What do Sharknados, the Royal Baby, Six Flags, Kanye West and National Ice Cream Day all have in common right now? They are all trending in the news, which means you only have a small window of time to do your newsjacking. Your mission if you choose to accept it is to learn what newsjacking is in the five minutes or less it takes you to read today’s internet marketing tips and then become a newsjacker yourself.
What is newsjacking?
According to David Meerman Scott, newsjacking is the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business. Who doesn’t like media coverage? Especially if you’re riding the trending wave of a topic a lot of people are currently searching for.
It seems like every second there is breaking news somewhere in the world. Sometimes it might directly relate to your industry, sometimes it might parallel it in some way, and sometimes it might be completely perpendicular, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to newsjack. You just have to get a little bit creative.
The key to newsjacking is timing. You have a small but distinct opportunity to get in on the action. Usually hours or days, sometimes weeks if you’re lucky. Click here to see a visual representation of the life of a news story and when to newsjack.
One example of newsjacking we did at Half a Bubble Out was jumping on the bandwagon when Facebook announced the use of hashtags or when Google announced major changes to its algorithm. We devoted two internet marketing tips blogs to the topics. If your customers and potential customers are going to be talking about something, or it’s going to affect them, then you should be writing about it!
Why should you newsjack?
- Revive your marketing drive. Newsjacking is a drop everything kind of deal. It requires you to react quickly. It’s easy to get bogged down by the weight and strategy of targeted campaigns and feel like you’re going nowhere. Newsjacking is fun and exciting and can help get you out of a rut and put a little bit of life back into your marketing efforts.
- SEO benefits. Google rewards websites who quickly publish news stories, as we know from its freshness update. Basically, different searches require more timely or “fresher” results. These type of searches include recent events, hot topics, regularly recurring events, and frequent updates. This could help improve your search rankings about the topic you’re newsjacking.
- Social shares. If you write a blog post about a hot topic in the news and its automated to post to Facebook, Twitter or other social sites, more people are going to see it, share it, and come to your blog to read about it.
- Generate leads. If you have people coming to your site to read about your news, and you have good calls-to-action on your blog, you have the potential of generating sales leads which could later convert into customers. If you know they became a lead from the blog post that you wrote intentionally newsjacking, then if you get the opportunity to talk to them you’ll know exactly what to start out talking about!
- Be seen as a credible source. If you’re newsjacking the right kind of news that relates well to your company, then your customers will see you as a trusted source on industry news that keeps them in the know when they need to know.
These are all good reasons to newspagck right? Now you just need to know how to do it.
How to Newsjack
1. Find Your News by:
- Monitoring trends
- Tracking journalists and media outlets
- Setting up alerts about topics in your industry
- Following Twitter hashtags
2. Develop a quick strategy:
- Once you have your topic to newsjack, perform some keyword research. Choosing a keyword phrase with some search volume will give you a little extra credit in Google’s algorithm.
- Read about the topic from the primary news source and be familiar with what others are already saying. This will help you develop your own angle to differentiate yourself.
- Ask, “why should the media or someone searching even care about this?”
- Write quickly, but accurately!
3. Take action
- Blog it
- Tweet It
- Share it
- Email it
- Promote the heck out of it!
New breaks 24/7 so there are ample opportunities to newsjack. It will take time and practice, or if you’re lucky it might just take off, but the important things to remember are that anyone can do it, react quickly, be relevant, and use good judgment.
So if you can figure out how to incorporate your company into news about a Sharknado, the Royal Baby or National Ice Cream Day, right now, go for it! Now’s your chance and if you got to the end of this internet marketing tips post, you’re ready.