Why You Should Hire Journalists to be Content Marketers
Content Marketing

Why You Should Hire Journalists to be Content Marketers

In the digital age, journalists have to find alternative career paths other than writing for the traditional newspaper or a magazine. Luckily for journalists though, there are a number of jobs that can put their writing skills to good use…and content marketing just happens to be one of them.

Most of the skills that are needed to succeed in content marketing are already in the toolbox of modern journalists, which can sometimes make for an easy transition into this new industry.

We Can Write Specifically for Your Target Audience

It’s impossible to write content for a specific audience without knowing anything about the people that make up that demographic. If what you’re writing isn’t specifically for them, your readers will feel disconnected and uninterested in taking the time to read your content.

For example, you’re not going to find an article about a recent football game in Forbes. Their audience is not made up of crazy sports fans. They write for people interested in finance and business. Journalists are well-practiced in easily assessing and writing for any new audience.

Every news publication or magazine has a specific audience which means journalists are always producing content with the intention of appealing to a certain group. For easy on-boarding, look to hire an ex-journalist that doesn’t ignore the audience.

We Meet Deadlines and Gauge Project Time Frames

Do your content marketing writers take their deadlines seriously? If not, you might want to find a journalist to take their place because we understand more than anyone the seriousness of deadlines. In the journalism world there are deadlines around every corner.

Because of the importance placed on deadlines, journalists have learned how to manage their time well in order to get their assigned projects done and handed in on time. It’s also easier for them to recognize when the expectations for the project don’t line up with the requested deadline.

When this happens, the project and its deadline should be discussed in order to prevent you from committing to a project that your writers will not be able to yield results for by the assigned deadline. Deadlines aligning with expectations is key when it comes to the quality of a writer’s work.

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You Want Catchy Headlines? We Got Catchy Headlines

What’s the first thing people usually see before they read an article? Hopefully the headline. Most people will read a headline and if they’re not interested will move along to the next article, which is why it is so important to write an alluring headline.

This is another thing (good) journalists are experts in. Coming up with a headline for an article should not be left up to the weak minded. It’s difficult and above all it’s of great importance. Pete Koechley who is the founder of Upworthy told Wired magazine that an article headline could swing readership by 500 percent.

Content marketing is all about drawing customers in. What if your headline isn’t enticing enough and they’re just scanning over your content without even reading it? That’s not good for the business you’re creating content for. Let a journalist show you the ropes on how to hook readers with a great headline.

We Can Hook Readers and Tell Stories

The most important thing that your content marketing company will stand to gain from hiring an ex-journalist is that they know how to produce quality content. Yes, the formatting is different, but it’s easy to teach them to change their writing style a bit because they should be used to that.

A news piece isn’t the same as an opinion piece; they are written two very different ways, but they’re able to adapt. It is however more difficult and time consuming to teach someone to be a good writer. Being skilled in writing means you know how to come up with new and unique topics to write on.

This is especially important in the marketing world because a lot of people are writing about the same thing, and you don’t want to be that content marketing company that keeps spitting out the same old content that is already circulating the Internet. Journalists are skilled in brainstorming new ideas on a daily basis, and then producing content that tells a story in order to connect with their audience.

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Why We (Sometimes) Fail

Some journalists may not be cut out for content marketing. It’s a different world with a different style of writing, and if a journalist is unable to wrap their head around writing for sales then they will fail you as a content marketing writer.

We are Unable to Tackle Multiple Formats

Unfortunately, a lot of the seasoned journalists out in the job market today never learned how to produce content that was meant to be published online. They are just now starting to teach those skills to journalism majors in college today. Sometimes it is hard for journalists to change their style of writing for a blog post or a landing page. Even those two elements are very different from each other and are written differently.

Seasoned journalists might not know how to include links in content, and why that is important to content marketing. In the content marketing world, you are constantly writing in a different format so make sure your ex-journalist knows how to be flexible and can adapt to this new kind of writing.

We Don’t Have an Understanding of Marketing

Content marketing serves a larger purpose than just telling a story or notifying the public of a newsworthy event. Content marketing writers are producing persuasive content in order to gain customers and make them loyal customers for a specific company.

If your content fails to do just that, then the company that is paying you to produce content isn’t going to be very happy. A journalist that refuses to dive in and try to understand the inner workings of the marketing world will not be a successful content marketing writer.

We are Trained to be Objective

By its very nature, marketing is meant to be a type of persuasive type of communication which means it can sometimes be very bias. Journalists are used to having to always present both sides of the story in order to remain objective and unbiased.

Switching to writing in a non-objective way could be hard for them at first. This will come easily once they have a good understanding of marketing under their belt. Then the way things are done in the content marketing world won’t seem so outlandish to them.

When you hire a journalists, you bring someone onto your team with a strong skill set, all it takes is a little guidance and molding to get them on the right path.

 

This post originally appeared on CopyPress, and is re-published with permission.
Featured Image: Michal Staniewski via Shutterstock

0811 SEJ Caitlin Malone Why You Should Hire Journalists to be Content Marketers

Caitlin Malone

Writer at CopyPress
0811 SEJ Caitlin Malone Why You Should Hire Journalists to be Content Marketers
0811 SEJ Caitlin Malone Why You Should Hire Journalists to be Content Marketers

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5 thoughts on “Why You Should Hire Journalists to be Content Marketers

  1. Great article! I made the transition about 7 years ago into content marketing after not really having a clear path in journalism and found that being objective in my writing was the most difficult aspect to become accustomed to. I would argue now, however, that it can actually be a positive quality as we are able to determine the “pure” story that needs to be told and only tailor it for marketing in a way that keeps it’s integrity intact.

  2. Hit the nail on the head here about deadlines and gauging time frames. I often get asked, ‘how long do you think it would take to write…’ and I’m usualy spot on. Obviously these times are subject to change depending on what you are writing and who you are writing for but a lot of people don’t understand that you can’t spend too much time on a 500 word article when you have three 1000 word articles to write.

  3. Great article – sums up the many reasons nicely. I would also add that we (journalists) are naturally inquisitive with well developed interview skills. This means we will often ask questions that marketers might not think to ask and can sometimes get answers that lead us take a different, more interesting path with whatever content marketing piece we’re writing.

  4. Couldn’t agree more with this! I went from journalism to digital marketing as there is such a heavy reliance on content at the moment.

    Upside: More money
    Downside: Writing about road studs, screwdrivers and endless articles about social media

  5. I can personally attest to the validity of the assertion that skilled journalists can be converted into very effective content marketers. I may have had something of a leg-up on the competition as I grew up in a house ruled by two small business owners (my parents) and minored in marketing while majoring in journalism.

    For me, the transition was seamless, and for over a decade now I’ve had the luxury of working for myself on my own terms. If I could identify one skill that has helped me more than any other to succeed in online business it is writing hands-down. I say that because I consider writing capability to be an integral component of a good approach for search (well-written, quality content being the goal), and the two most definitely go hand-in-hand.