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How Brand Journalism Transforms Companies by Telling Stories?

Explore Brand Journalism and how it enables companies to create compelling content, tell brand stories, and enhance company culture effectively.

Written by RamotionJun 3, 20249 min read

Last updated: Jun 3, 2024

Understanding Brand Journalism

Brand journalism combines traditional journalism techniques with content marketing to create engaging and authentic stories about a company. 

This approach helps brands build trust, connect with their audience, and enhance their media presence by producing valuable and compelling content.

Unlike traditional marketing, brand journalism aims to produce newsworthy content that informs and entertains, establishing a deeper connection with the audience.

Distinguishing Features of Brand Journalism

Brand journalism focuses on creating a story about a company, with branding as a central component of this strategy. It emphasizes brevity and clarity, ensuring that all types of audiences can easily understand the content. 

Timely topics and verified sources are essential, providing engaging stories from vetted sources.  

This approach ensures that companies publish relevant, trustworthy, and compelling content that fills the content gap and enhances their media presence.

Historical Context of Brand Journalism

1. Early Development and Evolution

Brand journalism traces its roots to the early 2000s, when companies began adopting storytelling techniques from journalism to enhance their marketing efforts. 

As traditional advertising became less effective, brands focused on creating content that provided value and engaged their audience.  This shift marked the beginning of brand journalism, where companies started publishing their content.

An early example of brand journalism is from 2004 when McDonald's launched a corporate blog to engage with customers and address criticisms transparently. 

2. Growth and Significance

Over the years, brand journalism has grown significantly in importance and adoption. 

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 82% of B2B marketers use content marketing, which includes brand journalism, as a critical strategy to achieve their marketing goals.

The evolution of social media platforms also played a crucial role in the rise of brand journalism. 

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provided brands with direct channels to distribute content and engage with their audience in real-time.  This direct communication facilitated the spread of brand stories and helped companies build stronger customer relationships.

3. Contemporary Practice and Impact

Brand journalism has become an essential content marketing strategy in many companies today.

It allows brands to position themselves as thought leaders in their industries by creating and sharing high-quality, informative content.

According to a report by Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing and costs 62% less. Brand journalism has evolved from a new concept to a critical component of modern marketing strategies. 

Comparative Analysis of Brand Journalism and Content Marketing

Let's take a look at the table created by our brand strategy firm to compare the differences between brand journalism and content marketing:

Aspect Brand Journalism Content Marketing
Focus News-style stories related to the brand, often emphasizing the brand's values, history, and industry insights. This content aims to position the brand as a thought leader. Content that solves customer problems and drives conversions. The focus is on addressing the audience's needs and guiding them through the buyer's journey.
Objective Build trust and credibility through storytelling. Generate leads and sales through targeted content.
Content Type Feature stories, company culture pieces, industry news, and in-depth articles. Blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, infographics, and how-to guides.
Style Informative, narrative-driven, and often investigative. Persuasive, educational, and often promotional.
Primary Channels Corporate blogs, owned media, company websites, and possibly corporate media outlets Websites, social media, email newsletters, and third-party sites.

Similarities and Overlaps

Brand journalism and content marketing share several commonalities, primarily their reliance on compelling content to engage audiences.

Both approaches work to position the brand as an authoritative voice in its industry and aim to tell stories that resonate with their target demographic, however, with slightly different end goals. 

Another significant overlap is the emphasis on authenticity and credibility. 

As a result, both approaches prioritize creating high-quality, informative content that can stand on its merit. This overlap highlights the importance of maintaining journalistic integrity and marketing acumen to build and sustain audience trust and loyalty.

Practical Differences

Brand journalism focuses more on narrative and storytelling techniques borrowed from traditional journalism. It aims to create feature stories and news articles highlighting the brand’s values, culture, and industry insights. 

Brand journalists typically have a background in journalism and employ investigative and reporting skills to produce their content. They aim to create an image of the brand as a trusted and knowledgeable industry leader.

Content marketing, on the other hand, is more strategically aligned with marketing objectives. It focuses on creating content that directly supports the sales funnel, such as how-to guides, product comparisons, and customer testimonials. 

Content marketing managers often use SEO tools, analytics, and customer persona maps to shape their content strategy. 

The main objective is to drive measurable business outcomes such as lead generation, customer acquisition, and retention.

Strategic Objectives

Now, let’s look at the strategic objectives of content marketing and brand journalism.

Brand Journalism Objectives

  1. Build and maintain brand credibility through journalistic storytelling.
  2. Position the brand as an authoritative industry news source and insights.
  3. Enhance brand reputation by sharing compelling and authentic brand stories.

Content Marketing Objectives

  1. Generate leads and drive sales through targeted, valuable content.
  2. Improve customer engagement and loyalty by addressing their needs and problems.
  3. Increase brand awareness and reach by distributing content across various channels.

