Even if you have a Ph.D in astrophysics or biochemistry, or your artistic interests include Bach and John Cage, or your regular reading includes Thomas Pynchon and James Joyce, if you see a headline reading “17 Photos of Plastic Surgery Gone Disastrously Wrong,” you’re probably going to click on the link. Call it what you will—base, trashy—but there’s a part of us all that simply cannot resist the lure of tabloid #journalism. It’s why we eye the headlines on Star when we’re paying for our groceries and why sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and Dose have all become so popular. No matter how refined we are, the sensational is scintillating.
The Evolution of #journalism
Journalism can help tech-focused B2B content marketers educate and reach their audience. Let’s start with some recent history.
While content marketers have long recognized that the marriage of commerce and content is essential, it’s taken the past 20 years for institutional publishers to grasp the concept. These decades have completely eroded the position of institutional publishers as the gatekeepers of what is and is not news. Local newspapers have died off, while stalwarts like The New York Times and The Washington Post have had to incorporate new voices they once viewed as threats (such as prominent bloggers) to stay relevant. This has led to far less objective journalism in favor of more pieces that have a decided slant. In many ways, the acknowledgement of bias and commercial relevance is more honest— something content marketers have long known.
Thousands of companies yell the same message in their marketing: save money, save time. Why should I care? Why should I believe you? Who are you anyway?
Let’s face it: for most B2B companies, brand identity is an afterthought. They design a logo, and it forms the basis for their brand.
That’s not the way to create a brand identity.
Increasingly, technology allows people to have customized experiences, finely tuned to their personal preferences. ESPN.com lets me filter sports news so that scores and updates from my favorite teams appear first. Apps like Feedly show me only the news that I’m interested in. Hulu asks me whether I find its ads relevant, and changes the ads I see based on my responses.
Technology constantly changes the way we interpret and think about language. The result is that words carry different meanings for different generations. Say stream, text, cells, and tweets to a grandmother and she’ll probably think of water, a book, prisons, and birds. Mention the same four words to her grandson, and it will likely invoke Netflix, messaging, iPhones, and Twitter. Our technology changes the way we speak as much as it changes the way we work.
With the weather heating up, and the holiday weekend fast approaching, we at Evolved Media are ready to fire up our grills and don our red white and blue. As much as the holiday is prime time for celebration, it’s also a time to reflect on the revolutionary spirit of our founding fathers and mothers.