You see headline news come across your phone, and when you search for more information you suddenly find many articles that reference the headline, but actually promote some other idea or product which wants to grab your interest! This is called Newsjacking.
Perhaps you are already on social media utilizing some latest news to promote something within your company? Or are you writing blog posts about something that just occurred in the world and referencing it to gain exposure to your posts? How about tagging on a celebrity that uses a product that your company is selling to generate sales in your own business? Well, if this sounds anything like you then you are already a newsjacker. You may not even realize that you are but here is the breakdown of what it is and how you can use newsjacking to benefit you and your company.
What Is Newsjacking?
Doesn’t this sound illegal? Well, believe it or not, it is quite legal in the marketing world and is being done every day. David Meerman Scott’s book “Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage” coined the term newsjacking. Basically, it is tagging onto a popular news story with your own content to gain public attention to your business and help your business gain exposure. It is really that simple.
Each time a story breaks in the news there is a point when marketers have a chance to ride on the wave of its popularity. In doing so, they benefit their company. This could be through sales, increased hits on websites, more leads, etc. But the fact is that you have attached yourself to this event and you will continue to be on the ride until it dies down.
This doesn’t just pertain to business news but also celebrity stories, sports stories, and entertainment award shows. These all can get your company noticed if you write the best content to coincide that event.
How to Use It?
To make newsjacking work for you and your company, you must have a good understanding of how to use it. This is not a complicated process, but you must act fast and know how to think quickly on your feet. Think of it as running a race with social media. You must always be on the ball and linked to stories that could prove to be successful for your business.
Here are Steps to Make Newsjacking Work
What this means is to look for stories that you could newsjack and attach an alert to them through Google alerts. This ensures that if something newsworthy occurs, you will get the first scoop on it. You are a busy person and searching all day on the internet for stories to newsjack would be a waste of your time. By setting up alerts you can sit back and let the internet work for you. Less time consuming and helpful in providing you with any news that is worthy of newsjacking.
Find the Keyword to Use
Once you locate your story, then you need to get as many people to see your posts as possible. This is the whole reason why you are newsjacking, so make it count. To locate a popular keyword, you can use Google to assist. Start with searching for the keyword search tool. Look for popular keywords and target those in your content.
Find the Primary Source
You want to create content that is unique and hasn’t been written. You must find the primary source so that you are writing from the original story. This is key to not only maintaining your originality but also your own credibility. You must read all that is out there in the story that you wish to newsjack. So, when you write your own content, it is fresh and not piggybacking off another story. You want your story to be the first out there and gaining the most exposure from your excellent skills newsjacking.
Create Your Newsjacking Content
Now it is time to write your content and get it out quickly. Remember you are up against a story that will soon go stale so your timing is crucial. No one reads yesterday’s news. But don’t let the speed impede your basic writing skills. Your content is going out to promote your company and increase sales, therefore, it is a representation of your business. Use your writing tools and check all spelling, grammar and punctuation. Have another person read it before you send it out. But don’t get too detailed in your editing. Just do the basic changes and get this sent out. Time is of the essence in newsjacking.
Find Your Niche
This phrase not only applies when your write but also when newsjacking. For your story to gain the attention that you want you must find the best way to tell it. You must consider your own audience you are sending it to. Write to your audience in the simplest way possible. But if you find that someone has written something already on this don’t despair. When you are newsjacking, you must keep in mind that you can always write something better than what is already out there. Just find your own way of telling the story and give your audience a reason to read it above all the other stories.
Publish Your Content
Publish has many meanings but in this case, it refers to getting your content out there in the web world. This means on your own social network sites. Also use your connections with newscasters, journalists, and celebrities if you know of any and have them help you. It is in their interest as well for they also want to keep their own web content flowing. So it is a win-win for you both.
Benefits for Sales and Promotion
Newsjacking certainly has its benefits, for example, improving your brand’s reputation and driving highly targeted traffic to you that can turn into leads or sales. It brings awareness to your company and brings more traffic through SEO. Also brings new customers, and that helps to expand your business. You want to bring your company into the limelight but be aware that there are some subjects that you do not want to associate your company with. Discuss with your team and come up with a list of topics that they would like to cover and areas to stay away from. To gain the most benefits from newsjacking it is best to put in some order within your department. This will ensure that you are making the most of the upcoming event and catapulting on it with a purpose in mind.
Whether generating more leads or gaining more sales for your company newsjacking can be a very positive tool if used correctly. There are some risks but once you have an agreement with your team and a plan in place, then it will run smoothly.
Newsjacking Key Elements
- Plan – Have a plan in place so that research and creating the story will go smoother.
- Purpose – Be clear on the reasons why you are newsjacking whether it be to generate leads, promotion or sales.
- Prepare – Put on calendar events relative to your company. Ex. NBA, Tony Awards, etc.
- Publish – Once completed and proofed, get your content out to your audience.
Controversial Topics for Newsjacking
It is recommended that you promote to the pop culture or zeitgeist. These groups are found by monitoring Google Trends and trending hashtags on social media. There are some controversial topics that you must stay away from to protect your company or brand for if you use them you might come across as too opportunistic.
Death, destruction, and disasters
It’s best not to newsjack off these types of stories. These will not promote your company or brand in a positive light by newsjacking off an upsetting event. If you are expressing sympathy or donating to a cause without trying to promote sales, then this isn’t newsjacking and will not be a risk to your marketing or promotional activities.
Measure the risks and rewards when choosing to comment on political issues. Keep clear of this area unless you are comfortable delving into politics with your audience that you are promoting to.
Newsjacking can be useful to a company from gaining new customers, increasing sales and promoting new products. We can benefit from events in the media to generate these results if we use newsjacking correctly. It is easy to move too quickly and cost your company or brand loss of their good reputation. This could happen if you use newsjacking on a disastrous event, death, or destruction. If you decide to take a political stance do so carefully and with the approval of your marketing team. We must approach newsjacking as we do with anything in our businesses with proper planning. Research your topics thoroughly while focusing on the results you are trying to achieve with newsjacking. But with any news story, one must act quickly so stay up to the minute with news alerts. Write your newsjacking story in a new perspective that will get to the heart of the matter and impinge on your audience. We all have a bit of pirate in us and newsjacking is a modern adaptation.
Written for: Steady Content