Creating Journalistic Content: Intelligent Content Conference 2014 (Jon Wuebben)


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Learn how to write content with journalistic flair!

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Creating Journalistic Content: Intelligent Content Conference 2014 (Jon Wuebben)

  1. 1. High Quality, High Value Content: Using a Journalistic Approach to Dominate Your Industry with Content that People Want Jon Wuebben CEO, Content Launch
  2. 2. Content Launch – Who are We? •  We develop high quality, search engine optimized, sharable content that converts •  300 U.S. based writers who know SEO and content strategy – all major industries represented, B2B, B2C, non-profits and government •  An alternative to “crowd-sourced” content where quality suffers •  Partnerships with over 200 agencies and 50 companies •  Also provide content strategy consultation •  Founded in 2003
  3. 3. What is Going on Out There? •  Qualcomm hired a reporter from USA Today •  GE and LinkedIn hired journalists from Forbes •  Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, two big venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, hired journalists from the Wall Street Journal and Wired •  Cisco has over 15 journalists contributing to its technology news site, The Network •  IBM recruited Ben Edwards, a former reporter at The Economist, as their VP of Global Communications to help grow its Smarter Planet property.
  4. 4. The Times They Are a Changing… •  Is it marketing or media or something new? •  Why? Because business itself is changing. Companies aren't focused on one-off transactions, they need to build relationships. They don't have customers; they have subscribers. •  33% of total marketing budgets were spent on content marketing last year •  26% increase from the year before, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
  5. 5. The Media Business is Changing Too •  There were more than 8,960 layoffs and buyouts at U.S. newspapers in the last three years, according to Paper Cuts. •  Jobs for reporters will decline another 6 percent by 2020. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) •  Many reporters see that traditional journalism is on life support at best, and they’re ready to reinvent themselves as content marketers. •  Freelance Success – Has a special forum strictly for writers looking for marketing communications/corporate gigs
  6. 6. Media vs. Non-Media: The Financial Reality •  Media companies will never have the resources of non-media companies. • can outspend and out-content Forbes. •  Apple can buy The New York Times if they want to. •  Jeff Bezos (Amazon) bought the Washington Post What Separates Content Developed by a Media Company & Content Developed by Brands? •  For a media company, content is created to make money directly from the creation of content through paid content sales (direct purchase of content, like a subscription) or advertising sales •  For a non-media company content is created to attract and retain customers (sell more). Content supports the business, but is not THE business model
  7. 7. Who's Good at Building an Audience of Subscribers & Keeping them Informed & Engaged? •  People from the editorial side of the media business -reporters, journalists, editors, producers, photographers, art directors. •  Some companies build a news operation simply because they operate in areas that the mainstream press doesn't cover very much •  Semiconductors and microelectronics (chip-makers IBM, Intel, nVidia and Qualcomm all run newsrooms)
  8. 8. Questions to Consider •  •  •  •  •  •  •  What is Journalism? What does it take to be a journalist? What’s the difference between a writer and a journalist? How does content marketing and journalism relate to each other? Why is there a convergence happening? What’s the benefit? The goal: to become a content marketing or “Brand” Journalist
  9. 9. What is Brand Journalism? Brand journalism is sponsored content that is written like an article but is really an advertisement. When the article or “content” is published in a mainstream publication, editorial standards apply. The piece has to be true. And the publishing platform will generally tell you (the reader) that the copy is a de facto advertisement. …..but this is only one way to utilize a journalistic approach to doing your content. •  There are opportunities for brand journalism in major publications and on niche websites •  Brand journalism used to be called “custom content”.
  10. 10. Important Charts
  11. 11. Organizational Goals for B2B Content Marketing
  12. 12. Organizational Goals & Performance Measurement for Content Marketing
  13. 13. Content Marketing Challenges
  14. 14. Journalists Can Help with These Challenges!
