However, some traditional journalists seem to be averse to writing with the interests of a particular business in mind, or even being considered a brand journalist. But, as content marketing grows as a revenue stream and a way for organizations to reach their audience, more journalists will have the opportunity to write branded content and see that there are many benefits to this form of journalism.
Many journalists have already made the switch to brand journalism, such as Michelle Kessler, who was previously an editor at USA Today and is now the director of content strategy at Qualcomm, and Hamish McKenzie, who went from being a reporter for PandoDaily to the lead writer for Tesla Motors.
Brand journalism is when a business creates content that helps educate its audience about its industry and expertise without directly referencing its products or services. This content can then be distributed on the brand’s channels, within a publication as native advertising, or across other channels.
The following are some benefits of becoming a brand journalist:
A brand journalist has the opportunity to closely align with advertising professionals to uphold the editorial voice and style of the brand or publication while also catering to the needs of the advertiser’s audience.
This collaboration doesn’t typically coexist in traditional journalism, so brand journalists have to have a better understanding of how to create content with amplification in mind.
Distribution is the other half of the formula for creating successful content. You can better inform your future editorial work through the knowledge gained from working with advertisers and creating brand-focused content.
Writers use their bylines from major publications to add to their credibility and showcase their experience. This can open up doors for writing for other blogs and publications. As a brand journalist, you’ll have the opportunity to write for major brands across industries, which can help boost your reputation.
Many well-known brands carry the same authority as major publications, which can help you build a more engaging personal brand and a well-rounded portfolio that may lead to more editorial work in the future.
As a brand journalist, you’ll be able to apply traditional journalistic techniques to new, innovative projects and complex challenges when working with businesses to help craft their content.
Brand journalists collaborate with advertisers, brands, and other editorial staff to work on projects such as blog posts, e-books, white papers, on-site and ad copy, sponsored content, and more. This will give you experience working on different types of content marketing suited to a variety of audiences, which will broaden your skillset with new challenges.
For example, if an organization decides to partner with Mashable to create and distribute their content more effectively, writers have an opportunity to create different forms of custom content, infographics, immersive content, Google Hangouts, contests and challenges, custom landing pages, videos, interview series, community initiatives, and more.
On both sides of this partnership, there are widespread opportunities to work on a range of content programs to fulfill different goals and see what works best when reaching and engaging your audience.
By consistently working on branded content campaigns to reach your audience, you’re able to better understand your readers. Therefore, you can create more compelling content for them in the future. This approach to content allows you to better understand the audience you are writing for and fully embrace the specific messaging you are using to reach it. By doing this, you have the exciting challenge of finding the most engaging and informative way of creating, crafting, and distributing valuable content to engage your readers.
As you continue to measure the results of your content efforts on a regular basis, you’ll be able to see where traffic is coming from, how engaged someone is with your content, whether they converted, and more. These metrics will help you develop a stronger understanding of your audience and broaden the horizons of your career as a writer.
What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of writing content for businesses? What is your favorite example of successful branded content? Share your thoughts in the comments below.