What Is Newsjacking?

When a news event occurs in your industry, it’s an opportunity to attract interested users to your content. Newsjacking is the optimal way to do this. Look for opportunities to write a blog post, create social media posts, and generate press coverage to attract relevant, qualified leads that turn into sales. 

One of the most effective ways to do this by piggybacking on trending topics and articles – that’s what newsjacking is.

News breaks every second of every minute of every day. You don’t even need to pick up your phone to get the news, you get a notification instantly when something happens. A big story within your industry or niche is the perfect trending topic to create content around. It’s relevant; it’s what people are going to be searching for, and it will attract high-quality relevant leads to your site.

So What Is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking happens all the time, especially on social media – Twitter in particular. It was popularised by marketer David Meerman Scott and involves producing content relevant to the big news stories of the day. When a news alert occurs, ask yourself how you can harness the vast media attention on a topic and turn it into brand awareness of your products and services.

Newsjacking presents a unique opportunity for businesses to ride the media coverage of a popular story to benefit your company’s marketing strategy. The concept of newsjacking relies on a fast news cycle. The amount of media attention a news item gets dwindles over time; the faster you can pounce on an emerging story, the bigger benefits your business will see.

Successful newsjacking doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right strategy, content production team, and social channels, you can have an immediate impact with relatively little effort. Producing high-quality content that is relevant to emerging news items can help your website capture the traffic of trending keywords and search queries and a slice of the social media buzz that’s been created.

The Benefits Of Newsjacking

Successful newsjacking has the potential to generate qualified traffic to your website as long as you focus on the right topic. Marketers can expand the reach of their business’s online presence by establishing industry authority by producing relevant content. Attaching your brand to trending topics increases exposure and shows your knowledge on topics within your industry.

The reason big news items are valuable to newsjack is that people are interested in them. People want to read, discuss, and learn about the trending topics of the day. Producing relevant content that captures the current zeitgeist opens up a conversation. When that conversation involves sharing your content, discussing it on social media, and engaging with your website, this can be very beneficial to your business. 

How To Newsjack

Set Up Alerts

Successful newsjacking needs to be done fast. Often, to gain the biggest bounce from a trending topic, you need to publish content as its search volume and media attention are rising – not at peak of the topic’s interest. 

Monitor the news. You can do this passively using tools that alert you to breaking news. This way is more effective and easier long-term. Monitor social media, industry news outlets, and mainstream media feeds for trending topics to produce content on.

Research Your Topic

When news breaks, read about the topic. Fact check it and confirm everything is 100% factually accurate. Fake news is extremely prevalent right now, attaching your brand to an untrue story will be damaging to your business’s reputation. Ensure the news source is genuine before even thinking about creating content around the topic.

Read the content that’s already produced around the news item. Research isn’t only to learn about the topic but to ensure you create original content that’s relevant and credible. You should also check the keyword search volume to see if the news item is worth producing content on.

Create Relevant Content Fast

Once you’re sure the trending topic can benefit your business, create relevant content fast. To ride the wave of a popular topic as more and more people are searching for it, you need to create and publish content as quickly as possible. While making sure you’re including the relevant information that your users want to know.

Make It Unique

One of the most important aspects to consider is to differentiate your content. When you’re newsjacking, you need to add something to the conversation. That’s how you will expand your brand’s reach and increase awareness of your business. Add uniqueness to your content and contribute your knowledge to the topic to attract people to your business.

Newsjacking doesn’t have to be serious, often it’s comedic content that travels the fastest and to a broad audience. Look at memes on social media and viral Twitter threads, the reason they’re so popular is that people find them funny and connect to their message. 

Publish & Promote

Once you’ve created content, you need to let interested people know about it. Promote the blog posts, articles, or other forms of content on your business’s social channels. When you’re writing an article ensure the relevant keywords are used throughout the content so it shows up with trending search queries. Hashtags are also hugely influential on Twitter and can be the difference between content reaching an audience and being buried under a sea of other brands.

The Risks Of Newsjacking

While newsjacking can be so valuable to your organisation, it has to be implemented effectively. You have to hop on the right trending topic. The news item has to be relevant to your business; otherwise, you won’t attract the right interested people to your website – the leads most likely to convert into customers.

The news story has to be relevant to your industry, even if it’s only slightly related. For example, when Google rolls out a core algorithm update, we produce content around this event. December was the last time Google rolled out an update and we produced a blog on what lessons marketers could learn. The aim was to provide relevant content that was informative to the reader on a trending topic to attract interested people to our website.

Jumping on the wrong topic is also a risk. Attracting people who aren’t interested in your content could harm your brand awareness. It’s advisable to avoid creating content based around sensitive topics such as politics. 

Aligning your company with a certain stance could alienate customers who have differing opinions and values. Businesses should be neutral and present an unbiased view of a situation. Creating ill-informed or rushed content may also appear as if your business is jumping on the bandwagon of media coverage, which could lead to a negative impact on your brand’s reputation.

However, the strategy poses risks if you don’t publish content on a topic fast enough. Being slow to react, appearing behind the news cycle, may make your company look behind the curve. In this scenario, newsjacking does more harm than good. 

Should You Be Newsjacking?

Whether or not newsjacking is the right tactic for your business is dependent on your circumstances and objectives. It requires marketers to be on the ball with emerging news items; noticing them and creating content around them. While this can be done effectively using a tool, newsjacking still takes time to produce content. It also needs to be completed quickly to catch the wave of interest in a trending topic.

This strategy might not be appropriate for every business; however, if you can implement it effectively, successful newsjacking has a wide range of benefits for a variety of industries. It does require a marketer to be constantly on the ball with trends and able to produce content almost at the drop of a hat.

How Can We Help?

Newsjacking should be an element of a broad content plan within an inbound marketing strategy. At Bright Design, we produce content that delivers measurable results. When collaborating with our client-partners, we design and implement a content schedule that drives the audience to their site and helps them achieve their goals.

Discover how we can raise brand awareness, increase sales, and grow your business by getting in touch with our team.

Peter Dennis

Pete joined the team in 2019 as a copywriter. His main responsibilities involve researching and writing valuable content for our client-partners to ultimately help them achieve their goals. Pete works closely with the Marketing and Account Management teams to ensure his content aligns to what each client is looking to achieve.

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