Newsjacking in Content Marketing – Things You Should Know


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One of latest strategies to surface in digital marketing in this past years is Newsjacking. But most people are probably not familiar with the term. Countless brands today are willing to invest in this idea to boost their brand awareness and attract new customers. Check out the facts we prepare below and see how Newsjacking works and how will it might help you improve your content strategy.

Newsjacking: Its Definition

Newsjacking is defined as the practice of leveraging trending and popular news stories to increase media milage. The term itself was popularized in the book “Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage” by Marketing and PR Expert and bestselling author David Meerman Scott.

The underlying concepts behind this strategy are:

  • News is breaking every second.
  • The life of a news story dies down pretty quickly.
  • There is a point at which marketers have the opportunity to ride the popularity and inject their marketing message in some way before the story losses it’s action.

Newsjacking as part of Content Strategy

The definition and use of Newsjacking has significantly varied throughout the years. And its use in creating content has increased due to its promising results, especially in reaching targeted audience. This technique has brought quick solution for a persisting problem that marketers have struggled with in a long time.

The truth is, some of our contents are simply not exciting for our audience. All this statistics and information about certain industries may not get our readers attention unless it has a direct impact to them. As marketers, we have to find a way to make these boring information to look more enticing and eventually, promote audience engagement.

This is where Newsjacking comes right in. By capitalizing on pop culture topics such as movies, TV shows, events and technologies and trending stories on social media, we can possibly attract our audience to react with our posts.

The biggest catch here is that no matter how serious your topic can be, as long as we infused it with the elements of the most popular stuff happening in the real and cyber world, then we will be to do our role as a marketer while having fun and relevant to our audience’s interests.

Benefits of Newsjacking to Content Marketing

Since the day of its inception, it is no doubt that this technique has improved the way we do content marketing. When done right, we will reap bunch of benefits such as:

  • Improves brand reputation.
  • Drives highly targeted traffic that can turn into leads and sales.
  • Attracts customers for real time commentary about your content.
  • Sharing a new angle for branded content ideas.
  • Leading your market in thought leadership.
  • Adds to brand’s credibility and authority.
  • Record-breaking social activities and shares
  • Organic links and citations

Guidelines in Newsjacking

Newsjacking itself is considered an art and science by its pioneer David Meerman Scott. Creating one requires some discipline that will bring success when followed. Some guidelines that helps to create an effective Newsjacking are:

  • Mark your calendars for special events – Pre-determining some of the events in your locality or even overseas can give you enough time to plan the post that you would share.
  • Always stay tuned – Monitoring the news in Facebook and Twitter can help you to find news appropriate for newsjacking.
  • Choose the right story – Make it sure that the story you are covering is not the gloom and doom type of story or wherein people suffers in that event like tragedies or natural disasters.
  • Be on time- Make sure that you post your content when it is most relevant.
  • Be sensitive- Always consider how your audiences will react to your messages.

Newsjacking Opportunities and examples.

Newsjacking starts with a topic to cover. Here is the list provided by Imagine Business Development on where to find your next newsjacking topic with examples.

Breaking news and Current Events such as the 2012 presidential election. This blog from Hubspot shows how they took advantage of such event even though it is completely unrelated to their company:

hubspot political newsjacking

Pop Culture (TV Shows, Movies, Award shows, Celebrity News, etc.). A great example of this is the blog post from Hubspot which is shown below:

hubspot pop culture newsjacking

Other popular trends or crazes. This article by Impact Branding and Design took advantage of the Cronut craze and used it to teach lessons in content marketing:

impact branding and design newsjacking

Sporting Events such as World Cup. This article by Entrepreneur used the Germany’s 2014 World Cup title to deliver lessons about improving our personal and professional lives:

2014 newsjacking sample

Perhaps the more recent examples are the marketer’s and business owners usage of Pokemon Go as their main newsjacking topic. See what I found on Linkedin when searching for “Pokemon Go”.

pokemon go on linkedin

Tools Used in to Find Newsjacking Stories

With the aforementioned rules and guidelines, a help from some tools will come handy to help you do this technique. Some of the tools are the following:

  • Social media monitoring tools such as Social Mention, Hootsuite, Pinalerts and Quora discussions will help you monitor the terms that you’d likely to make stories.
  • Websites such as Days of the Year provides you what is unique event happening for today.
  • Editorial calendars such as Coschedule to remind you when events will happen and what you are doing about it.
  • Linkedin Pulse and Business 2 Community for what’s happening and trending in the business community.

Making a Newsjacked Content

To get on the action, here are the steps to take advantage on newsjacking to pump up your content marketing

  • Make a habit of checking out trending topics (relevant and irrelevant to your industry).
  • Research before you publish to make sure that your content is accurate and have the story straight.
  • Make it your own by injecting and showing the relevance of your own ideas to the story.
  • Do your content as quickly as possible in order to receive most of the benefits from newsjacking.
  • Use calls-to-action in order to generate leads from your story.
  • Post your content in social media sites to increase the buzz and get on the conversation.

A cleverly written newsjack can help you promote your business like never before and will get you a lot of media mileage. Just remember to take these ideas, principles and guidelines in mind and do them!

Is there any other thing you would like to add to Newsjacking that I didn’t cover above? If so, please comment below. Questions and clarifications are also welcome!

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Jomer Gregorio

Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.