A Marketer’s Guide to Newsjacking

You see the articles everywhere, with titles like “10 Marketing Lessons from the Olympics” or  “3 Things Instagram’s Billion Dollar Payday Can Teach B2B Marketers.” Cleverly crafted takes on current events to entice readers into clicking over to a company’s site to read more. These articles, and articles like them, are part of an inbound marketing strategy known as newsjacking.

What is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking refers to the creation of content that inserts a company’s or writer’s thoughts into a trending news story in order to drive more clicks and peak reader interest. The term newsjacking was coined by author David Meerman Scott in his 2011 book and has quickly found a place in the modern marketer’s lexicon. So why has it seen so much success? Because when done correctly, newsjacking really works.

Why Newsjack?

Newsjacking can be a fun break from your everyday content creation, but it can also yield some other significant benefits. Effective newsjacking can increase your SEO, improve your brand’s reputation and recognition, and drive qualified traffic to your site at an extremely low cost. Not bad right? Here are a few basic tips for getting newsjacking right.

Newsjacking Tips

Immerse Yourself in the News
The key to successful newsjacking is to always be on top of the latest news. However, manually following every important news source on their website, blog, and social feed would be close to impossible. An effective newsjacker makes use of services like google reader, google alerts, and tweetdeck to stay on top of relevant blogs and industry keywords.

Make the Connections
If you wait around for breaking news that matches up perfectly with your industry, you could be waiting for a while. You need to keep an open mind when it comes to potential newsjacking subjects. If a story peaks your interest, but is not directly related to your industry, think about how you can tie it back to what your company does. Often, the most appealing and interesting articles make the most unexpected connections. Get creative.

Deliver on Your Promises
Creativity is a crucial element of newsjacking, but you need to set boundaries. Only write an article that you can truly tie back to the news story you are commenting on. While audiences are intrigued and often eager to read an article that makes unexpected connections, their eagerness can turn to disappointment if your article is too much of a stretch.

Move Quickly
The newsjacking process requires a quicker turnaround than your everyday content. It doesn’t take long for current events to become old news, which means you can lose potential readers if your content takes too long to produce. The goal is to be one of the first to create relevant content for a particular story. Once you’ve found a story and made strong connections back to your company, you should aim to have content out the same day.

Promote Vigorously
After so much hard work, it would be a shame if your carefully crafted content went unseen. Post it on your blog, tweet it out to your followers, and share it with your Facebook audience to get the word out. It will also help to comment on the article(s) that inspired the content with links back to your site. Monitor twitter for mentions of your topic and respond with links to your content. The more you spread the word, the more traffic you will generate.

Newsjacking can be an exciting break from your otherwise mundane content schedule, and it can deliver results well beyond that of your normal content. Have you been using newsjacking? We would love to hear your stories and see your examples in the comments below.

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One thought on “A Marketer’s Guide to Newsjacking

  • Matt,
    I didn’t know it had a name but I guess I did it. Although we don’t have a product yet, I wanted to establish a name for our company.

    When the first rumors of the Amobee acquisition leaked I was probably the first one to write any commentary on it. I put together the article and contacted Gomonews, who I new from a previous company.

    It resulted in us being contacted by the CMO at Adfonic and the COO at HipCricket, other mobile advertising companies who are now following our progress and will become business partners as we move along.

    I also blasted it out to our 5000 followers on Facebook and more on Twitter.

    Here is the link: http://www.gomonews.com/guest-post-from-stan-weitzman-what-the-amobee-acquisition-by-singtel-means-for-the-mobile-advertising-industry/

    Best regards,
    Stan Weitzman

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