  15. 15. Convergence of Marketing & Journalism •  Paid (advertising), Earned (Word of Mouth), Owned (Corporate) •  Everything else falls in a grey area of overlap…"converged media" because it's a convergence of different media dynamics coming together. •  Example: You see an image in your Facebook news-feed shared by a friend. The image was generated by a brand. You saw it because your friend shared it. They shared it because they liked it. They liked it because the content resonated (and they saw it). They saw it because the brand paid Facebook to promote it. •  Paid? Earned? Or Owned? …..Its all of the above
  16. 16. How do You Create Stories that Everyone Wants to Read? •  Great branded content and storytelling example: Coca-Cola •  Their checklist for making sure every story is compelling and shareworthy: •  Does it answer the “Why Should I Care” test? •  Does it surprise you? •  Does it have universal appeal? •  Does it generate interest? •  Is it new — something you haven’t seen before? •  Is it different from what your competition is offering? •  Is your content being measured systemically? (most content marketers ignore this) •  Understand what compels people to act. Review metrics, talk to customers and ask your sales team about the most popular nonproduct-related questions they’re getting
  17. 17. The Journalist: Core Truths •  A great journalist finds a story •  Tells it in a way that grabs hold of the audience and won’t let go •  Leaves an impression that stays with viewers or readers for a long time •  Convey your company's true story in a compelling way by uncovering the stories about your brand and how your customers are using your products and services •  They narrate them in a human, accessible way; and spark conversation about your company, customers, or employees •  Brand journalists bring a journalist's sensibility to your content. They bring an editorial approach to building a brand
  18. 18. Every Great Story Answers 5 Questions •  Who: Who is the story about? Who are the central actors of the piece, and why do they matter? What’s relevant about them that the audience should identify with? •  What: What are they doing that matters? What’s the story? Where’s the action? •  When: Many editors are known to ask “why this, why now?” What’s the hook that makes this timely and is going to get people to read your content? •  Where: Is there a location angle that’s relevant? What’s the setting and how can you make it come alive? •  Why: So what? It’s great that you found a story, but why does it matter and why should anyone care?
  19. 19. The Five “W’s” of Journalism •  Who: Who is your audience? •  What: How is your story going to be interesting to a broader audience? •  When: Stories perform better when there is a relevant hook (Environmental technology stories trend well around Earth Day) •  Where: If you’re publishing for a local or regional audience, the “where” factor can be critical. Readers need local information, and this content can help improve your local SEO. •  Why: Does the target audience care about this particular issue? (Don’t just focus on company news or your products/services)
  20. 20. Structural Elements of Journalistic Writing •  Write a great lede - 1st paragraph of your story. It’s what sets up the piece and what gets people to read beyond the first fifty words •  Craft a show-stopping headline - You are competing for attention like never before •  Write well •  You have limited space to tell a story •  Structuring an argument •  Culling out the most critical facts •  Keeping the story moving •  The writing itself must be powerful, evocative, and action-oriented
  21. 21. Raytheon – Using the Brand Journalism Approach •  Raytheon’s homepage: Features real-time news, images, and a top stories section. And Raytheon is a B2B (and B2G) company! •  "You can see our homepage is very much a news operation. We've got feature stories and trend stories about cool products." – Corinne Kovalsky, Director, Digital & Social Media at Raytheon. •  @Raytheon Twitter feed - Journalists and defense department officials pay attention and frequently use the content. •  Chris Hawley was hired as managing editor of digital content •  Worked for Associated Press where he won 2012 Pulitzer Prize •  "I'm helping to build a news operation; we’re working at Raytheon just like an AP beat to find interesting stories and tell the world about them in a way that engages. We have bureau chiefs in all of our four divisions.”
  22. 22. The Experts Speak… “Brands now have the ability to bypass the traditional press and tell their own story in their own voice in a unique and compelling way. As I see it, good content isn't about storytelling; it's about telling a true story well” – Ann Handley (Marketing Profs)
  23. 23. Why Hire a Brand Journalist? •  They know how to tell a story - Journalists are trained to tell a story using words, images, and audio, and they understand how to create content that draws readers in. •  They put the audience first - Journalists are the only people who put the needs of the audience (vs. the company) first. •  They know how to simplify - Business can be complicated. Our products can be involved or seem impenetrable. But journalists excel in deconstructing the complex to make it easily understood •  They tell the truth - corporate reporters care about accuracy and truth, whether they are creating content on behalf of your brand or a traditional publisher. •  They quote sources - Journalists are trained in backing up opinions and assertions with research and facts, and attributing ideas to proper sources. That enhances your credibility as a voice in your industry.
