• Nicola Giuliato •
a brand journalism style
Reading time 3.50 min.
What is brand journalism and how does it differentiate from content marketing?
The revolution that the internet, as a democratizing media tool, has brought upon journalism, has pushed companies away from traditional media such as advertising agencies, magazines, newspaper, radio and television.
Nowadays, every brand can become its own manager, directly speaking to an audience through digital media such as blogs, aggregators, forums, social networks, all the way to a digital corporate magazine. Hence, every subject may be considered as a brand, and also as an artist, a creator, a madman ...
In Brand Journalism, it's not only a matter of conveying a message to make a sale as it is done in content marketing, it's also about giving the target audience some useful information. This is brand journalism.
The thin red line between journalism and marketing is actually quite thin, this forces a Brand Journalist as any good journalist to walk a tightrope, carefully choosing the right information, clear and distinguishable from advertising.
Of course, all this attracts customers, and that's why Larry Light's intuition was brilliant when, in 2004, as chief of marketing at McDonald's he had to accomodate the image of the fast food chain, advertised as a nice option for family and business dinners, with the heavy and repetitive sales goals of junk food.
The decision was not to stress attention on a product destined for undifferentiated masses, but rather on different consumer groups, selling a food that was fun for children and youngsters, healthy for mothers, and substantial for male consumers.
From this premise and with the new slogan "I'm lovin' it", McDonald's picked up a new advertising strategy where the very story of the brand is front and center, aimed at a segmented public through Brand Journalism.
America may boast giving birth to Brand Journalism thanks to Larry Light's intuition, but the world doesn't seem to be immune to its charms. More and more companies are deciding to take part in the Copernican revolution of information and focus on a new form of marketing.
Consumer addiction to advertising poses the need for a new way to tell a brand's story and its evolution, it becomes especially necessary to give information which may be perceived as useful: this is what the Brand Journalist aims for.
Who is a Brand Journalist?
The two of the key concepts that best describe the essence of a brand journalist are: storytelling and the elimination of the middleman in the acquisition of goods and services in such way that supply and demand directly meet.
Brands have an ever increasing need to tell their story without a middleman, in order to improve their reputation and retain their readers-consumers.
Therefore, companies have a chance to become a real-news corporation, in search of new ways to narrate a story themselves. Contents are of the essence to advertise to their reference community. The domain of content commercialization leaves room for a journalism aware of the network tools necessary to communicate directly with their customers.
In a nutshell, we might say that journalists nowadays must not only be good writers, but also an expert practitioner of modern digital communication technology: two traits that are necessary to achieve the goals of Brand Journalism.
I'm a brand journalist. If you want me to work for you...