As a writer who tackles brand journalism assignments regularly, this type of content feels like a clever hybrid of traditional journalism and marketing writing.
Aspects of Journalism
Most brand journalism assignments start with research. Whether it’s basic background information, light research or conducting interviews, this type of writing is studded with expert insight, statistics and factual, credible information.
Some brand journalism assignments come together much like a feature story in the local newspaper. Quotes are used. Sidebars with additional information may be inserted to give the piece extra visuals. Multiple sources are often cited within the text.
A Marketing Approach
Brand journalism isn’t written for a newspaper or magazine. Instead, the publisher is a company with a specific agenda, or marketing campaign.
The content might be published on the company’s websites, blog or social media channels.
In essence, brands are no longer knocking at the doors of newspaper offices, hoping to get a mention in exchange for buying an ad. Brands are now becoming publishers themselves.
Unlike journalism, the writing is not unbiased. The content usually puts the client in a positive light, or leads the reader to think more about the client as a possible solution to their problem.
Brand journalism pieces will never lead the reader to look at a competitor’s products or services.
An Example of Brand Journalism
One client I work with regularly is Care.com. The articles I write for this company are researched, backed with insight from experts and utilize quotes. The pieces offer helpful advice and tips for parents, pet owners and caretakers for the elderly.
Within the articles, links direct readers back to services offered by Care.com. This is a gentle way to let readers know what a business offers, without being direct and saying “You need this.”
Instead, brand journalism offers value, assistance and even a new perspective to look at a question or topic. The marketing aspect of the writing gently persuades you, as a reader, to consider becoming a consumer.
Here are a few articles that explain how to take care of your pet, with information backed by credible sources. Look closely, and you’ll also notice the pieces give readers a nudge to consider the client’s pet care services.
- Dog Anxiety 101: How to Help Your Pet Gain Confidence
- How Serious is Bloat in Dogs?
- Keeping Canine Teeth Healthy — The 5 Best and Worst Chews for Your Dog
Brand journalism is written with a specific agenda in mind. The client, or company, who commissioned the article wants to highlight a specific product or service and engage with their audience by providing insightful, helpful information.
As companies build relationships with their readers, they gain respect and become trusted authorities in their field, which paves the way for future sales.
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