JOURNALISTIC SKILLS CAN POWER YOUR CONTENT MARKETING CAREER


I have been a journalist all my life and have written for some of the biggest media houses and online publishers in India and abroad. In the past few years, I have been increasingly involved into non-journalistic or content marketing work. This made me realize how the journalistic skills that I acquired over the years are extremely relevant, and in fact, enrich my work in content marketing domain.

Think about it. The fundamental job of a journalist is to gather information and present it in a simple and easy-to-understand as well as engaging manner. These skills are also pre-requisite for content marketing, where just using the keywords is no longer sufficient.

Impactful content, whether it is for a publication or a corporate, demands a thorough grasp of the subject; in-depth research and understanding of your readers and target audience. It also demands engaging writing skills that can help you put across your point. A journalist instead of just a writer is better equipped to deliver this.

So, here’s how you can use your journalistic skills to power your content marketing career:

Research

A good journalist is usually relentless in his/her pursuit of complete information. He/she does not shy away from interviewing or making multiple calls to get the relevant information. As a journalist, I don’t even think twice about sourcing information from multiple sources. This insatiable hunger for information is also particularly useful when you are working on long-form content marketing pieces, like case study or ebook. Thorough research makes the copy richer and more compelling and offers tangible benefit to the client.

A well-researched piece is not just more compelling but also goes a long way in promoting the credibility of the brand. People inherently don’t trust the content produced by a brand. This can be addressed to a certain extent by creating research-backed articles that are both compelling and engaging.

Clarity of thought

A journalist goes through hundreds of web pages and documents and might interview many while researching and will never be numbed by the information deluge. He/she instinctively knows precisely which information to use and which to ignore basis the brief. We are also adept at zeroing on a perfect angle and dish out a persuasive copy in line with the requirement. A content marketing team also requires clear and unambiguous content to send across the point.

Ideas

A reporter is used to coming up with new ideas almost every single day. Once a journalist understands the brand’s requirement, he/she will be able to come up with much better ideas and concepts because they have been seasoned under the sun and instinctively know what will go well with the target audience. Their work prepares them to write the same content in ten different ways, so they are best to suggest various angles to present an idea.

Storytelling

What is the point of gathering all the information if it is not assembled in a simple and easy to understand manner. If the information is presented in a dull manner and it is not enticing enough for the reader, then there is no point. It is like preparing a delicious meal but serving it in an appalling manner. A journalist thinks of different factors, including tone, approach, and angle of the piece before putting it all down. Further, an experienced journalist would have worked in various mediums, including print, online and more. We are used to adapting our style and tone of the article depending on the publication. This kind of versatility is hard to find and adds that zing to content marketing.

Deadline

With a journalist, you can be rest assured that you will get your work on time. Journalists usually take their deadlines very seriously. In my experience, I find that writers with even a little journalistic experience tend to take deadlines way more seriously in comparison to those who haven’t ever worked in the field of journalism.

So if you are looking for impactful content, an agency or a writer with roots in journalism is likely to deliver much better results than a regular writer. One industry’s loss is another’s gain. It is for this reason that more and more content marketing agencies are roping in the best of Journalistic minds and using their journalistic skills more than ever.

However, being a journalist can be a problem as well. In the next article, we will talk at length about how certain aspects of journalism can hinder your progress as a content marketer. Nonetheless, we will also talk about how to address the same.

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