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It’s important to understand what I mean when I use the word. Many people hear the word and think of a “reporter” since most people who call themselves journalists today follow the news reporting line of the art. With that understood, let’s get right into it…
Every company who wants to reach the highest level of success in online marketing going forward needs to have someone acting as a journalist for the company. They needs someone who collects, writers, and distributes news and other information about the company, the industry, the customers, the local area – anything that has relevance from a marketing perspective. This hasn’t always been the case. Until very recently, a good SEO content writer would suffice as long as they had some skills to put together a nice press release every now and then. SEO content was all that you really needed to succeed.
Today and going forward, that’s no longer the case. That’s not to say that you don’t need SEO content. In most cases, you do, at least when getting your site put together. If you’re in a competitive industry like automotive, you’ll want additional SEO content pages to be built regularly just to stay ahead of the competition. To truly push forward and start dominating on both the search engines and social media, you’ll want to apply some journalistic art to your website and blog.
You need a journalist.
It doesn’t have to be a full-time job. It could be someone at the company who can do it occasionally. It can be you. If you’re involved with marketing at the company, it’s a great skill to have. It doesn’t take a degree from OU’s School of Journalism to get the job done. It just takes understanding your industry, a touch of creativity and brainstorming abilities, an eye for good content, and a willingness to stick to it.
There are plenty of very strong and useful content writing services out there. Some of them put out great work. Most are mediocre, but even that’s okay as long as you can edit it a bit before publishing. The problem with these services is that they’re designed specifically to build SEO content. They rarely put out content that is worth reading and sharing which is the goal of your company journalist.
More importantly, they aren’t at your store. They aren’t there meeting and talking to customers. They aren’t shooting the breeze with the guy in accounting or participating in the March of Dimes walk like the girl in the service department. This is where the journalist comes in and it is hard (impossible?) to outsource.
The goal is to put out content that helps in four major areas:
One of the most important parts of good journalism is to keep it as short as possible. On a topic like this, 1000 words simply won’t be enough, so proper journalist standards says that I need to break this up into parts. Part II of The Company Journalist Series will cover how to pick the right topics and give examples of what you should be posting on your site and blog to start building your content marketing goldmine.