Journalism Principles That Can Help Content Marketers Tell Their Product’s Story

May 22, 2015

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Even though many of the legendary newspapers of yesteryear have gone over to an online format, their high standards of journalism still apply. Quality writing never goes out of style. In fact, it is even more important to have well-written copy for each piece of content your organization publishes. The attention span of online readers is not long. If your content does not capture your reader’s attention in the first few seconds, the reader will click away to intriguing content. If you want to grab your readers’ attention, follow these rules of good journalism.

Grab Readers’ Attention—Put Your Most Important Information First

Good news articles begin with the most important information in the story. If you lose your readers with a convoluted introduction or a teaser, they will become impatient and shift their attention to another story. Your readers should be able to tell the main point of your story before they get to the second paragraph. After you rope them in with the big idea, they will be hungry for more details.

The same thing goes for good web content, which includes blogging. If readers can identify the main idea in the first few seconds, and it is a topic in which they are interested, they will be hooked enough to read to the end. Even if they are running short of time and cannot finish the story, they will be grateful to you for giving them the main point early on. They may even return to finish your article later when they have more time.

Let the People Speak

You don’t need a celebrity endorsement. In fact, a story that impacts people most at a gut level will record the voices of the people who are affected most by the events. Likewise, in content marketing, if you have people whose lives have been impacted by your product or service, include their comments in your copy. Such heartfelt words grab the readers’ heartstrings and endear them to your organization.

Speak as an Impartial Observer

When you are touting a product or service, let it speak for itself. Present the facts about your service or product, and it will sell itself. An opinion piece on a personal blog is fine. Yet make sure that when you are writing for an organization, that their product or service, not your opinion, takes center stage.

Keep a Lid on Your Emotions

You may be as excited as a kid on a holiday morning about your company’s newest venture, but try to keep some perspective. Balance your enthusiasm with a realistic portrayal of the events. Don’t let your story become lost in all of the sales hype out there on the Internet. A balanced story is unusual—and readers will choose to read it instead of pages filled with sales jargon. Trade truisms for realistic portrayals, and your story will attract readers.

Digital content marketing is a marriage of journalism and advertising. The best kinds of content combines the best principles from both fields in a story that captures readers’ attention, yet has its feet planted in reality.

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