What content marketing is doing these days is something journalists have been doing since times immemorial. The difference however is that while the latter’s job was to get stories across to the audience, the former requires developing stories in a manner such that they can get the audience lured towards their respective brands. In other words journalism has a push effect to it and content marketing a pull effect. Content Marketing is therefore a more demanding job.
Though both professions are face audiences with different frameworks of mind, they are similar at grass root levels; getting stories across to their audiences. For ages journalists have been successfully delivering stories, something that content marketing writers can learn from. Here are a few pointers for the new age content marketing writers, from the journalist’s book of success mantras:
Connect with the audience
This can well be one of the pillars towards creating good quality content. How can you cook up a perfect recipe if you don’t know your guests’ likes and dislikes? It’s like working without a goal. Most of the times content marketing writers get swayed by the monochrome of the corporate voice. Journalists, to the contrary, always analyze and keep the audience in mind while delivering. This is something that content marketing writers should take into consideration.
Morning shows the day. Headlines are what catches the readers eye first and it quite makes sense if he does or does not wish to read an article based on the headline. Undeniably, framing an enticing headline is difficult but it is definitely a pay-off. So invest time in it.
Keep the freshness intact
It’s a fact that most of the times content writers elaborate on topics or issues that have already been spoken about. Why would someone want to read news that has made headlines before? It’s also not possible to have a fresh story at hand always. Journalists face the same hurdle. They try developing on previous stories or come up with new angles to it. This is exactly what content writers need to practice too. They have to come up with content which may have its concept discussed before but has a completely new perspective to it, something that was not spoken of previously. That’s how readers can be engaged.
There should be a story
This essentially means that the content should keep the readers glued on till the last word. The start has to be as compelling as the end. Journalists do this well because they understand their audience well and also know that every piece of work needs a story.
Answer the vital questions
: You can’t leave the reader with a question mark on his head and keep him guessing what is it that you wanted to convey! The vital questions like what, where, who, when, how and why need to be answered so that the reader knows exactly what was meant to be delivered, by the end of the piece. It would also do justice to the story.
This is yet another pillar of a good piece of writing. Understand that a well researched topic will be better framed and delivered. Jargons and literary words can never substitute for facts. Readers will always appreciate an informative piece of writing that would add to their knowledge.
Be original. Plagiarism is an offence in journalism and it applies to content writers as well. For the journalist it’s his/her reputation and profession at stake, however for the content marketing writers, it’s the organization’s reputation at stake. Therefore take time to construct, for an effort taken is an effort rewarded.
Keep it concise
Keep to the point and don’t beat around the bush. It takes the interest off the content and that is a taint for a writer.
Present it well
Journalists have the luxury of getting their stories rectified by editors. Content writers need to also ensure that their work is proof read and mistakes or errors thereof addressed. After all you wouldn’t want your article be published with spellings and grammatical errors!
There is a time for everything to happen. Similarly there is a time for every piece of your content to be published. Ensure your articles are timely and delivered when they need to be. There is no point serving stale news. Nobody would be interested to read it. Journalists would know the significance of this factor very well!
So is there anything else that you think content writers should learn from journalists? Do share your thoughts and takes with us.