In an era characterized by digital noise and information overload, marketers need more than just periodic, project-based content. They need a ceaseless output of content with enough substance to shine through the crowd - content birthed from the seemingly mundane and ordinary. And the ones best suited for this task are those trained to find stories where others don't: journalists.
The essence of journalism is rooted in discovering, understanding, and narrating the human experience. Journalists are taught to sieve through the humdrum and uncover compelling narratives.
"Journalists possess a unique instinct for storytelling. They're adept at spotting substance in the everyday, making them invaluable assets in marketing."
- Rebecca Lieb
The decline of traditional journalism, while disconcerting, may inadvertently revolutionize the marketing industry. As traditional journalism careers become scarce, journalists are increasingly migrating to the marketing industry, bringing with them a goldmine of storytelling prowess. "The collapse of journalism doesn't spell the end of storytelling," asserts journalism professor Jay Rosen. "Rather, it presents an opportunity for other industries like marketing to leverage this talent pool."
Today's audiences crave authenticity and value, which means marketing can no longer rely on shallow promotions or gimmicks. Brands are recognizing the necessity or journalistic ethics in marketing - consistent creation of substantial, authentic, and audience-focused content. Harvard Business Review highlights, "The future of marketing is not about selling a product; it's about crafting stories that establish long-term relationships."
TikTok, the video-sharing social networking giant, provides an illustrative example. The platform's audience is notably sensitive to overt promotions and prefer content that blends in naturally with their feed. "Our community values authenticity above all else," says Blake Chandlee, VP of Global Business Solutions at TikTok.
"They can sniff out a hard sell from a mile away. Content that resonates is content that feels organic, genuine."
Consequently, brands on TikTok thrive not by bombarding viewers with sales pitches, but by creating authentic, relatable, and engaging content - much like what journalists have been doing for years. Thus, the transition from traditional journalism to marketing becomes not just plausible but desirable for organizations seeking to cultivate substantial and consistent content.
The confluence of marketing and journalism isn't just about creating better content - it also heralds a more altruistic future for marketing. The ethical foundations of journalism - objectivity, fairness, and truth - seep into marketing, helping it transcend beyond selling products to genuinely serving audiences. "The new era of marketing is rooted in providing value," emphasizes Seth Godin, author and former dot com business executive. "The narrative isn't about what we want to sell, but about what the audience wants to hear."
As marketing begins to borrow from journalism's playbook, the line between the two disciplines blur. However, it is this very ambiguity that promises an era of marketing that is more engaging, authentic, and effective. In this evolving landscape, marketing no longer exists to merely promote an organization. It exists to tell a story, engage an audience, and build lasting relationships - the hallmarks of good journalism.
With the influx of journalists into the marketing realm, organizations now have the tools to navigate this blurred line, harnessing the power of storytelling to not just sell, but to connect. Marketing guru Philip Kotler captures this sentiment, "Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell."
As the world hurtles into a digital age marked by constant content creation, the rules of the game are changing. The age of shallow promotions and gimmicks is giving way to an era characterized by substance, consistency, and authenticity. In this brave new world, the journalistic instinct to find extraordinary stories in ordinary circumstances is not just desirable - it's essential. And as the lines between journalism and marketing continue to blur, one thing remains clear: storytelling, at its heart, is about serving the audience. It is this service, this dedication to the audience, that will drive the future of marketing.
Need help identifying your best stories or developing your brand's narrative? Aura offers a complete range of content strategy and production solutions. We can also train your in-house communications specialists to think like journalists to uncover your best stories and bring them to life in the most compelling way. Contact us!