As a multimedia journalist transfer to the world of marketing and advertising, I can say with confidence and experience that there are many crossovers between the world of journalism and the world of marketing. I can also say that both worlds can learn from each other as well.

While I could go on about how and in what ways journalists could learn from marketers, I’d like this particular post to focus on how marketers and advertisers can learn from journalists.

Fact of the matter is journalists are some of the most powerful storytellers in the world. They serve as a voice to the people– whether it’s an individual or group. They have the drive to follow a story from start to finish– and go over it multiple times to make sure it’s the best that can be done. And they craft the best way in which to tell that story, so it can be consumed in the way it was meant to be. what does any of that have to do with marketing, though?

Thanks for asking. By getting into the mindset of a journalist, and opening yourself up to greater conversation, figuring out the root of problems and researching the best way to deliver a message, the content your marketing team is churning out will resonate more and better with your audiences, therefore getting them to fill out a form or become a lead without thinking twice.

Here are the top 3 ways to start moving your marketing mindset to one of a journalist, so you can market like a journalist:

  1. Do Your Research

  2. Create Multiple Access Points

  3. Stay Genuine

Do Your Research

This is more than noticing your direct competitor has a podcast, so you should have a podcast. This is more than deciding to use a woman of color in content imagery over a white man because you need to show diversity. This is more than passing out socks at your trade show booth to compete with the hats your competitors are passing out.

Doing your research means it’s time for you to break out of the comfort zone of looking at which keywords you’re ranking for and deciding to write a blog about it. Instead, try doing what a journalist would: Dig into what else is trending on the internet for those keywords. Talk to departments in your organization about why those terms may be hitting, and then ask what would be important for you and your team to highlight in order to be as helpful as possible.

When it comes to doing your research, go beyond the spreadsheets. Go beyond Salesforce. Talk to people. Understand their stories.

Create Multiple Access Points

At the end of the day, a journalist’s goal is to have their story heard, and one of the best ways they ensure that, is by providing as many access points to that story as possible.

Whether it’s a graphic of a powerful quote from the article that’s tweeted out with a link to the full story, or a video embedded in the digital story to elicit further emotion or connect on a deeper level with the audience, journalists tell their stories full circle.

With the internet providing a slough of distractions, in order for your story to be told or your content to be seen, you need to put it in as many access points as possible.

Stay Genuine

In a world of automated-everything and digital-anything, people crave genuine, trusted messages and content from other people. Journalism is powerful storytelling because the stories are coming from the minds of real people…not automated services.

While automated marketing and sales emails might be easier for your team to create and disperse, bulk messaging limits your ability to honestly connect with another person. It’s important to go the extra mile and prioritize a one-on-one type of connection.

For example, I don’t know about you, but I cringe at every sales email I receive, because I know it’s one of many that were imported into a bulk email list and sent out to hope that I’d buy whatever “Sid from CompanyX” is selling.

Like many things in this world, technology plays a huge role in storytelling, journalism and marketing. And if you want your message to resonate with other humans, you need to talk to them like humans. Not some line in a bulk email spreadsheet.

While this may be the first time I discuss the strong tie to journalism marketing has, it certainly won’t be the last. But until next time, I challenge marketers to take a step back, do some research on what really makes journalism the world’s most powerful form of storytelling and move forward with a genuine mindset to #MarketLikeAJournalist.

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