Organisations crave creative, engaging and professionally-written subject matter in their blogs which is why content agencies are increasingly recruiting specialist journalists to produce it.
Of course, this makes perfect sense. The writers’ names are often familiar to the client’s audience and this boosts the credibility of the content and the company associated with posting it.
These writers have a journalist’s rather than a PR professional or company director’s nose for news. They have their finger on the pulse and produce insightful content that informs, educates and entertains. Topics are conveyed in an engaging yet non-salesy fashion while still conveying vital brand messages.
Here are seven reasons why you should insist that your content marketing agency uses professional writers to pen your blog:
1. Brand journalism
Journalists and authors are great storytellers and can generate new angles on relevant themes so blogs remain informative, timely, creative and original. They can construct the narrative for the company around key industry themes and events.
2. Plan editorial calendars
Their journalistic training means they can plan an effective editorial calendar so content is relevant and topical throughout the year. One of their skills is an ability to balance news versus evergreen content so the audience’s needs are met exactly at a particular time. This builds trust in the blog and the brand, and encourages the sharing of credible and perceptive subject matter across social media.
3. Lead generation potential
Many journalists and authors will have written regularly for online versions of respected magazines in the past. As well as having an awareness of the need to deliver great blog content, they also understand the importance of lead generation and conversion and working closely with the sales and marketing teams.
4. Brand reputation
Professional writers working for content agencies tend to have a strong network of other freelance authors the agency can call upon at short notice to provide additional content and perhaps share a different perspective on industry or consumer issues. This enhances the company’s reputation as a key opinion former, thought leader and influencer.
5. Deliver accurate industry copy
Journalists are trained to check facts which will avoid any embarrassment or potential legal action against a company. Not all content marketers understand the libel laws. Many journalists will also want to test a product or service they are writing about so they can produce informed copy.
6. SEO optimised content
Journalists know how to write great headlines that grab the readers’ attention, while still conveying information in a snappy fashion and ticking the SEO box.
7. Thought leadership
These guys are ultimately good writers. They can deliver copy quickly and to deadline because they stick to the basics of who, what, when, where, why and how. They write in a way that introduces points in the order of importance, from the headline down. A great blog must never be written like a great gag with the punchline at the end.
For many journalists producing content, including writing blogs, provides a fresh career choice and a new challenge at a time when the world of traditional media is changing rapidly.
The benefit for agencies is that they provide clients and their various audiences with a different perspective. They are great at providing context when discussing a particular issue or trend because of their subject knowledge, experience and wealth of contacts.
They still get to write about the subjects and topics they are knowledgeable about and love, whether a blog carries their own by-line or is ghost-written for a company spokesman. Done well, they know that a blog can have the same air of authority editorially as anything they would have written for a magazine or newspaper.
Of course, many journalists will be employed as freelance writers and are still working for mainstream media. This ensures they remain on top of their game with sharp skills that will benefit any company that needs its blog to stand out, be read and shared.
Steve Hemsley is an experienced freelance journalist and media trainer who writes for The Financial Times, The Sunday Times and for business magazines across many industry sectors from retail and travel to marketing and HR.