Creating new, engaging content is often an uphill battle for marketers. There are only so many “Top Five” lists you can write while still keeping your audience interested, right? And the last thing you want is for your customers to go to other sites for information.
One way to continuously produce fresh content that your readers will find interesting is “newsjacking.”
What Is Newsjacking?
Newsjacking is a way for you to use a current news story’s popularity as a marketing opportunity for your business. Basically, you “hijack” the news by using your brand to respond or interact with the news story. Remember the “Royal Baby” incident? That was newsjacking at its finest.
In a perfect world the breaking news story will have something to do with your industry, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. You can use a celebrity news item or even a human-interest story that goes viral.
Successful newsjacking comes from creative brains and quick fingers, as most news stories have a shelf life of 24-48 hours. So as soon as a story breaks, jump right on it.
Set Up Search Alerts
You could spend hours scouring the Internet for news stories, or you could set up alerts for certain keywords and have the news stories delivered directly to you. There are also a number of newsreaders that you can customize to deliver a steady stream of stories from different news sources. Feedly and Flipboard are great options.
Once you find a news story that you want to use, you will then need to create some original content around it. Before you start writing, take some time to search for the keywords that other people are searching for with regards to the story. Some keywords may have three or four times the search volume as others. Use the keywords with the highest volume when creating your original content.
Get To The Source
You also want to read up on the story before you start with your own content creation. Do this for two reasons: 1) you want to get the story right. By reading the original story you will get the facts straight. The last thing you want to do is pass on incorrect information; 2) doing so allows you to see what other people have written about the story. You want your content to be original.
Remember Your Consumers
How can you tailor the news story to your audience? Why would your customers be interested in this story? Like all of your other content, your newsjacking pieces must be written with your consumer in mind.
Don’t try to use a natural disaster or tragedy to market your business. There are too many horror stories of companies that have tried to leverage these types of stories only to receive incredible backlash from consumers. Don’t be that brand.
If it is done in good taste, however, newsjacking can be a great source of content and traffic for your brand.