It should have been a huge life decision, but in the end it was quite easy.
About 18 months ago I packed in a job I absolutely adored, as Marketing & Media editor at the West Australian newspaper, for a job outside traditional media, in a content marketing agency. As journalists say, I “joined the dark side”.
Perhaps the move was a simple one to make because over four years working with the wonderful people in Western Australia’s communications industry, I’d developed some form of Stockholm syndrome? Maybe it was easy because I was trading in a dying industry, print news, for a vibrant one — filled with opportunity and potential — in content marketing?
Or, and this is my theory, perhaps it’s because it wasn’t really such a big change at all?
Here’s how I arrive at that conclusion.
Brands can be the media now. They can create their own content, distribute it and build their own audiences. Brands, and the people who market them, are more powerful now than they have ever been. If we understand what our audiences want, and if we have the skills to deliver that information effectively, we can bypass the media filter and tell our stories directly to the consumer. As a communicator, that’s very exciting. For a brand, that’s incredibly democratising. The potential is limitless. So brands now need good, experienced, qualified people to provide those content marketing services.
Those services go well beyond simply copywriting. Brands need journalists, editors, subeditors, videographers, animators, artists — all the skills I either developed or worked alongside during my 17 years in traditional media. Working in content marketing feels just like working in the media.
What I love about content marketing is that the focus is still very much on the audience. Every article, blog post, video or podcast we produce — no matter who the client is — the number one question we ask ourselves is “is our audience interested in this?” It’s the first question journalists and editors ask themselves, too. It’s a much more effective question to ask than “what do we want to say?”
Sometimes people who remember me from the West ask how I’m coping with not being a journalist anymore. Honestly, I’m thriving. Next month Sarah Mitchell, and I will be in the US for Content Marketing World (where, by the way, Lush — The Content Agency is up for Agency of the Year), listening to and learning from the world’s best content marketers. We’ll be bringing those lessons back to the Perth marketplace so we can create, distribute and amplify even better written, audio and video content for our clients’ audiences. As a lifelong storyteller, it doesn’t really get better than that (Stockholm syndrome or not).
If you need content marketing services or are interested in a content marketing strategy, get in touch with Lush — The Content Agency.
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