Journalism and content marketing what is the difference? Shaun Lowthorpe content connective

What is the difference between journalism and content marketing?

What is content marketing and what’s the difference between content marketing and journalism?

Be careful, who you ask that question to. Most news journalists worth their salt would recoil at the question even being asked.

Journalism and content marketing – distant cousins or sworn enemies?

It’s no surprise really – no journalist worth his or her salt would see their trade in such grubby terms as content marketing – after all aren’t they here fighting for the public interest and your right to know?

Yet once you step back from the cut and thrust of the newsroom, it is very difficult in many cases to pinpoint exactly what the difference is between content marketing and features, and certainly from advertorial (which is its closest relative).

Whereas once an organisation would have sought exposure through ‘earned media’ that is via the pages or websites or a third party publisher or organisation, now they may well prefer to create that content on their own ‘owned’ sites.

And that is where content marketing – or ‘storytelling’ comes into the equation – creating educational or informative content to help inform your target audience or prospects either to persuade them that you are a person or organisation worth dealing with, or even to sign up to your products and services – and buy from you.

The benefits are obvious. Not only are you in control of that ‘owned’ content, whether it’s your website, or email list. You also have access to all the analytics data.

That means you know what works and what doesn’t and better still you can respond directly to what your own audience’s own wants and needs, likes and dislikes.

You are your own publisher – if you choose to be

So what is the downside?

For some the kudos of being featured on an independent news site or blog is where the real value lies – but much will depend on the quality of the publication, and the nature of it – ie is it genuine editorial, or a press release, or is it a sponsored piece?

These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself when you are thinking of which option is best for you.

On that point, there is no real right answer, but if you are stuck wondering how to put together a content plan then you can check out this article.

Some prefer a mix of channels to distribute their content and marketing messages – some target one or two but focus on them relentlessly.

For more articles on this topic check out this handy content marketing 2020 guide from Hubspot.

You might also like this detailed content marketing guide from SEO expert Neil Patel.

It will depend on what your business and marketing goals are, who is your audience, what is the point of the content you are trying to produce.