Let’s face it. Most of the content out on the web today is incredibly transient. They do their job (attract clicks), and then they fade away into oblivion.
To keep your readers’ (potential customers’) attention, you’ll need more than just clickbait content.
You need what marketers call “high value content.” To marketers, high value content is content that leaves a deep impression on a reader, which they then try to distribute as far as they can.
Bottomline is, it’s content that isn’t about you, or what you’re trying to promote. It’s about the value that the reader finds in it. In other words, it’s all about the reader.
Unfortunately, most marketers, even seasoned ones tend to subconsciously have a bias towards promotion in the content they create. Add to that, a content writer working in a content mill often churns out obvious content off the top of their heads because that’s the easiest way to get the most clicks.
However, you’ll end up with content that readers often skim through and forget the moment they blink.
So What Can an Experienced Journalist Do for Me?
There are a few ways in which a seasoned reporter can beef up your content. First and foremost it’s often a reporter’s responsibility to look past the obvious, and dig deeper for an angle that isn’t already covered. Applied to content marketing, you’ll likely end up with content that fresh and not been done to death by other content marketing firms.
Content with new insight also gains your readers’ and customer’s trust, and will keep them coming back for more.
Reporters are also not afraid to ask the hard questions–most of the time.
If you’re compiling a story about how tech company A helped tech company B succeed, the logical way about it is to ask questions related to the win.
However, if a reporter was onboard, he or she would probably want to know about the failures, and problems faced when chasing the win. Such questions often feel aggressive and may make the other party feel uncomfortable. However these questions contribute to a much clearer overall picture–which isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
This authenticity in content marketing provides incredible value for your customers, as it touches on their pain points, reservations, objections, and also lessons they can learn from.
Another compelling trait that journalists have, is the instinct to consult multiple, authoritative sources when coming up with a story, instead of sounding self-authoritative.
For example, if a piece on cloud computing is needed, you can sure that commentary from an actual data scientist would lend that piece extra credibility. Once all that information has been gathered, it’s once again up to the journalist to put everything together in an accurate, and concise manner.
This ensures that the content you end up publishing is a class above your usual clickbait that’s of little value to no value to your customers.
It’s Too Long; I Didn’t Read Any of That (TL;DR)
If there’s only one thing you need to remember from this post, it’s that a journalist will strengthen your content team because they are writing for the reader. Not the brand or company that engaged you for content.
If for some reason you’re unable to hire a journalist, the next best thing would be to get your content writers to think like one. How that will benefit your content marketing team in positive ways, is a post for another day.