Journalists know how to find story angles that hook their readers emotionally, while abiding by a strict code of conduct that preserves the integrity of the publications they represent. Marketers are recognizing these skills are also beneficial to their brands’ sales cycles, where editorial content is becoming more effective at engaging audiences than bullhorn advertising.
At times it might feel like marketers are infringing upon the territory of traditional publishers and that crossing over is an act of treason, but Iris Dorbian, a freelance journalist and content marketer for consumer finance publications from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch; and Keith Loria, a freelance journalist and content marketer for the business education website SkilledUp.com, told ProfNet what they like about content marketing versus traditional journalism:
1. The style of writing is more animated. “News reporting is dry and factual, while content marketing closely resembles a feature article, except the focus is usually educational and full of best practices from well-informed sources and experts,” says Dorbian.
Loria adds that content marketing tends to be “more lively, as you are trying to establish a more personal connection with the readership.”
Journalists who want experience in content marketing should try their hand at business-to-business publications, where they will have the chance to write a wide variety of informational content.
2. More expert sources are available. At one point or another, all journalists have had to scramble to find a source for their story on a tight deadline, but, as Loria says, “There are many more experts available to interview for a content marketing piece than a news story, so even if you can’t get ahold of your top choice, there are plenty of people willing to comment on the topic.”
Both journalists and content marketers can find expert sources on a diverse range of topics for free using ProfNet. Click here to send a query.
3. There is a lot of flexibility and opportunity. “I enjoy writing content that helps business professionals improve their operations,” Dorbian explains. “It makes me feel like I’m playing a role in their day-to-day business.”
For Loria, content marketing is an unconventional learning experience. “Honestly, I enjoy all writing, but this just breaks up my writing day with different subjects that I don’t always know a lot about,” he said.
Journalists should not think of content marketing as an enemy, but as a way to expand their creative skill set and uncover new interests they may not have realized before.
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