Brand journalism is nothing new when it comes to communications. Media companies have been using it for years.
In a nutshell, brand journalism involves creating journalistic-style content for your audience. The approach requires storytelling about your company, its industry, and any related current events.
How you implement it into your online video strategy is what is fresh about brand journalism today. Traditional advertisements bombard consumers and audiences across the board. As a result, online viewing behaviors and patterns have shifted dramatically from passive to active.
Without a large ad buy, getting your videos in front of the right audience can be challenging. But taking a brand journalism approach helps to reach many different target audiences and leads to more robust and engaging stories.
First, it's essential to identify the proper video distribution channel—content and messaging must be tailored to the platform’s user experience and audience.
Here are some tips on how to get started with brand journalism and examples of successful video campaigns.
Be a Source Expert: One of the main goals when using brand journalism is that you can become a go-to resource for your audience. So whether it's industry news, trending topics, or expertise, you can create a media-style content plan that keeps people engaged.
Through video interviews with industry experts in and outside your company, brands can start a conversation relevant to the audience. You can also look at creating custom video episodes with hosts from your business.
Intel is an excellent example of a company using brand journalism. The Intel newsroom produces everything from blogs and podcasts to videos that cover a wide range of topics related to their industry.
They’ve established trust with their audience and keep people coming back.
Consistency & Syndication: Regarding brand journalism campaigns or videos, publishers must be consistent. Mix content marketing, traditional commercials, and educational videos across your channels to reach audiences where they are, in terms of platforms and the customer journey.
Just keep in mind that if you’re going the brand journalism route, you need to ensure you're staying consistent in the output of that content.
Producing one large brand journalism-style video is not worth the effort! Rather than spending a lot on one project, think about ways in which you can cover topics with an expanded brand journalism mindset. Producing several targeted videos over time is the goal. The release of each video should coincide with an industry event or trending topic.
The idea is that your content starts to become shared and syndicated, leading to your company building an audience across multiple channels.
GoPro is an excellent example of staying consistent in its brand journalism videos. In their "Beyond the Race" series, they cover competitive cycling.
The videos shared new insights and behind-the-scenes footage around the preparations for Tour de France 2016 and covered the most intriguing stories from the event. Browsing through their content, you can see how consistently GoPro has produced videos that identify with their target audience without directly selling their product.
Build Awareness: Every industry has something that motivates its customers. One way of adding brand journalism to your content mix is by creating videos focusing on those topics. Think about ways where you can start a movement within your vertical.
Is there a product you built that has revolutionized the way your customers do business? Does your company offer a solution that simplifies your customer’s life? These are all great examples of personalized stories you can tell with your brand journalism efforts.
Charles Schwab created a series of powerful stories titled “Why this Road” about people who live life as they own it.
Rather than a traditional testimonial, they focused on telling the story of someone their audience could identify with in the world of first-time business owners.
Personalizing stories in this manner helps to build trust with your audience. It also can help create a conversation around your content, leading to more shares and views across the board.
Think About New Audiences: One of the benefits of brand journalism is that you can attract new audiences with your content. In addition, since you're not directly selling, the content will likely be shareable.
Creating powerful stories connecting with your target audience is a great way to gather followers on social media or lead people further into a content journey.
This example below from John Frieda emphasizes this point.
In their “Your Hair Talks, Make a Statement” campaign, they share a story about the importance of hair in the Native American culture. Focusing on influencers within that community and telling their stories has introduced their products to a whole new audience.
Notice how there are not many of the actual products in the video, but the underlying theme focuses on hair and lifestyle. So these are the things that are the core of the customer they’re targeting.
Have a Clear Goal: It may sound like simple advice, but having a concise and clear message is crucial to the success of any brand journalism campaign. It's easy to get swept up in the storytelling of essential topics for you and your company.
I recommend getting all the stakeholders together and developing specific goals for each campaign. While the messaging and content may vary in the output of your videos, the company voice needs to be reflected and consistent in your brand story.
Think about how this is going to help your business in the end. Then, discuss the outcome and whether it's to raise awareness, drive people to a destination, get more followers, or any other items mentioned above.
Brand journalism is a tried and true way of engaging customers. So give it some thought and think about how to make it work for your brand. Check out our Online Video Campaign packages to learn more about getting started with Brand Journalism.