Brand journalism vs. advertising

More and more, companies are investing more in brand journalism compared to direct advertising to market themselves.

Brand journalism is content (written/video/photography) that is both brand friendly and meets journalistic standards. It can offer a greater ROI (return on investment) on your marketing dollars versus direct advertising by offering content that generally has a longer shelf life, is more shareable and has a greater influence over audiences at a lesser cost than direct advertising.

Consider this example:

One company asked me to write a story and take pictures. Including travelling expenses, I billed the company for less than $1000. When it was complete, the manufacturer sent the story to 5 magazines; 4 out of the 5 magazines showed interest in publishing the story.

If the manufacturer had purchased ad space (print) in each of the magazines equivalent to the amount of space that they appeared in those magazines (brand journalism), it would have cost them more than $8000. Plus, the story also had a bigger impact in the digital sphere then the digital reproductions of the printed ads would have.

Companies that have purchased my content creation (writing/photography) services:

  • Skyjack
  • Bomag Americas
  • Dynapac North America
  • Wacker Neuson Canada
  • International Power Access Federation
  • Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas
  • Volvo Construction Equipment
  • Doosan Equipment

Trade magazines publish a certain percentage of their printed pages as non-paid content, such as news, features, tips and events. It can be more cost-effective to use a portion of your marketing to target that space.

Advertising has its place. Your company address and phone number will never appear in brand journalism content. The only way to get that information into a trade magazine is by buying ad space. However, by using brand journalism, you don’t need to purchase a lot of space to get people’s attention; you can get their attention with non-paid content and then buy smaller ads to communicate your contact information, upcoming events and product promotions.

As a freelance writer who has been published in more than a dozen construction/heavy equipment magazines and a former trade press editor, I know what content is attractive to trade magazines. To consult with me about how your company can take advantage of brand journalism opportunities, please contact me.

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