Content marketing is “just so hot right now.” Companies everywhere are creating media as if they were a media shop themselves. At first glance, it makes sense for brands like ABC, NBC, ESPN, and other acronyms (and non-acronyms) that are a part of the actual media industry.
Do you really want to read, watch, share, and discuss media that they’ve created? After all, while the ABCs of the world are happy with you simply consuming and spending time with their content (they make shows, after all), a brand like Scope or PUMA wants you to purchase their products — if not now when you watch their video and read their blog, then eventually.
MY BIG BET: THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR J-SCHOOL GRADS
When I was in school, I wanted to be a journalist. But the options were a bit difficult to swallow: slog through small newspaper gigs, work your way up, bounce around whenever a job opening presented itself (the industry wasn’t popping out more newspapers and more jobs given its struggle to monetize in print). And yes, there were other options like magazines, blogs, self-made multimedia wizardry, and the always-popular PR/corp-comm route.
But I didn’t want those things. I was skeptical. Now? My bet is that in a few years, when content marketing goes the way of social media marketing in that every brand finally “gets it,” content creators with actual backgrounds in reporting, writing, and executing stories will be super valuable.
Could that mean brands hire journalism cast-offs and/or talented journalists tired of the beat reporting lifestyle?
I think it does. Consider the following:
Journalists and trained writers are excellent at taking one simple topic or approach and turning it into tons of angles, features, and reader-friendly content. It’s a beat report!
THIS MAKES ME SMILE
As a former English major, I’m really excited to see content and media creation becoming so important for businesses. It’s up to those who understand the process of storytelling (part science, part art, with a huge scoop of patience to publish again and again for readership) to convince the world to move from content “marketing” to just operating as straight media shops.
Something to consider: soap operas were once produced by soap-makers such as P&G. This is not a new concept, focusing on media creation and consumption. But we moved through a stage of very transactional marketing that got away from the Don Draper days of storytelling (thanks, search and banner ads).
Now that we’ve moved squarely back into the world of storytelling, it’s the journalists’ time to shine. And I think they’ll get their stages when big brands start hiring them in the next three to five years.
Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments. Oh, right, before I forget - you should follow me on the Twittersphere here!