In today’s fast-paced digital age, businesses must continually find ways to cut through the noise and capture the attention of their target audience. One marketing technique that has gained popularity in recent years is newsjacking. Newsjacking refers to the practice of using breaking news or trending topics to create content that piggybacks off the public interest in those events. In this article, we will explore what newsjacking is and how it can be used as a marketing tool to boost brand awareness.
What is Newsjacking?
Newsjacking is a marketing technique that involves creating content related to a breaking news story or a trending topic. The content is designed to take advantage of the public interest in that news story or topic to attract attention and generate engagement. Newsjacking is a form of real-time marketing, as it requires businesses to act quickly to produce and distribute content while the news story is still relevant.
The term “newsjacking” was coined by David Meerman Scott, a marketing strategist and author of the book “Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage.” According to Scott, newsjacking is a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their visibility and credibility by associating themselves with a current news story or trend.
How Does Newsjacking Work?
Newsjacking works by tapping into the public’s interest in a breaking news story or trending topic and creating content that relates to that event. The content can take many forms, including blog posts, social media updates, videos, infographics, and more. The key is to produce content that is relevant to the news story or topic and that provides value to the audience.
For example, suppose a major news story breaks about a cybersecurity breach that affects millions of users. A business that offers cybersecurity services could create a blog post or social media update that provides tips on how to protect yourself from cyber-attacks. The content would be relevant to the news story and would provide value to the audience by offering practical advice.
Another way newsjacking can work is by taking advantage of trending topics on social media platforms. For example, if a hashtag related to a popular TV show is trending on Twitter, a business could create content related to that show and use the hashtag to reach a wider audience.
Benefits of Newsjacking
Newsjacking offers several benefits for businesses looking to increase their brand awareness and engage with their audience. Some of the key benefits include:
- Increased visibility: Newsjacking allows businesses to tap into the public’s interest in a breaking news story or trending topic, which can increase their visibility and exposure.
- Improved credibility: By associating themselves with a current news story or trend, businesses can improve their credibility and authority in their industry.
- Increased engagement: Newsjacking can generate high levels of engagement, as the content is relevant and timely, which can lead to increased shares, likes, and comments.
- Cost-effective: Newsjacking can be a cost-effective marketing strategy, as it doesn’t require a significant investment in advertising or production costs.
- Increased website traffic: By creating content related to a breaking news story or trending topic, businesses can attract visitors to their website, which can increase their website traffic and improve their SEO.
Tips for Effective Newsjacking
While newsjacking can be a powerful marketing tool, it’s essential to approach it with care and sensitivity. Here are some tips for effective newsjacking:
- Stay on brand: When newsjacking, it’s essential to stay on brand and ensure that the content is relevant to your business and your audience.
- Be timely: Newsjacking requires businesses to act quickly, so it’s essential to produce and distribute content while the news story or trend is still relevant.
- Provide value: The content should provide value to the audience, whether it’s practical tips, expert insights, or entertaining commentary.
- Be sensitive: When newsjacking a sensitive or tragic event, it’s important to be respectful and avoid appearing opportunistic or insensitive.
- Monitor the conversation: It’s important to monitor the conversation around the news story or trend to ensure that your content is relevant and appropriate.
- Be creative: Newsjacking is an opportunity to be creative and stand out from the competition, so don’t be afraid to try new formats or approaches.
- Don’t force it: Newsjacking should feel natural and authentic, so don’t force it if it doesn’t align with your brand or values
Examples of Effective Newsjacking
There are many examples of businesses that have successfully used newsjacking to boost their brand awareness and engagement. Here are a few examples:
- Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet: During the 2013 Super Bowl, a power outage caused a 34-minute delay in the game. Oreo took advantage of the moment by tweeting an image of an Oreo cookie in the dark with the caption “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet went viral and generated over 15,000 retweets and 20,000 likes.
- HubSpot’s Game of Thrones blog post: When the final season of Game of Thrones aired in 2019, HubSpot created a blog post titled “What Game of Thrones Can Teach Us About Marketing.” The post used examples from the show to provide insights into marketing strategies and generated over 10,000 views.
- The ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge: In 2014, the ALS Association launched the Ice Bucket Challenge, which involved people pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and challenging others to do the same or donate to the charity. The campaign went viral and generated over $115 million in donations for the organization.
Newsjacking can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses looking to increase their brand awareness and engagement. By tapping into the public’s interest in a breaking news story or trending topic, businesses can produce content that is timely, relevant, and valuable to their audience. However, it’s essential to approach newsjacking with care and sensitivity to avoid appearing opportunistic or insensitive. By following the tips and examples outlined in this article, businesses can effectively use newsjacking to boost their marketing efforts and stand out from the competition.