Here’s why potential customers can’t hear you
Brand journalism, by definition, is the application of journalism to a brand communication strategy. It demands consistent production and publication of content of journalistic quality that is related to the brand story. Content should be relevant, fact-checked, well-written, edited, and consistently updated.
Brand journalism has become vital to brands, which are faced with a consumer market that is more engaged in digital spaces yet overly informed. Consumers are wary of fake stories and too-good-to-be-true brand promises. As fake news and filter bubbles water down and filter content users find online, brands are faced with a threat or an opportunity: get ignored or become the experts.
Here’s what you can be doing to get your audience to listen and become an expert:
- Prove expertise on a particular topic: Effective brand journalism integrates breaking news to leverage the brand’s position (e.g. a car company discussing emissions and using trending news topics to showcase their hybrid efforts). A content manager can use the news preempt questions, share and shed a positive light on information that may influence the way customers engage with a product or service, and become a referenced source of information on their sector of activity. You become the expert when customers look to you for more information on breaking news.
- Anticipate engagement by tracking trends: In order to preempt engagement, content managers should keep an eye on what articles are getting the most shares, what keywords are being used, and what sources are most referenced and integrate these elements into their own content. The brand’s expertise and leadership in their sector (e.g. the automobile industry) shine when the content attracts engagement and shares.
- Always tell the truth: One bad story can ruin your credibility. Your information sources should always be verified. This often requires searching websites for the “about me,” double checking URLs, and fact checking against other articles on the same topics. Once sources are verified, stay as close as possible to the discourse. Quotes should always be used in context and facts should be consistent. In an ideal situation, brand journalism should be practiced by a trained journalist. However, selection of journalistic content with verified sources is the best alternative.
When the brand becomes the editor and claims full ownership of the codes and practices of the media, the brand practices “brand journalism.”
Now is the time for brands to harness the power of brand journalism to distinguish themselves as experts, boost engagement, and lead the fight against fake news. Brands can easily integrate brand journalism and remain relevant to their audiences with a solution like my editorializer, equipped with the data, trend surveillance, content, and inspiration, the unique marriage of journalism and technology.