Audience Engagement Tactics

Brand journalism engages audiences by producing high-quality, narrative-driven content that offers insights into the brand's culture and industry expertise. 

This approach leverages traditional journalism skills to create feature stories that are both informative and compelling, often spotlighting behind-the-scenes aspects of the company or in-depth analyses of industry trends. 

Implementing Brand Journalism

We have analyzed the key pillars of brand journalism, so let’s take some practical steps to implement it within your own company.

Step 1. Define Your Objectives

Identify what you want to achieve with brand journalism, such as enhancing brand credibility, engaging with your audience, or positioning your brand as an industry leader. 

Clear objectives will guide your content strategy and ensure your efforts are aligned with your overall marketing goals.

Step 2. Assemble a Skilled Team

Hire or train brand journalists or brand strategy agency who have strong storytelling and journalism skills. Look for professionals with experience in traditional journalism who can create compelling content that resonates with your audience.

Step 3. Develop a Content Strategy

Outline the types of stories you want to tell, the topics you will cover, and the formats you will use. Your content strategy should align with your brand’s values and address the interests and needs of your audience.

Step 4. Set Up Owned Media Channels

Establish platforms like a corporate blog, company website, and social media accounts to publish your content. Owned media channels give you control over your message and allow you to build a loyal audience.

Step 6. Create an Editorial Calendar

Plan your content with an editorial calendar. This helps ensure a consistent flow of content and allows you to coordinate with other marketing activities.

Necessary Resources and Planning

Planning is crucial for successful brand journalism. Start by conducting a content audit to identify gaps and opportunities in your current content strategy.

Develop a detailed content plan that includes target audience profiles, key messaging, and a distribution strategy. 

Allocate a budget for content creation, promotion, and analytics to measure the impact of your efforts. 

Regularly review and adjust your strategy based on performance data to ensure you meet your objectives and effectively engage your audience.

Case Studies of Successful Brand Journalism

1. Microsoft Stories

Microsoft Stories is a digital storytelling platform that highlights the company's innovations, culture, and impact on society. Microsoft Stories effectively humanizes the brand because it is focusing on personal narratives and the positive impact of its technology on society.

The high-quality, visually engaging content positions Microsoft as a leader in innovation and corporate responsibility.

2. American Express Business Trends and Insights

American Express’s Business Trends and Insights is another prime example of corporate journalism. The platform provides articles, case studies, and guides on a wide range of business topics, from financial management to marketing strategies for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

The content helps business owners make informed decisions, enhancing their loyalty to the brand.

3. HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy is an educational platform that provides free online courses on inbound marketing, sales, and customer service.

The platform features video tutorials, certification programs, and comprehensive guides created by industry experts. This approach not only builds trust and authority but also drives customer loyalty and engagement by providing valuable skills and knowledge.

Key Elements and Content Strategies

Let’s take a look at some key elements of good storytelling.

Authentic Storytelling

Focus on telling real, relatable stories that reflect your brand’s values and mission. Authentic storytelling builds trust and creates a deeper connection with your audience.

High-Quality Content

Invest in producing high-quality, well-researched, well-written, and visually appealing content. High-quality content stands out and holds the audience’s attention.


Maintain a consistent publishing schedule and voice across all your content. Consistency helps in building a loyal audience and strengthens your brand’s presence.

Addressing Interests of Your Audience

Create content that addresses the interests and needs of your target audience. Understanding your audience’s preferences ensures that your content is relevant and engaging.

Multimedia Integration

Utilize various formats such as articles, videos, podcasts, and infographics to tell your brand stories. 

Multimedia content captures attention more effectively and appeals to diverse audiences. 

Reasons to Use Brand Journalism in Corporate Strategy

Brand journalism integrates journalism skills into corporate strategy, enabling companies to tell stories that resonate with their audience. This approach allows companies to produce news and feature stories that highlight their brand story, company culture, and industry news, filling the content gap left by traditional marketing. 

Creating compelling content allows companies to enhance their brand image, establish themselves as thought leaders and engage their audience on a personal level

Potential Impacts on Brand Perception and Customer Engagement

Brand journalism can significantly impact brand perception and customer engagement by producing authentic and engaging brand stories. 

When companies create brand journalism content that reflects their values and mission, they build trust and credibility with their audience. This strategy positions brands as credible sources of information, differentiating them from competitors. 

Engaging stories attract and retain customers' attention, encouraging deeper interactions and loyalty. Companies improve their reputation by consistently providing valuable content, turning casual followers into brand advocates.

Key Takeaways

  • Brand journalism focuses on authentic and compelling content to enhance brand perception and customer engagement. 
  • Companies that effectively use brand journalism content can build trust and credibility, leading to increased customer loyalty and a stronger overall brand presence in the market. 
  • Leveraging brand journalism positions brands as credible sources of information, differentiating them from competitors and attracting a loyal audience.