While everyone can define journalism, this is not the case with brand journalism. Both are forms of editorial content. But a brand journalist’s goal is to help a brand appear in the center of an important issue by creating valuable industry and issue-related content.
Definitions of brand journalism vary widely, and unfortunately many people make derogatory and unsubstantiated accusations against it. Here’s a list of negative ways I’ve heard people describe brand journalism.
1. Brand journalism is a form of content farming
If a brand is creating content and wants to rank high in search engines, then it must be a content farm, right?
This logic has no basis, yet people assume this all the time. They may assume this because they once saw a brand deliver bad content. Content farms are known to flood the Internet with content—valuable or not—in an effort to game search algorithms so that the content producer ranks high in search engines. This is no longer easy to do as Google reconfigured its algorithms to sidestep the content farm technique.
The “content farming” claim can be said of anyone creating content online. Everyone wants their content to appear in the top search results, and for people to see and read it. Why would a brand’s content be any different?