10 Journalism Skills Every Content Marketer Needs

Written content is one of the essential parts of a content marketing strategy. Well written content has been identified to one of the most important steps in generating leads and converting them into customers. Blogging, one of the most popular forms of written content, is very effective for companies that are doing it the right way. According to studies, it has been shown that marketers that make blogging or written content a priority are about 13 times more likely to get a positive return on their investment, as compared to those who don’t.

Although you might save some money, preparing and writing your content, however, you’d get the result if you outsource this job to marketers that have a journalism background or skills.  This is why journalism skills are crucial to content making for marketing purposes. This piece would focus on some of the important journalism skills every content marketer need.

             Journalism Skills That Can Improve Your Content Creation

  1. The use of the Five  “Ws” and “How”: Every journalist learns to rely on the five Ws and How. The five Ws stands for the following:
  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why and lastly
  • How

Journalists make use of these words in gathering information, and also in carrying out the research world. It’s a tool they learn to use, even from day one. Interviews mostly take place on mobile phones, skype calls, chat and so on. However, having a face-to-face interview is the best form of an interview, as you also get to study the body reaction of whoever you’d be interviewing. When carrying out research and making use of these words, you’d have all the materials needed to answer questions and solve problems, which are the two main elements to any content marketing campaign. For you to have a successful online platform, such as a blog, service page, infographic page and so on, you must endeavor to answer all the questions based on the 5WH. The most important of the words are the who, what, why and how. Your content will fail to resonate with the reader if it doesn’t provide the answers to these questions. It’s important to train your freelance writers, the use of the 5WH. It’s easy and simple to use, but really effective in getting across all the information that needs to be in the content you’re providing.

2. Credibility and being factually correct: One of the skills that earn journalists respect, is their ability to report factual content.

Providing factual contents gives your brand credibility, and also gives you a long career. The best journalists don’t just put out information, but checks several times, before releasing them, regardless of the source of information. Content marketing that is based on loose facts will immediately dilute the authority of the content, and also of the brand that is hosting the content. This is why it’s important always to endeavor to have good credibility, and it starts with the type of content you put out.

3. Clarity: This is one of the skills that makes journalists vastly appreciated. They have the ability to deliver their message and content in a way that can be understood by everyone. Clarity means clearly answering the 5 W’s and How while avoiding any jargon that might not be understood by the common man. As an illustration, if writing for a medical journal and your audience is mainly physicians, then you are free to write medical jargons. Same applies to another field, such as business, where you’re allowed to write business terms. Overall, journalists understand clarity, and this is an important tool for content creation and marketing.

4. Balance: A lot of blogs don’t waste any time before they start discussing their company, what they do, rewards, and so on. However, there should be a balance. It’s important to focus on the needs of the readers and at the same time, not forgetting to expose your products and services too. Journalists are good at finding a balance. They endeavor to cover all the sides of a story while conveying credible messages. Balance the needs of your audience, and that of the company is important to have long-term success.

5. Know what your audience wants: One of the first things you must do is to understand your audience. No one knows this better than a journalist. Knowing your audience would help to know the right words to use. However, not understanding your audience would render all your efforts useless. Good journalists are trained to understand their audience and write for them. They have a lot of tools to find their target audience and all the questions that are being asked.

6. Storytelling: Journalists are known to be good at telling stories, in captivating ways. The society thrives on storytelling. Your business can create a storyline that offers valuable information to readers across various mediums. This could be through your blog, social media platform, and so on. Journalists hone their storytelling skills every day. You should also do this with your business.

7. Deadlines: Deadlines are important, and you must learn to keep to them. You must learn this skill, as it’d force you to focus and think clearer to get the best work completed in the least amount of time. Creating contents and delivering them before the deadlines will give you good credibility.

8. Learn to deal with a process that’s controlled by editors: It’s important to have a systematic editorial process if you’re serious about content creation. This applies for any type of content production, including blogs, video content, infographics and so on. As an illustration, some blog writing projects may have to go through various layers, with different editors, such as

  • SEO provides keyword research
  • Content strategist
  • SEO provides guidelines with target keywords
  • Writing process
  • First editing process
  • SEO enhancement
  • Final on-page SEO/editing process

9. Consistent content: It’s important to be consistent in putting out good contents. As an illustration, if you own a social media platform, you should endeavor to put out contents multiple times, not only to retain your followers but also to grow your network and drive traffic to your page.

10. Focus: You should try to focus on real work, and do away with distractions.

References

10 Journalism Skills Every Content Marketer Needs. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/journalism-skills-content-marketers-need/294127/

Content Marketers Desperately Need More Journalists. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.curata.com/blog/content-marketers-need-journalists/

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