Find Your TRUTH: How to Think Like a Journalist In the Content Marketing Era

By Alicia Esposito

We’ve all heard that in order to engage and differentiate, we need to shift from a brand- and product-focused mindset, to a customer-focused mindset. This also includes altering our storytelling practices to be more educational, inspirational and even journalistic.

For many, completely rethinking our creative process, from our content messaging to our design process and campaign strategies, is easier said than done. But during the Inbounder World Tour stop in New York City, brand content consultant Melanie Deziel offered some tactical tips and best practices to help marketers think more like journalists.

Over the course of her career, Melanie has become a trailblazer in native advertising — a trend we’re seeing more and more in the B2B marketing world. She has collaborated with several native advertising divisions from top publications, including The New York Times’ T Brand Studio, HuffPost Partner Studio, and Time Inc’s portfolio of 35+ media properties. She currently writes for Inc. Magazine and, therefore, has an interesting perspective for brands that are trying to stand out, win buyer attention and even seek editorial coverage.

“When you’re in journalism you tell objective stories,” Melanie explained. “When you’re in advertising, you’re usually trying to interrupt someone trying to do something else with information they may not be looking for.”

The key to turning the traditional content marketing model upside down, is TRUTH, which stands for:

  • Timely
  • Reputable
  • Unique
  • Tension
  • Human Condition

Beyond the catchy acronym, brands need to remember that in the end, the truth will always prevail. No brand wants their advertising lumped in with the “interruptive, self-serving stories,” Melanie explained. “In the age of fake news, we need to tell the truth.”

Embrace the TRUTH

For the remainder of her presentation, Melanie dove into each component of TRUTH and offered some tactical tips for marketers.

TIMELY: Perhaps the easiest to embrace, timeliness means B2B marketers should look to current events, timely trends and even seasons and holidays to conjure up top-of-mind story ideas and even content topics. Of course, this doesn’t mean brands need to hop on the latest political news updates; instead, they should focus on timely trends that impact their buyers. Melanie pointed to data security as an important trend that certain brands can speak to and be a part of the conversations buyers are having.

If you need to navigate a lot of internal red tape and legal requirements within your company, you can focus on more evergreen topics that teach buyers, according to Melanie. Do-it-yourself content and how-to resources are a great way to teach your audience and highlight your brand’s knowledge and authority.

REPUTABLE: All great content is derived from thought leader insights. Leverage internal or third-party experts that your audience trusts so your content has journalistic integrity. Relevant research and case studies are also great for integrating outside perspectives. However, Melanie noted that it’s important to have a diverse mix of sources “When you’re going through that process, make sure you’re doing it in a Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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