Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Marija Andrić
Whether and how content marketing has influenced journalism and the creation and distribution of content online, we talked with Aleksandra Petrovski, copywriter and content creator. Aleksandra will be one of the lecturers at the Web Content Creator course organized by the Represent Communications agency from September 12 to October 3, 2018 in Belgrade.
Aleksandra began her career in the world of traditional journalism, then she worked in digital media and now deals with brand storytelling and content marketing, and teaching. As a consultant, she helps creators of online content to shorten their way to a successful career, she helps bloggers set a quality basis for their blog, and she helps businesses maximize their social media performance by creating effective stories.
Media Marketing: We are aware that the way people consume news is changing, what that entails and the changes in the way journalists report new. Where is actually visual communication taking us?
Aleksandra Petrovski: I would rather call it the result of the frantic race for human attention and the desire to be liked by the consumer. At the times of flood of information and stimuli from all sides, it is extremely important to grab at least a moment of attention and convey the message we want, so the visual content imposes itself as a logical solution.
However, whatever form we choose, if we are not clear, short and effective, everything falls apart.
Media Marketing: More than 60% of journalists write online, but a lot of articles are literally copy pasted from the print. Is every good journalist also a good creator of online content?
Aleksandra Petrovski: I’ve been in journalism since the beginning of this millennium, and I’ve typed my first articles on a typewriter, so I think I could write a dissertation on this. There are various parameters on the basis of which one can be considered a good creator of content, but what is common for exceptional journalists and content creators is that they can “smell” a good story, react instantly and make anything into a story that will appeal to people.
Once we needed three or four attractive stories to sell the newspapers at the kiosk in the morning, and the editorial staff was up to three times more numerous than now. Today, every new piece of content is a story for itself, it must be “sold” separately and has a very accurate measurement of success. Besides, the job is only starting when an article is written. All this is a period of transition of a state of mind that is still ongoing and naturally it’s easier for younger people to adapt, but it takes time to turn a successful attempt into a continuous good practice.
Media Marketing: On the other hand, journalists today are expected to do work that was done by three people before. They have to find a story, interlocutors, to edit the materials, or to visually form it for the digital channels. How realistic is it to expect that a person has all these skills?
Aleksandra Petrovski: There are very few people who excel in all that, but they do exist. Good news is that there is more and more of those who can do the entire process independently, correctly, and in the shortest possible time, which for many media is now imperative, and that is not a passing trend that you get to sit out. On the contrary, now is the opportunity to catch some of the last wagons.
When one person carries a story from the beginning to the end, there is a greater chance that they will have that personal stamp on content, which the audience recognizes very well in the times when the artificial intelligence is beginning to write news. That’s why certain bloggers gain trust.
Another good side to knowing this whole set of skills is that the journalist understand the job much better, including the possibilities of a cameramen, editor, photographers and graphic designers, so communication is facilitated.
Media Marketing: How do you choose topics? What do you have in mind when you choose your angle?
Aleksandra Petrovski: It is extremely important to me what kind of message should be transmitted or what action should a specific piece of content encourage, as well as to whom it is intended or what kind of environment will it appear in. I worked as a social media manager for five years, and the years I’ve spent on forums and social networks before that have contributed to giving me more precise knowledge of to what and how people will react. That was a great learning opportunity for me, especially when I had to reach out of my safe environment.
I always try to convey the message I have in a receptive way, but at the same time, the person who consumes the content should feel that they have learned something new, something worth of transferring to another person. Why? Because it is also important for me to gain their confidence and get them to give their precious time and attention to my content voluntarily. I’m not an advocate of easy points.
Media Marketing: Which formats have proven as the best for visual presentation of a story? Do shares on other networks have an influence on the readership of your blog, and if yes how much?
Aleksandra Petrovski: I am especially fond of GIFs, because they are more than pictures and less than videos. It’s an unimposing entertainment form, which is insufficiently exploited in our country and I think that makes it even more interesting to me.
In the service of “enriching” a text, any kind of visuals seem to us as some side details, but exactly such things can greatly influence the reactions that certain content evokes in people. They have a function even bigger than product packaging, bigger than a book cover, bigger than shoes and jewelry for some fashion combination.
Media Marketing: You are aware that when you move from journalism to a writer brand, the focus is on creating content on demand. It’s no longer about a simple representation of a well researched (mostly) and unbiased story. On the one side you have to have great content, and on the other you have to satisfy a client. How much is that actually possible?
Aleksandra Petrovski: The editor is also a client with their own demands, they also have the set goals that have to be achieved, so there is essentially not much space. At least that’s how I see it.
It often happens that when I start exploring the content for a particular subject, it is actually a new angle for the client as well, which they sideline in their focus on their primary business. So, this definitely yields some crucial revelations.
Over time they realize that they don’t only communicate with end-customers, but indirectly with their employees, associates, potential partners … which is not negligible.
Generally, how much some piece of content will be worth depends on the willingness of the brand to put the customer in the center of their interest and demonstrate it.
Media Marketing: How often do you have to educate a client on the form of native, and is it hard to persuade them that you should stick with your recognizable style?
Aleksandra Petrovski: I collaborate, and have been collaborating, with those who are aware what benefits this kind of communication with (potential) customers can bring them, so they are open to the idea from the outset. Of course, sometimes there is an exchange of arguments and additional explanations of why I think we should approach and treat a certain topic in a certain way. But they also tell me their reasons, which are very valid from the business standpoint, and which I might not have seen at the beginning of the story.
The fact that I work as a freelancer allows me to have an outside look. I’m in the shoes of the consumer of the content, and then again the more I work with a certain client, I can better understand their needs, desires and broader vision, even if it’s not stated in a specific brief.
Media Marketing: Is there some SEO technique that brings you the best results, and which you use to boost the rating of your articles?
Aleksandra Petrovski: I always write for people. If it’s interesting for them, they will read it to the end, and even go on to some related text, and if it’s useful to them, they will share it with someone. Is there a better signal for a search engine that a certain piece of content is worthy?
Media Marketing: What experiences and knowledge will you share with the attendants of the Web Content Creator course?
Aleksandra Petrovski: I dear to say that it will be a 360° experience, because there is no role I didn’t find myself in when it comes to creating content. From journalist and editor in all types of media, through blogger and social media manager, to intermediary in engagement and working client-side. I have plenty of lectures and workshops in this area behind me, and the priority for me is always to convey to people how they should think in a certain situation. Then I know they’ll be able to cope with any situation.