Newsjacking is becoming a common way for brands to jump on current news trends and gain exposure and traction amongst their audience. According to Mannix Marketing Inc, newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to boost traffic to your own blog or website. Here are a few examples that caught my attention from around the web.
Lynx hijacked the Harry in Vegas news and created this ad. (Source: campaign)
KitKat really wants a place for their name to be on the Red Bull Stratos, so they invited Felix to have a break on them.
Now this was one I personally found to be an epic feat of Newsjacking. It gave me a shock at first to see the two presidential candidates taking the time off their campaigns to join this publicity campaign for Billy Bombers (an American diner in Singapore) before I realised they were just life-size figurines. There were more votes for Obama in Singapore, if anyone’s interested. (Source: thestar.com)
So how can we go around newsjacking? Here are 4 tips based on David Meerman Scott’s book titled ‘Newsjacking’.
#1 – Be Quick
- Follow the news closely. To be exact, be at the cutting edge of the news.
- Do not wait for indications of public attention, act fast when you get the news to create the content and publish it on your company’s website.
#2 – Be Simple
Normally, the most widely spread newsjacking endeavors are pictures. This is because when the public searches for pictures regarding the news, they will inevitably stumble across the newsjacked pictures (assuming the pictures are tagged with sufficient consideration of SEO). They may be intrigued, and they may take a look.
- Whatever the content is, keep it simple, so the public will actually stop to take a peek when they stumble across your content.
#3 – Be sensitive
Being fast is definitely important, but being nasty and insensitive will not pay in terms of brand publicity. So as far as possible, do not offend anyone, except your competitors. In this age where bad comments can spread online, the last thing you want is to see your brand being criticized for being insensitive. On top of that, being sensitive may also pay.
- When the idea comes, take a step back and think if it offends any group of people. Do so again before publishing.
- When there is a tragedy of some sort, consider releasing informative content that may help the victims and others who are facing similar circumstances, if it is related to your brand.
#4 – Newsjacking with Relevance
In considering when to newsjack, be sure that the news is intrinsically related to your brand, or you can somehow relate the news to your brand. The Lynx ad is an example, as is the Spirit Airlines email below which leverages the fiscal cliff debate and news headlines. (Source: Email)
- In every newsjacking endeavor, think out of the box.
- Find keywords that are in the news you intend to jack and use them on your content.
So to put it simply – be quick, simple, sensitive and relevant. If you wonderring how to go about putting it all together to formulate an effective newsjack strategy that will only add to your overall content marketing strategy then the infographic below from the book ‘Newsjacking’, is a good place to start.
As part of the newsjacking strategy you also need to include keywords, after the main aim is to increase visibility amongst your audience and potential audience. So use keywords to improve your overall search rankings which may relate to the news item or your industry. It also makes sense to focus on keywords you’re trying to dominate for in search rankings as part of your ongoing branded content marketing.
It goes without saying that when done right newsjacking can become an attention getting tool in your content marketing arsenal. However the practice is not without disasters. For example take Kenneth Cole’s infamous mind-numbing reaction to 2011’s conflict in Cairo?
The brand tweeted: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online…—KC.”
What are your thoughts on newsjacking? Do you believe it has a place in your content marketing? Let us know in the comments below.