Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How journalists can establish their personal brand for content marketing success 

One way for journalists, and really just about anyone, to get into content marketing is by having a strong brand. Of course the first step in getting a strong brand is to build one – in part through participation.

There are certainly many self-proclaimed experts out there who don’t practice what they preach but somehow ended up with a decent brand. One way actual experts can set themselves apart from that is by participating in the channels that we preach about for our clients and companies to use.

Many journalists already have a public brand. People knew me already when I was in journalism. They knew my byline. They saw me on TV from time to time talking about a newspaper story I wrote. Some even saw me out in the community reporting stories.

I had a brand and it was before Twitter. Facebook was only for college students then. 

Of course, journalists building their brand still have to do it in-line with what they are currently doing: Journalism.

But journalism work certainly offers plenty of opportunities to blog – maybe on the company’s site, maybe on their own site. Certainly, they want to be careful with the topics, but there are always stories that can be shared from a personal perspective. Tell those. Somewhere.

Participate in new and emerging technologies like Periscope, the livestreaming app, or Facebook Live. Don’t just set the phone down and show the TV studio without conversation. That’s not engagement and could be seen as  lame.

Share things (and not just links) on other networks – like Twitter and Facebook. Respond to people. Interestingly, responding to people is still a differentiator. When journalists respond to me I still am surprised and appreciate  the response.  Many still don’t respond.

Trying other new technologies right away can also help establish the journalist as a go-getter and somebody who is keeping an eye out for the latest trends. That’s something journalists should be doing anyway and content marketers do as well to tell the best stories and distribute them in the most effective way.

And while these tactics might not be able to be passed off as content marketing – because they aren’t content marketing – building a strong brand and having used similar tactics before can help journalists make the transition to content marketing journalist. At the least they can point to useful examples in job interviews.

Finally, journalists who tell the best stories, go beyond just reporting what the news releases spit out and are always pursuing the truth can easily establish themselves as great authentic storytellers. Being known for telling great stories can help journalists be better journalists now and ultimately make the jump to content marketing – if they want to. 

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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