Brand journalism is a form of custom content creation that can power news content marketing, more focused on industry trends and developments than strictly promotional copy. It aims to put a brand in conversation with larger industry issues to show thought leadership or expertise rather than simply promote specific products or services.
As content marketing investments grow, developing articles that inform rather than promote appeals to prospects and is rewarded by search engines. Essentially, the practice requires businesses to think like publishers, taking an editorial approach to brand building through consistent content creation about trends in a sector. While business’ brand journalism goals vary – from increasing awareness to building trust and generating sales, – it is becoming an increasingly popular and mainstream method of building a corporate web presence.
Brand journalism adoption and audiences
Sixty percent of businesses of B2B marketers plan to increase their use of content marketing in 2012, and a number are already working with journalists and established content writers to create compelling content. As B2B and B2C companies are looking to position themselves as thought leaders in their industries, strong brand journalism that incorporates high-caliber content is a good path.
Rising adoption caters to the growing pool of consumers who are willing to have industry conversations with businesses. Kyle Monson, former tech journalist and editor at PC Magazine, says “At its most basic level, brand journalism involves honest brand storytelling that invites audiences to participate.”
Brand journalism is becoming an effective component of content marketing for both B2C companies and B2B marketers. According to a report from Google, the average consumer accesses at least 10 sources before making a purchase on the web.
Brand journalism and SEO
Quality brand journalism draws on the best practices of content writing that are necessary for search presence (among other benefits). When properly incorporated into a content marketing strategy, brand journalism results in content for readers rather than search crawlers while still achieving SEO keyword inclusion organically in the posts. Although content should be created from the perspective of a brand and with search-friendly (and product-friendly) keywords in mind, the information should be laid out in a valuable, credible format, such as news articles or essays.
The quality demanded from search engines to boost a website’s SERP standing has resulted in businesses using qualified journalists and content writers, whether internal or outsourced, to develop their brand content.
Additionally, the freshness of content produced as part of brand journalism initiatives has search benefits. Google factors the timeliness of content and its query relevance into rankings. As much as 35 percent of searches are impacted by the company’s “freshness algorithm.” Consistent brand journalism ensures that a company’s website is frequently updated with relevant articles most likely to contain keywords searched by prospects.