Today’s marketers are faced with the often exciting (and sometimes frightening) realization that digital never sleeps, and that slow and methodical execution is no longer an option. They’ve had to accept that yesterday’s interruptive marketing tactics are less effective because consumers can now seek out information on their own terms.
To keep up with both the speed at which technology moves and the way in which consumers want to be communicated with, many marketing departments have reshuffled their operations to adopt a brand journalism approach. But what exactly is brand journalism, and what are brands doing to adapt to the new landscape?
Brand Journalism Defined
The term “brand journalism” has been around for a long time, but it grew to buzzword-status in marketing circles in 2012 – about the same time Twitter hit the 100 million user mark. It refers simply to marketing that uses publishing and storytelling – not PR/advertising – as the primary means for connecting with target audiences.
The Rise of Brand Journalism
Brands Now Own Their Platforms and Audiences
It might come as a surprise to some of our younger readers, but there was indeed a time when even the largest corporations depended solely on outside platforms (newspaper, television, radio) to distribute their messages. Now, brand content can be published instantly to a brand’s website, social media platform, or distributed via email. With all the time and energy saved on media pitching and competing for ad space, marketers reallocated their time to produce stories that could be told in their own words, on their own platforms, in real-time.
More Content = More Impact
Another reason brands are focusing more on publishing and storytelling is the simple fact that the more quality content your brand can produce and publish, the better positioned you are to increase web traffic through search and thereby generate more leads and ultimately drive more sales. The best way to begin producing content for your brand is to write one blog post for every question that a potential prospect might have about your organization.
Video Storytelling Connects with People
Today, people spend more time consuming digital video content than they do content on social media. But it’s not video advertising they’re interested in – it’s video storytelling. Video and storytelling go hand-in-hand because video combines audio, video, images and graphics, which are all effective cues for your audience.
We’ve seen brands like Budweiser, EDEKA, Nature Valley and Heineken strike storytelling gold with video, each of which are reminders that if you want to engage your audience, you have to think less like an advertiser and more like a journalist or storyteller.
Jumping up and down telling people how good your company is used to be the method of choice, but it no longer is effective. So start publishing. Start telling stories. And start connecting with your audience.