8 reasons to hire a journalist as your next marketer

From headlines to deadlines, news folk understand the fundamentals and nuances of delivering top-quality content that engages and enlightens an audience.

There’s been a lot of talk about the value that journalists can bring to your content marketing efforts.

They have a certain skill set which lends itself perfectly to creating content that educates, entertains, and nurtures and will be highly shared on social media.

As marketers, we’re unaccustomed to reading a journalist’s resume, so when one lands on our desk, it might not be immediately obvious how those skills and responsibilities might add value to our content marketing strategy and day-to-day activities.

Content marketing challenges

Before we look at a typical resume, let’s quickly remind ourselves of some of the challenges that marketers face when it comes to content marketing. They will usually include:

  • Coming up with ideas/topics/titles ideas
  • Creating original content
  • Nobody sharing your content on social media
  • Low levels of referrals to your website from social media
  • Visitors not staying long on your website

How a journalist can help

Below is an example of a journalist’s resume, listing the various daily duties and how those skills can benefit your content marketing.

1. Become a thought leader

Journalists have a keen eye for a story; they are always on the lookout for breaking news and are highly skilled at re-creating it with an original angle. Being the first to communicate this news to your audience will position your brand as a credible resource that at the forefront of your industry. This type of content is also one of the most shared on social media and is highly effective at driving traffic to your website.

2. Entertain your audience

One of the best ways to engage your audience is to educate and/or entertain them so that they become emotionally involved with your brand. Journalists live and breathe this kind of content; whether they’ve written for a newspaper or a magazine, their writing always seeks to create an emotional attachment.

3. Increase your content ‘stickiness’

Journalists are driven by the power of storytelling; they know how to create a thread that keeps your audience interested until the very last word of the article. Being involved in “page layout” and “imagery” also means they are very focused on driving people through the content in a creative and engaging way.

This not only keeps the reader on the page longer but also motivates them to read related articles, keeping them on the overall site longer. This sends positive signals to Google that you’re a website worth visiting, helping your SEO.

4. Increase click-through rates

You might have the best article in the world, but if the headline you’re posting on social media isn’t enticing enough, then people simply won’t click through. If anyone understands how to create great headlines, it’s journalists. They’ve tried and tested them for years and know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

5. Deliver high-quality content

Nowadays, if your content isn’t original and of top quality, it will simply get lost amid the white noise; it must stand head and shoulders above the rest, or else you’ll have wasted your time and money. Journalists work in an environment where quality and originality are crucial and non-negotiable, and that’s exactly how you should approach your content marketing.

6. Soft-pedal the sales pitch

Though some marketers can’t resist the temptation to constantly push sales messages out through their blogs and social media, it is widely recognized that commercially neutral content travels significantly further online. Journalists come from a workplace that rarely produces self-promotional content; it’s always about providing maximum value to the reader.

7. Meet your deadlines

Content marketing is not a one-off campaign; it’s an ongoing activity that requires planning. Letting deadlines slip is a sign that things might be going wrong, but with a journalist on board this is less likely to happen. At any newspaper or magazine, deadlines are crucial; bringing that mentality into your own department can vastly improve your content marketing.

8. Stay within the law

It’s surprising how many companies that are producing content aren’t aware of the laws that govern it-and, believe me, there are many. One benefit of having a journalist working with you is that he or she will be up to speed with pretty much every legality you’ll ever need to know.

Michelle Hill is the marketing manager for Red Rocket Media. A version of this article originally appeared on the Red Rocket Media blog.

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