques. The most important thing marketers can do is to read as much as possible. Bookmark big companies in your industry, understand your competition and what they’re writing about, and pay attention to new technological developments.
Seek Out the Best Topics
Journalists study relevant topics while also striving to understand what consumers actually want to read and how to appeal to them. Many marketers are instead turning to social media for new reactions and trends and working backward from these recent trends to create marketing campaigns for an existing audience. This type of writing is often fun and can attract a lot of attention, but it’s often more confusing than informative and can be more harmful than helpful.
Master the Art of Interviews
Any form of customer-facing communication also requires journalistic skills and best practices, such as interviewing skills. These skills aren’t just beneficial in writing features for papers and magazines; they’re equally useful for producing content for marketing campaigns.
It is essential to do your research, draw your own conclusions, and communicate your views persuasively to your audience to craft truly impactful writing. When creating marketing content, consider how you can create something that provides value for your audience and chase SEO and website traffic. The type of content that generates the most value for your audience is the type that matches search intent and drives traffic.
When researching, ask some questions:
- What makes your information interesting and important?
- Are there any perspectives or data you can offer that have not already been discussed?
- What do you want your audience to get out of your content?
Making time to answer these questions can help you create more substantial content that viewers will find valuable. Hard work and dedication to proper research are essential to successful content.
Use Clear and Concise Communication
Clear and concise communication is another journalistic skill that can benefit the marketing world. Consider the theory of Economy of Language — fewer words lead to more clarity. This theory suggests expressing your ideas and concepts using as few words as possible. Using fewer words is key to writing, especially when trying to make an argument to convince your audience.
Clear and concise writing is easier to read and more persuasive, which means it’s more likely to get the reader’s attention and enhance conversion rates. It is crucial in the marketing world. Consumers are constantly bombarded with information, receiving dozens of weekly emails and frequently checking news and other information on their phones. How can you make your content stand out among the masses of information? The answer is shorter, more concise writing. People don’t have the time or energy to read long-form content constantly, so providing short content helps you pierce through the constant distractions and leave an impression on the reader.
Motivate Readers Through Storytelling
Writing like a journalist means telling a good story, which is a skill beneficial for content marketing writers. Creating engaging content ensures that your audience wants to keep reading and continue to come to you for answers to their questions.
Deliver Data in an Engaging Way
Market and content writing is more involved than merely relaying data to an audience; writers need to be able to turn that data into a compelling narrative. Data is an essential part of marketing, and writers in marketing now face the challenge of sharing that data in a meaningful way. Rather than seeing data as a raw source of information your audience needs to know, start looking at it as supplementary material that adds context to your story.
Motivate and Connect With Your Audience
Marketing and journalism share the same end goal — to motivate or move your audience. Motivating your audience to buy something involves connecting with them emotionally rather than engaging them in intellectual discourse. The act of storytelling is great for eliciting that emotional response. Storytellers do more than recite facts and statistics; they craft stories that move their audience.
Content writing might not be journalistic, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create a story. Many people are looking for authenticity in brands that they can trust. Storytelling is a powerful method of identifying the emotional connection between you and your target audience. Without that emotional connection, potential buyers may look to other companies for that trust and authenticity.
Understand Your Audience
When writing content, marketers should understand their audience. If you research your buyer personas and create your content around the problems they encounter and the solutions they need, you’ll be able to attract the right customers at the right time with relevant stories.
Content writers should ask questions about users, not just products. With every topic you write, even when writing about a product, consider how it affects consumers. Rather than questioning how you can sell more products, ask yourself why people should consider buying your product. How will it benefit its users? What benefits can your product provide consumers that competitors can’t? Align your writing with the people reading it.
Asking the right questions is also vital for finding the best answers and unveiling hidden truths. Don’t just look at the surface of a piece of content; ask questions that get to the heart of what you’re trying to say. Content writers should understand their audience’s questions and anticipate what they might ask next. Providing good answers to your audiences’ questions involves more than a quick search; it requires finding every angle of every question and going the extra mile to find the correct answers.
Look at Popular Headlines
Headlines shouldn’t be the main focus when it comes to writing, but they should be considered. Headlines are good markers for relevant topics. When certain headlines are repeated across many outlets, they prove to be topics that audiences care about. Attention to popular headlines can help you determine how to add relevant information to the conversation.
Finding a balance between being unique and writing about popular topics your audience wants to read is essential. While you want to create new content that stands out, it is unwise to ignore topics just because other writers have already discussed them. To be the brand people choose over the competition, you should address the prevalent issues in your industry. Otherwise, you risk losing some of your audience.
The Bottom Line
Marketing and journalism are all about getting to know your audience and providing content that is valuable to them. The best way to understand your audience is to put yourself in their shoes and understand the questions they’re asking. A deeper understanding of your audience will help you write relevant content that your audience will want to read. Your company will set itself up for more success when you learn how to use journalistic tools to engage and empathize with your audience.
For more information and guidance on how to apply journalistic principles to your marketing campaign, get in touch with Avalauch Media for a case consultation.