Traditional Journalism’s Role in Social Influencer Marketing

Traditional journalism is dead, just ask the Internet. Except, of course, we know that’s not true, because traditional media – what some like to call Legacy Media – is going strong, maintaining a solid grip on the hearts and minds of millions upon millions of faithful fans and followers.

But what is the role of traditional journalists in the modern age of digital marketing and social media influencers? It’s a strong, vital role, to begin with.

That strength is felt most keenly in the impact journalist can have on a brand. One negative story can hurt. A series of negative stories can be catastrophic, not in spite of social media but because of social media. It’s simple to share opinions with links and images provided by journalists, so news spreads quickly, and it stays up, fresh and relevant, long after the news cycle shifts.

Because of this direct connection with consumers, the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts of prominent journalists generate massive interest. The more active they are, the more followers they have because those fans know breaking news could be posted any minute.

Another benefit many journalists bring to the table is niche-specific reporting. People might only be interested in business, sports or local affairs. They can connect with that information directly by following reporters who only talk about those topics. And, because the readers already trust the journalists – at least about those topics – brand managers who lean on journalists as influencers enjoy an added layer of trust they would have to otherwise earn on their own.

Brand managers should also consider journalists because of their high-quality content. These are not amateurs who don’t understand the power of message, these are people who are highly skilled in using words and images to not only convey a message but to do so in a compelling way.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the proper combination of images and messaging is worth exponentially more. For example, it’s one thing to describe a place or to only post a photo of it, but when your influencer has the talent and skill to take an eye-catching photo then combine that with a compelling message that puts the fan or follower in the scene, they’re already won over.

One wrinkle to add to this is the product promotions available to brands who employ journalists as influencers. Fans often want to know what kind of gear or tech a working journalist or photo-journalist uses, especially when they’re aspiring to go into the field. That’s a sale waiting to happen – and potentially a new lifelong customer – if the brand gets the pitch right and pairs with the correct influencer.

Powerful reach, professional content, compelling messages, and baked-in product promotion opportunities. Just a few reasons why brands should consider employing journalists as influencers.