Brand Journalism

Stories connect.

We remember stories. We share stories. They cut through our cluttered lives, evoking emotions and inspiring action.

Every company has a story to tell and those who do it well build trust, loyalty and visibility. People listen to them,  instead of reflexively tuning them out.

Each of us is bombarded by 577 new marketing messages each week, according to a Transparent Marketing article by MarketingExperiments. But we retain less than 1 percent.

You cannot “push” your products because cynical consumers reflexively reject messaging that lumps them in with the amorphous masses. But you can “pull” in customers by demonstrating that you understand their particular problems, and showing that you can provide solutions.

Brand journalism is not about you. It’s about your customers.  Engage your customers by telling stories that are :

Relevant. Demonstrating your knowledge of your audience shows you care. Ask yourself the same questions a reporter would, online marketer Jayson DeMers advises in Forbes . Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Credible. Forget fluff. Facts matter. Prove your points rather than puffing up your products.  People consider academics and experts to be “the most trusted source of information about companies,” according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer. Technical experts and “a person like yourself” are close behind.

Sharable. Don’t promote. Inform. Consumers share helpful information, so concentrate on educating your customers. Sixty percent of consumers are more likely to share the messages of brands that integrate social experiences into digital properties like their web sites, according to research by Mass Relevance, a social curation and integration company.

Recognizing the ability to differentiate themselves and the power of having consumers advocating on their behalf by sharing the stories they tell, companies are increasing investing in content marketing. Overall, marketing spending increased by 13.7 percent overall in 2013, with branded content accounting for 37 percent of the total, according to a study by the Custom Content Council.

Don’t get lost in the din.  Write your story.

“Brand journalism combines real reporting and lively storytelling (that’s the journalism), with your organization’s experts and experiences (that’s the branding).”  – Ragan Communications

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