Content Marketing - a great opportunity for journalists.


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Presentation from Susan Johnston, freelance journalist, and Tom Musbach, director of content marketing at, given to journalists at the NLGJA convention in Boston, Aug. 24, 2013.

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  • As a job field – this didn’t exist 10 years ago!
  • Reporters/correspondents to decline 6% in 2010-2020 period (OOH)
  • Recall of Dole salad bags; Supreme Court decision
  • Webinars, speeches, white papers,ebooks
  • Social media is a HUGE component of content marketing today.
  • Photos are key!!
  • Content Marketing - a great opportunity for journalists.

    1. 1.  Content Marketing: The New Opportunity for Journalists Tom Musbach Director of Content Marketing, Susan Johnston Freelance Journalist
    2. 2. Agenda • Tom’s story • What is (and is not) content marketing? • Growth of content marketing • The journalist’s big advantages • Case study and current examples (social media) • Susan’s story • Branded journalism – examples • Are you selling out? • What else journalists bring to the table • Key skills, tools, and resources to know about • Q&A
    3. 3. Who am I? Tom Musbach @TomMusbach Director of Content Marketing, (1.5 years) • Create and manage Wisdom Wire blog • Manage and create content for all social media channels • Coordinate webinar series Senior Editor, (5 years) • Yahoo! HotJobs (editor and spokesman) • Yahoo! Front Page team (syndicated version, Trending Now and Video modules) • Yahoo! Small Business (blog and content programs) Blogger on career issues – (7 years)
    4. 4. What is content marketing? While there are many definitions of this relatively new discipline, here is a common one that is most accurate: Content marketing is communicating with an audience (of potential and/or customers) in a way that: 1 – The audience enjoys paying attention to, and 2 – Demonstrates that you’d be a good person/organization to do business with. How?
    5. 5. The emerging brand paradigm: “Think like a publisher!” These and countless other brands have blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, and more. … And they are all driven by CONTENT!
    6. 6. What content marketing is NOT… (Am I going to the Dark Side?) • Writing press releases • Pitching journalists or working media relations • Writing copy for ads or marketing brochures • Creating sales materials • Writing FAQs or product descriptions Flickr: Jeremy Keith
    7. 7. Content marketing is growing While many jobs in traditional journalism are disappearing, jobs in the content/content marketing field are on the rise. Using LinkedIn, the Content Marketing Institute found an “explosion” of people with “content” in their job titles. And these “skills” increases in the past year: • Content marketing – up 23% • Branded content development – up 12% • Content strategy – up 16%
    8. 8. Content marketing is growing And journalists are poised to take advantage of this! Why?… Source: Demand Metric
    9. 9. It’s all about stories!
    10. 10. The journalist’s big advantages They know not only how to write/tell stories, they also: • Find new and interesting angles to a story. • Draw connections and put stories in context. • Know how to get to the essence of a brand (who, what, when, where, why, how). • Write to a specific audience & have a point of view. • Know how to write within voice and brand guidelines.
    11. 11. The jolt from Coke’s ‘Content 2020’ Two years ago Coca-Cola made a huge investment in developing content excellence through stories as a major marketing strategy. The strategy -- laid out in an engaging, animated 2-part video – has influenced countless brands in their approach to content. For more, visit:
    12. 12. Case study:
    13. 13. Content pillar:WisdomWire blog Daily Answer (spotlight from the Q&A archive):
    14. 14. Content pillar:WisdomWire blog Seasonal features & articles from professionals:
    15. 15. Creative trend: Newsjacking Use content to piggyback on timely/trending news stories:
    16. 16. Other types of content Webinars (audio/video) featuring professionals on
    17. 17.’s Social Media Presence (in addition toWisdomWire blog) Facebook Twitter Google + YouTube Pinterest LinkedIn SlideShare
    18. 18. Other examples: Social media WyzAnt – Facebook slide show Oreo - Twitter - Pinterest
    19. 19. Example: Infographic
    20. 20. Example: Pop culture/timely
    21. 21. Example: Pop culture/timely
    22. 22.  What is brand journalism? See also: content marketing or branded content Brands are increasingly recognizing the value of storytelling and investing in reportage that complements the products or services they provide. Examples:
    23. 23. Who am I? Susan Johnston, @UrbanMuseWriter Boston-based freelancer for 5.5 years Beats • Personal finance • Small business • Entrepreneurship Traditional journalism credits • The Boston Globe and The Boston Globe Magazine • The Christian Science Monitor • Parade Magazine Brand journalism credits •’s HappenMag • Intuit (Intuit Small Business Blog and • American Express (,
    24. 24. Article Example #1: Client: Readers: Consumers interested in personal finance who may or may not use Mint to track their money Covered: What consumers should know about workplace compensation, benefits and more Sources: Data and interviews with experts from three workplace consulting firms
    25. 25. Article Example #2: Client: Intuit Small Business Blog Readers: Small business owners who may or may not use Intuit’s payroll products Covered: Tips for small business owners considering hiring through Craigslist Sources: Craigslist company fact sheet and interviews with three small business owners
    26. 26. Article Example #3: Client: Readers: Single people who may or may not have a profile Covered: Tips for dating a pet- owner if you aren’t an animal lover yourself (or you’re allergic) Sources: Survey data from and Associated Press, interviews with three real people and two experts
    27. 27. Is brand journalism selling out? Not necessarily. Smart brands understand: • Readers want valuable content that doesn’t mention the brand in ways that feel forced. • Salesy copy may turn off potential customers instead of convincing them to buy, while well-written content can help build trust in the brand. • The principles of good journalism (careful sourcing and fact-checking, attention to news hooks, etc) still apply.
    28. 28. What do journalists bring to the table? • An understanding of what makes a compelling story. • An innate sense of how to create a narrative arc. • An ability to parse information for a layperson or niche audience. • A knack for finding and interviewing real people and expert sources. • (In some cases) a large readership in social media or elsewhere.
    29. 29. What are the job titles in this space? • Content strategist • Brand storyteller • Chief content officer • Social media director  Sometimes brand journalism is farmed out to an agency that subcontracts assignments to freelancers or the in-house content person might manage a team of freelancers.
    30. 30. What do brand journalists need to know? • Not all brands give complete editorial control; for instance, they may not want a competitor quoted on their website and they certainly won’t want a story that runs counter to the brand’s core values. • If you’re freelancing for a brand, most contracts are work for hire agreements, meaning they can use your content however they’d like and may or may not provide a byline. • Because of the channels required for approval, most brands focus on trends, analysis, or evergreen content rather than covering breaking news. • Publishing content isn’t a brand’s top priority, so priorities and timelines can shift.
    31. 31. Key skills/tools you’ll need for success • Blogging • Social media expertise • Photo and video familiarity • SEO (key is great content, headline, scannable) • Interviewing (also good for webinars, videos) • Long-form articles (white papers/ebooks, speeches) • Thought leadership • KPIs – Google Analytics and other measuring tools
    32. 32. Great resources to help develop skills Content Marketing Institute Copyblogger (great for SEO) LinkedIn MediaBistro
    33. 33. Q&A Thank you! Tom Musbach @TomMusbach, Susan Johnston, @UrbanMuseWriter #NLGJA13