Why? Because journalists tell stories, and journalists understand how to "hook and hold" readers better than marketers, who practice a kind of black magic. Marketers have grown up working in a world where exaggerating and manipulating are acceptable professional practices. Marketers are skilled at the kind of "interruption marketing" (TV commercials, email spam, pop up ads, etc.) that no longer work and is going the way of the dinosaur. Mad Men is dead, thankfully. You can't trick today's hyper-saturated consumer, who can always skip or block or ignore any marketing message.
What today's audiences want is human connection and trust. You can't fool them with marketing gimmicks. Really, you never could. When you exaggerate and manipulate and scream you might gain audience attention, at least momentarily, but at the cost of trust. Such a cost is too high -- and it's what has killed traditional marketing.
Content marketing is simple and sustainable, and journalists do it best. Don't interrupt folks by shouting messages at them. Instead, give them something they want -- new information, insight or entertainment -- in exchange for something invaluable: audience attention. What do people want? Stories that engage them. People yearn for the emotional connection of great stories told H2H style. Human-to-human -- like the old days around the campfire or over the back yard fence.
Journalists, if nothing else, know how to build and tell stories. They research and find new information, which they package into engaging stories for their audiences. Journalists grew up respecting the reader, putting the audience first. No tricks. No playing with the truth. No yelling. Build trust by constructing a good story brick by brick, sentence by sentence. Nobody cares about YOU the writer (or the brand), as all journalists know, so earn the reader's attention by giving them something THEY want, something that engages.
Seth Godin has it right. Content marketing is now the only marketing that works. But it's not really marketing. It's one human (the writer) speaking to another human (you). We seek the human voice, yearn for emotional connection, not the hucksterism of traditional, interruption marketing -- with its trust-killing hype and lies and tricks. Talk to me as you would talk to a friend, and then you'll get my attention and trust. I don't keep friends (or brands) who lie to me. Brands have to act more like friends, or be shunned.
Journalists are better marketers today than marketers, with all their metrics and funnels and ROI and pain points. Nobody cares about metrics, least of all the audiences marketers seek to attract. Tell stories and hold the funnel talk and the shouting. As the old saying goes, "content is king." That's good for all of us willing to be human and engage with others as humans.