With the school year around the corner, now is a good time to ask this question:
What’s a better route to becoming a content marketer? Business school or journalism school?
Content marketing as a function is a relatively new profession. When I was in high school in the early aughts, content marketing as we know it didn’t exist.
The need for businesses to compete in an online landscape by telling their stories and by connecting to audiences through engaging narratives wasn’t something many were paying attention to.
Today, however, inbound leads and online engagement through content are a necessity for businesses that want to scale.
And content marketing is where the business acumen and storytelling skills come together.
Reality is, some of the most astute content marketers carry business degrees, which teach you how content connects to the bottom line.
It’s one thing to write a pretty story, it’s quite another to measure its worth through metrics—including leads—and understand how your content is helping your business grow.
Advocates of journalism school, meanwhile, assert that the heart of successful marketing lies in the skill of storytelling. They argue that mastering the art of crafting engaging narratives is pivotal for establishing strong connections with audiences.
In journalism school, students are immersed in the principles of unbiased reporting, ethical considerations, and the construction of compelling stories. This foundation equips them to create marketing content that is not merely informative, but emotionally resonant.
And that’s especially important in the technical B2B space where humanizing the business is key.
But again, champions of business school emphasize the significance of strategic insights. They contend that effective marketing hinges on a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics, consumer behaviour, and data analysis.
Business schools cover subjects like market research, marketing strategy, and brand management. Armed with this knowledge, graduates can discern consumer preferences, identify emerging trends, and design campaigns that yield measurable outcomes.
However, in an era where conventional marketing strategies are evolving amid technological advancements, a consensus is emerging: the demarcation between journalism school and business school is no longer rigid.
In today’s marketing, professionals require a hybrid skill set that amalgamates storytelling finesse with a data-driven mindset. The ever-changing landscape of content marketing demands a nuanced grasp of both disciplines.
That said, to create compelling copy that connects to readers, content marketers must be skilled writers, and they need to churn out copy under quick deadlines.
Having gone to both journalism school and business school, I can say from experience that learning to write relatively well takes much longer than learning business strategy.
So if you’re looking to become a content marketer, but you’re starting off in business school, I’d recommend taking a few print reporting courses, or even writing for your college newspaper.
And if you’re in journalism school considering a career in content marketing, I’d recommend taking a few courses in strategy, or reading up on cases studies that give you examples of real-life business challenges facing companies as they look to scale.
I believe the finest marketers are those who navigate the junction of journalism and business. By harmonizing the strengths of both disciplines, you’ll craft impactful, effective, and evocative campaigns that resonate deeply with target audiences, while ushering in leads.
I was having a conversation with a friend who is a talented journalist.
The conversation went in the direction of storytelling, and also around the similarities between journalists and content marketers.
Turns out there are many. As we delved deeper into the subject, it became evident that the skills and attributes that make a great journalist are well-suited for the world of content marketing.
From their mastery of storytelling to their research prowess, adaptability, and audience understanding, journalists possess a unique set of talents that seamlessly translate into the realm of content creation.
I look at a few reasons why journalists make great content marketers, and how their expertise can create a powerful and compelling impact in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing.
Their storytelling mastery allows them to craft narratives that captivate audiences, fostering a deeper connection between the brand and its customers.
2. Research Skills
Furthermore, their research prowess equips them to create data-driven content, establishing credibility and guiding informed decision-making in content marketing strategies.
3. Hit The Ground Running
The inherent adaptability of journalists ensures that they can respond swiftly to industry trends, ensuring their content remains relevant and timely.
4. Interview Skills
The interviewing skills of journalists are transferable to content marketing, enabling marketers to conduct engaging interviews with industry experts or satisfied customers, thus adding authenticity to their content.
5. Writing Prowess
Additionally, their clear and concise writing ensures that the message is communicated effectively in a world where attention spans are limited.
6. Audience Engagement
Journalists' deep understanding of their audience translates well into content marketing, as they tailor their content to specific demographics, maximizing its impact and relevance.
Journalists' adherence to ethical standards builds trust and credibility in their work, a trait equally vital in content marketing.
