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Writing History: How Audience Connection Has Evolved in the Digital Age

How Audience Connection Has Evolved in the Digital Age


The evolution of the written word to communicate information to the masses has undergone a seismic shift in a comparatively short period of time. 

Officially, digital technology can be traced back to the 1970s but a significant move to digital content only occurred in the last decade of the twentieth century. This means that many, still relatively young, writers were educated in an age when there were limited platforms for expression, and unlike today, had a captured audience in printed newspapers and magazines. Writers have had to be agile, quickly adjusting to a variety of new communication channels driven by audience demand rather than editorial preference.


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Journalism vs Digital Media

According to Trafficon’s Rebecca Harris, a senior content writer with the unique perspective of a journalist who transitioned to digital content creation, whilst the basics remain, there are significant differences between the two. 

“The major difference between journalism and digital content and copywriting is that news reporting involves an unbiased viewpoint, reporting facts without colouring the narrative with an opinion,” Ms Harris explains. 

“On the other hand, writing for digital platforms encompasses a wide range of intentions including marketing, brand positioning and sales. Digital content’s bottom line is to attract online traffic, motivate the reader to an opinion, an action, or a desire and ultimately transform that into an investment.”


The Dissolution of Trust

Ms Harris laments the fact that journalism has lost its innocence with the advent of fake news and readers are becoming increasingly leery of believing anything they read online.

“At its core, journalism should be guided by the principles of fairness, impartiality and accuracy but the line between journalism and marketing has become blurred,” she concedes. “Even news sites formerly recognised for their disinterested objectivity, are resorting to sensationalised headlines to capture reader attention.”

“It all comes down to profit – stirring readers curiosity enough to cross that paywall. The problem for publishers is, that if you keep letting readers down you undermine credibility and lose trust and once that is lost, there is no coming back. This principle translates to digital content; building and maintaining customer relationships and brand trust is crucial.”

This underlines the fact that strategically written and positioned digital content significantly and positively influences audience perception and behaviour. Used effectively, and in the hands of a competent writer, it forms a fundamental weapon in a business’ marketing arsenal.

“In content writing, we now have the capacity to tailor content to reach a specific audience, by leveraging tools such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to improve results in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP),” Ms Harris said. 

“In fully exploiting the available range of platforms at our disposal, such as social media, webpages, blogging and outreach content, writers can now invent newsworthy stories and use the power of words to manipulate peoples’ decision-making. We also have dynamic analytical tools, providing insights into the behavioural patterns of online traffic; enabling us to tailor or modify the narrative to further connect with and shape our target audience.”

She goes on to explain that whatever the platform, the basic writing principles remain the same.

“Whether writing for a newspaper or website, content must be engaging, concise and well-researched,” she said. “The benefit of having a journalist like me writing onsite content is that it will also be unique, factual and emotive.”

“When representing a brand competing to make themselves an authority in their field or industry through powerful, informative content, it is vital that the writer articulates the business’ expertise in their field – this is where AI completely falls apart.”

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The Role of AI in Digital Content

With AI becoming an increasingly large threat to natural intelligence or human-derived expression, Ms Harris believes that it has a place in content creation but not the one many people are touting.

“I currently still write all my content from scratch because, with businesses aiming to become market leaders by showcasing their expertise, AI cannot discern between factual and non-factual information. Also, a human writer understands nuances such as the culture of a business. They form a bridge between the reader and the brand by effectively communicating the business’ points of difference and promoting the ethical, environmental or humanitarian causes to which it is aligned. To further cement the relationship, a writer injects humour, personality and heart to resonate with their audience.”

“If content is generic, vague and lacking true value, it is unlikely that you will form a connection with your reader. Once you lose an audience’s trust, there is no recovery. I see that AI, at best, could provide ideas or an angle I hadn’t considered previously. However, to utilise it as a one-stop-shop for creating content is absolute folly.”

At Trafficon, we understand that content marketing and writing to influence readers requires carefully crafted, customised content, persuasively written to establish credibility, appeal to emotions, engage an audience, and ultimately, result in a call to action – a purchase, a donation or a commitment. Unlike other digital marketing companies, our writers write.


If you think your business could benefit from strategically crafted content drop us a line and one of our passionate team members will get straight back to you. Experience the difference of Trafficon’s uniquely personal approach, to increase your website traffic, build your brand and boost your bottom line.

About Me

Trafficon is a team of experienced digital marketing specialists dedicated to providing online businesses across Australia and beyond with the skills they need to thrive and grow. With a focus on website design, SEO, content, and SEM, Trafficon is the key to a better online experience.

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