From Good to Epic: The Principles of Journalism Applied To Content Marketing


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Plenty of so-called journalistic tasks and methods have already infiltrated marketing departments and agencies in recent years. The majority of content marketers are maintaining editorial calendars, adhering to style guides and turning their teams into newsrooms for their brands.

Yes, this has enabled marketers to pump out content more efficiently. But hasn’t necessarily helped them do it effectively. Uberflip's latest visual examines the essential principles that drive journalists to produce amazing content and what marketers should learn from them.


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From Good to Epic: The Principles of Journalism Applied To Content Marketing

  1. From Good To Epic The Principles Of Journalism Applied to Content Marketing
  2. Plenty of so-called journalistic practices have infiltrated marketing departments in recent years.
  3. Marketers are employing editorial calendars
  4. Marketers are employing style guides
  5. Marketers are employing entire brand journalism teams and  
  6. While brands are pumping out content more efficiently, they’re not necessarily doing it more effectively.
  7. As described by the world’s top universities, here’s how marketers can apply the principles of journalism to their own work – lessons from content experts.
  8. Respect for the truth
  9. “Journalists must pursue the truth in a practical sense. This ‘journalistic truth’ is a process that begins with the professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts… Journalists should be as transparent as possible about sources and methods so audiences can make their own assessment of the information.” Principle #1: Source: Pew Research  
  10. This is a golden rule for journalists, and should be for content marketers, as well. Your credibility and your company’s reputation are at stake.
  11. Loyalty to the people
  12. “While news organizations answer to many constituencies, including advertisers and shareholders, the journalists in those organizations must maintain allegiance to citizens and the larger public interest. This commitment to citizens first is the basis of a news organization’s credibility.” Principle #2: Source: Pew Research  
  13. Every piece of content you create as a marketer exists to serve a business goal, but it's guaranteed to fail if it doesn't ultimately serve your audience’s needs in the process.
  14. Discipline for verification
  15. “This discipline of verification is what separates journalism from other modes of communication, such as propaganda, fiction or entertainment.” Principle #3: Source: Pew Research  
  16. Journalism involves research, interviews, fact checking and then rechecking. Your content creation should be no different.
  17. Do your research, get your facts right, include links to your sources, and double check all before you publish. Accuracy is vital.
  18. Independence from what they cover
  19. “Independence is an underlying requirement of journalism, a cornerstone of its reliability… While editorialists and commentators are not neutral, the source of their credibility is still their accuracy, intellectual fairness and ability to inform–not their devotion to a certain group or outcome.” Principle #4: Source: Pew Research  
  20. The value of a whitepaper, eBook or other content asset naturally diminishes if it is perceived as nothing more than glorified marketing collateral.
  21. Third-party gated content assets tend to generate more downloads, and also produce better leads, on average, than company-branded content assets.
  22. Monitor reality
  23. “Communicators have an obligation to protect freedom by not demeaning it in frivolous use or exploiting it for commercial gain.” Principle #5: Source: Pew Research  
  24. Yes, your ultimate goal is to sell. But content marketing is a marathon, not a short sprint. Your real goal is to create better customers over the long term.
  25. Provide a public forum
  26. “Accuracy and truthfulness require that as framers of the public discussion we not neglect the points of common ground where problem solving occurs.” Principle #6: Source: Pew Research  
  27. Sometimes marketers forget about their audience and talk to the CEO or to themselves. They end up slipping into the corporate voice. Do that, and watch your audience slip away.
  28. Make the significant interesting
  29. “For its own survival, it must balance what readers know they want with what they cannot anticipate but need. In short, it must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant. The effectiveness of a piece of journalism is measured both by how much a work engages its audience and enlightens it.” Principle #7: Source: Pew Research  
  30. Journalists can find a good story in a sea of information and distill it into something that the reader wants to stay with. Your content should be every bit as riveting.
  31. Keep content comprehensive and proportional
  32. “Journalism is a form of cartography: it creates a map for citizens to navigate society. Inflating events for sensation, neglecting others, stereotyping or being disproportionately negative all make a less reliable map. The map is only an analogy; proportion and comprehensiveness are subjective, yet their elusiveness does not lessen their significance.” Principle #8: Source: Pew Research  
  33. Your content should always be comprehensive at every level. From individual pieces to your overall strategy, you must effectively describe the reality of your industry.
  34. Exercise personal conscience
  35. “Each of us must be willing, if fairness and accuracy require, to voice differences with our colleagues, whether in the newsroom or the executive suite… This stimulates the intellectual diversity necessary to understand and accurately cover an increasingly diverse society. It is this diversity of minds and voices, not just numbers, that matters.” Principle #9: Source: Pew Research  
  36. It might seem difficult to always produce content that is accurate, balanced, interesting, and focused on your audience.
  37. But content marketers must remain close to these values. In the end, this is the only way to make your audience trust your content, share it, and ultimately become loyal customers.
  38. WANT TO GET MORE OUT OF YOUR CONTENT MARKETING? Increase readers, subscribers and leads with Uberflip START A FREE TRIAL