When these ethical practices are employed, it fosters a sense of reliability and authenticity, resulting in stronger connections with the audience.
8. Multimedia Skills
Moreover, journalists' proficiency in multimedia skills allows them to create visually appealing and engaging content, making the brand's message stand out in a crowded digital landscape. And their analytical mindset helps content marketers measure campaign success, identify key performance indicators, and optimize content for better results.
9. Building Narratives
Finally, the unique talent of journalists enables them as content marketers to humanize their brand through engaging narratives, forging emotional connections with the audience, and nurturing brand loyalty and advocacy.
My journey from journalism to content marketing was a natural progression. It just made sense. As journalists possess a treasure trove of skills and attributes that align seamlessly with the demands of the digital marketing landscape, it's no wonder journalists are leaving the disrupted media industry for the realm of content marketing.
Embracing the power of journalism in content marketing empowers brands to create meaningful connections with their audience and stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.
So, the next time you come across a content marketer with a journalism background, rest assured that they bring a unique set of talents that can elevate your brand's storytelling and content marketing to unparalleled heights.
As a journalist-turned-content-marketer, I’ve noticed a key difference between the two functions.
While the best content marketers and journalists excel at storytelling, content marketers are also measuring content through various metrics.
Content marketing has become an indispensable strategy for businesses to build brand awareness, capture leads, and increase conversions in our competitive online world.
Measuring the effectiveness of content goes a long way in continuously building an online presence.
By analyzing key metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and optimize your strategies.
In this article, I will explore the essential metrics that content marketers should consider when evaluating the success of their storytelling.
One of my primary goals as a content marketer is to drive traffic to my client’s website. Monitoring website traffic metrics allows me to gauge the effectiveness of my content in attracting visitors. I pay close attention to metrics such as total visits, unique visitors, and page views to understand how successful my content is in generating interest and encouraging exploration of the site. Additionally, analyzing referral traffic helps me determine which channels are driving the most visitors to the site, enabling me to focus efforts on the most fruitful platforms.
As a content marketer, I know that engagement metrics provide valuable insights into how well my content resonates with my audience. Metrics such as average time on page, bounce rate, and scroll depth allow me to understand if my content is captivating enough to keep visitors engaged. A high bounce rate may indicate that my content is not meeting expectations or lacks relevance, while a longer average time on page suggests that visitors find value in my content. Analyzing these metrics empowers me to optimize my content to increase engagement and enhance the overall user experience.
Ultimately, my content marketing efforts aim to drive conversions, whether it's generating leads, making sales, or encouraging specific actions. Monitoring conversion metrics is crucial to assess the effectiveness of my content in achieving these desired outcomes. I track metrics such as conversion rate, click-through rate (CTR), and form submissions to measure the impact of my content on lead generation and sales. By identifying content pieces that perform well in terms of conversion rates, I can replicate successful strategies and refine underperforming ones.
Social Media Metrics
In today's social media-driven world, it’s hard to ignore the impact of content on social media platforms. Social media metrics provide valuable insights into audience engagement, brand reach, and overall sentiment. I monitor metrics like likes, shares, comments, and followers to assess how well my content resonates with my social media audience. By understanding which content performs best on different platforms, I can tailor my content strategy to maximize engagement and reach a wider audience.
As a content marketer, I know that search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for improving content visibility and attracting organic traffic. Monitoring SEO metrics like keyword rankings, organic search traffic, and backlinks helps me evaluate the effectiveness of my content in improving my search engine presence. I analyze which keywords drive the most traffic, identify opportunities for content optimization, and assess the impact of my SEO efforts on overall visibility. By optimizing my content for search engines, I can improve organic traffic and reach a larger audience.
As a content marketer, measuring the success of my efforts is crucial for refining strategies and achieving better results. By monitoring key metrics such as website traffic, engagement rates, conversion rates, social media metrics, and SEO performance, I gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of my campaigns. These metrics provide a comprehensive view of my content's performance and help me identify areas for improvement. By continually analyzing and optimizing my content based on these metrics, I can enhance my content marketing strategies, drive better results, and ultimately achieve my marketing goals.
I help companies grow by telling their stories.