Long before the concept of content marketing was invented and long before the Internet came into common use, a unique type of media existed that convinced people to pay -- every day -- for its content while it used the content as as medium to sell space to third parties for advertising. That medium -- the newspaper -- was driven by the original content marketing writer -- a journalist. The newspaper industry has gone through changes and contractions, but journalists remain experts at writing compelling content.
Journalists bring a unique and disciplined approach to writing that helps them nail content creation. Here are some of the skills that make them great web marketing writers:
Would you have read this article if it was entitled "A Study on the Relative Benefits of Journalistic Training in Content Marketing Writer Settings?" Especially on the web where everyone is buried in more great content than they can ever hope to read, readers don't glance through articles to determine if they want to read them. Instead, they make their judgments based on headlines.
In some areas, news isn't always happening. Nevertheless, just as a journalist still needs to fill all of the pages of a daily newspaper or the 51-or-so minutes of a newscast, a content marketing writer still has to create compelling content on a regular basis. A journalist knows how to look at the same stories every day and find new ways to report them, creating new content even when it might seem like nothing is happening.
The Five W's
One of the fundamental skills of journalism is to answer five basic questions -- who, what, when, where and why. While they might not always fit in a marketing piece, a journalist usually looks at a piece as being an answer to these questions by default. As a content marketing writer, this means that she will be able to craft stories that cover what the prospect wants to know, drawing the prospect closer to the brand and giving him the information he needs to make a buying decision.
While not every journalist is a strong interviewer, many were taught how to interview as a part of becoming a reporter. According to research by Software Advice, the ability to effectively interview sources, get good quotes and capture them accurately lets a content marketing writer craft new content instead of just recycling pieces based on the same old sources as everyone else.
Getting the Details Right
On the whole, journalists do an excellent job of collecting facts and reporting them accurately. While almost anyone can gather information, a journalist also knows how to check them, confirm them and find supporting sources to ensure that they're correct. This means that as a content marketing writer, she is more likely to turn out materials that is accurate. This not only enhances the credibility of your brand but can also save you from liability for reporting incorrect information. In the same vein, journalists also know how to create content that is not only accurate, but their own. This helps to eliminate the risk that your client will end up being labeled a plagiarist.
Any skilled content marketing writer can craft compelling and accurate content. However, journalists start with a set of advantages. Between their old-media experience and their formal training, they carry the skills that make for the creation of compelling content.