  24. 24. Questions Content Marketers Should Ask Before Hiring a Journalist (from Joe Pulizzi) •  Are they over the whole “church/state” thing? - Many reporters see themselves as watchdogs, and believe that advertising, PR, marketing, and editorial must operate in completely separate silos. •  Can they write for story and strategy, not just information? - The need to incorporate narrative within a marketing message that resonates with living, breathing customers. Many reporters are skilled at this — but not all. •  Can they recognize the core formula for your business? - Any former journo-turned-content-marketing pro understands the organizational formula: “Start with a problem. End with a solution.” It’s that simple. •  Have they developed a good ear (and eye) for referencing sources? – Need good quotes, heads and subheads and graphics that grab you. •  Do they have what it takes to quantify success? - How good is the writer at finding those telling numbers that support the distinguished value of your company’s products and services?
  25. 25. How To Vet Journalists for Your Team •  They’re more realistic than idealistic. - Some journalists still believe that advertising, PR, marketing and editorial must exist in separate realms, but they shouldn’t. •  They can translate the language of business. - These journalists are able to translate the jargon and industry “buzzwords” of the corporate world into a language that anyone can understand •  They can produce content across a variety of publishing formats. Content marketers may be responsible for producing lots of content types, such as social media posts, slideshows, white papers, blog posts, interactive web content and in-depth articles •  They’re relatively Web-savvy - Journalists should know how to navigate social media, be able to conduct effective Internet searches, have a basic familiarity with online publishing and understand SEO •  Strong interviewing skills and an ear for quotations – Journalists must be able to connect with sources in a friendly yet professional manner, and know how to ask questions that elicit the desired responses.
  26. 26. How To Vet Journalists for Your Team •  An ability to quantify the story - Journalists you hire must be skilled at finding numbers that help tell the brand’s story and prove the value of its product to customers •  Time management skills that go beyond deadlines - Many journalists “let deadlines dictate their days,” Cleaver says, and fail to grasp the broader life cycle their pieces inhabit
  27. 27. How Do You Identify Them During Hiring? •  Put their skills to the test - Give journalists a trial assignment so you can see their abilities in action. This demonstrates their writing skills & ability to research a topic and craft messaging in the right voice and style •  Ask for writing samples - Past performance is important, and writing samples can showcase not only a candidates best work, but their versatility. •  Identify how much writing samples have been edited. It’s important to get a sense of how heavily-edited writing samples are in order to determine whether the candidate is really a great writer or not •  Match the journalist’s background with your content marketing goals. - Feature writers have an advantage in that they are experienced with curating information and incorporating quotes and statistics to tell a story •  Hire for talent over experience. While a journalists background can make a difference, always hire with talent in mind
  28. 28. How to Break Great Stories for Your Company •  Journalists are always on the hunt for the next big story. •  They have address books filled with contacts, so they can be the first reporter on the scene when news breaks. •  Brands can break news, too •  Use Google Alerts, SocialMention alerts, Twilert, and Twitter apps like Monitter and to track news related to specific keywords. •  Follow journalists and key individuals in your industry or related to your blog topic. •  Tools like MuckRack for finding journalists and WeFollow for finding people by self-identified tags can help you stay on top of real-time conversations and breaking stories.
  29. 29. 5 Ways to Leverage Journalistic Principles to Enhance Content Marketing Strategies •  Obligation to truth - Great content is truthful and comprehensive. To establish your company as a thought leader, your content must be authoritative and correct. •  Customer loyalty - Know your audience and help them make decisions by offering valuable insight. Educate your readers and then deliver it to them in a format that they find most convenient. •  Independence - Readers and customers have become pretty good at figuring out if content is just pure PR fluff. Good journalism is objective and good content will present all sides of an issue •  Strive to make the significant interesting & relevant - Journalists are great storytellers; they draw in readers. Good content focuses on issues & trends that matter most to your company and customers. •  Comprehensive coverage - Effective content marketing doesn’t cover just one aspect of one product or issue.
  30. 30. The ROI of Content Marketing
  31. 31. D •  I
  32. 32. D •  I
  33. 33. Content with the Best ROI
  34. 34. How Often Should You Measure Content?
  35. 35. Sample Executive Scorecard – Social Media Campaign
  36. 36. Sample Full Scorecard – Cross Channel Impact (1 Qrtr)
  37. 37. Contact Me Jon Wuebben: (909) 437-7015 mobile Twitter: @jonwuebben
  38. 38. Questions?