Ever heard of newsjacking? You may already engage in such activities (it’s completely legal!)
In case you haven’t, you’ll want to read this and start doing so today!
Newsjacking is exploiting the popular news stories from day to day to increase your sales and marketing reach. There is never a shortage of news and many can be custom tailored to vent from several lesser-applicable niche page and sites. Note that popular stories will loose their potency quickly, thus is best to ‘ride the wave’ early and capitalize on the early goings. Here’s a visual representation of the life of a new story”
Cool visualization right? Generally speaking, if people are going to chat about it, share it extensively and it can affect your audience then you should be writing about it and get you slice of the pie. You’ve already seen this in action. Most mainstream news sources are thoroughly engaged in this strategy right now and you are seeing this everywhere!
One of the biggest factors in newsjacking is time. Typically, you must move fast to catch the initial wave any particular story starts to generate. In the words of Nike, just do it
Check out this ‘blueprint’ from the smart folks over at hubspot on “how to Newsjack”
How to Newsjack
You’re about to learn how to newsjack, and it might look like a lot of steps. Don’t be intimidated! Newsjacking is a pretty simple process, and remember — the key to doing it successfully is thinking and acting fast. So while I’ve broken this out into many steps to make it easier to digest, when you do this for yourself for the first time, you’ll see just how swiftly you move through the process.
Step 1: Set Up Alerts
To find stories to newsjack, you have to constantly monitor the news. You could spend the entire day reading the internet, or you could use technology to make monitoring much easier and less time consuming! I’m assuming you prefer the latter 😉 Set up an RSS feed that includes major news outlets as well as industry publications that will alert you to both natural and out-of-the-box opportunities. And don’t forget about leveraging social media, particularly Twitter, as a means of stumbling upon newsjacking opportunities. We use our own social media monitoring tool to set up mentions of terms we’d like to monitor for, and perhaps newsjack!
Step 2: Check Keyword Search Volume
Once you find a story you’d like to newsjack, you’ll need to create some content around it. Before you get writing, take a few moments to research the search volume around variations of the keyword phrase you’d like to target. Yes, Google’s algorithm will reward you for writing about a news item first, but wouldn’t you like to get that extra little organic boost because you chose to target a variation of your keyword phrase with higher search volume? For example, did you know that the phrase “what is the google panda update” has an approximate global monthly search of 14,800, while the phrase “google panda update explanation” has (gasp!) no search volume? That’s a good piece of information to have when creating and optimizing your content, and all from just a few measley minutes of keyword research!
Step 3: Read About Your Topic
I know, you want to get to the actual newsjacking already, right? One more thing before you start creating content and promoting! Find the primary source of the news story, and what others have already written about the news story. This is important for two reasons: it allows you to maintain originality, and credibility.
Think about it this way — if the London Fire Brigade offered their free fire training lessons to Kate Winslet a few hours after another group did the exact same thing, they’d look foolish and behind the times, not to mention their effort would be wasted. Similarly, if we had written a blog post explaining the Google Knowledge Graph based off of just one news outlet’s understanding of the change, we could easily pass along incorrect information, or at the very least not present the entire scope of the story. Find the primary source, gauge what others have written, and get a firm grasp on the story before you proceed to the actual newsjacking.
Step 4: Write Quickly, but Accurately
Now that you’re well versed in the breaking story you’re going to newsjack, get to writing … and do it fast ! Usually when you write a blog post, you might spend time sifting through stock photography to find the best image to accompany the post. Or perhaps you experiment with formatting to see whether your list should be in bullet or number format. While we applaud your perfectionist nature, newsjacking is not the time for such things — you want to be the first to respond to a news story, after all! As long as your content is accurate and has been read through once by a trusted colleague, the nitpicky things many of us typically do before publishing content should be reserved for later.
Step 5: Differentiate Yourself
You should always inject your own angle when you’re newsjacking. Ask yourself — what makes this story interesting to my audience, specifically? For example, a developer could newsjack the Google Knowledge Graph story by writing about how their algorithm was engineered, as opposed to writing about how it affects marketers and SEOs. Or maybe you’re a tad late to the game and someone has already written your angle to the story. That doesn’t mean you can’t write it better — perhaps you can be more thorough, more clear, or provide more meaningful examples. When you’re newsjacking, you need to provide some reason for people to reference your content above all the other content out there!
Step 6: Get the Word Out
The last step to a successful newsjacking is actually marketing your marketing. Yes, you might get some natural traction from organic search , but that alone won’t give you the power punch you wanted that made you newsjack in the first place. Let people know about your spin on the story! For example, we share all of our newsjacking content on our social networks to extend its reach. But we also foster long term relationships with partners and journalists who can help get the word out there when relevant. After all, others are always looking for juicy content to keep their web content flowing — if you can be the one to offer them a unique story, you can bet they’re going to give your newsjacking some coverage!
Get newsjacking folks! By now, you should have a better understand of how to do it and should begin implementing today! In case you want to read a bit more on the “why”, check out hubspot’s full post here –> hubspot.com/newsjacking
Thanks for stopping by fellow marketer!
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