Do you know how to newsjack?
You need to know how to.
A lot of marketers and social media managers have been newsjacking for quite some time now, but not everyone really knew what it was called.
In today’s guide, we’re changing that, we’ll explore its history, look at topics you can newsjack, and explain why you should be integrating it into your content marketing strategy.
The term newsjacking was coined by David Meerman Scott in 2011, describing it as an “art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed.”
The whole point of newsjacking is to attract a lot of attention to your brand.
The act becomes very effective when you create a newsjack a few hours after a trending story erupts. Mostly, newsjacking employs humor to attract a bigger audience. Some businesses may opt to use a dash of sarcasm, but it is strongly recommended that you refrain from saying something unseemly about your competitor as it can easily backfire.
To create evergreen content, stories that will stay relevant for a long period of time, you must know how to frame your message effectively. For content ideas to stay evergreen, it is highly recommended that you:
- Find the right kind of content that best represents your brand;
- Be mindful of timeliness;
- Promote your content on various social media platforms; and
- Experiment with various types of content until you find the ones that suit you best.
What are the benefits of newsjacking?
Not everyone uses newsjacking to promote their brands, but those who do often end up achieving what they want the most – getting attention. An effective newsjack necessitates wit and fast action. You can have a creative team assigned to brainstorm on this or just one or two people who can create graphics if needed, so you can publish timely and relevant newsjacking.
When used properly, newsjacking offers several benefits:
- It puts your brand in the limelight.
- Reflects your brand’s ability to stay relevant.
- It attracts social media engagement.
- It will give your brand a lot of mileage.
- It puts your brand side by side with other products or services.
When it is not executed tastefully, newsjacking can boomerang and taint the image of your brand. Make sure not to appear like you are bullying your competitor. Again, use wit and humor as you can never go wrong with these two attributes.
How do brands use newsjacking?
In 2019, McDonald’s lost the right to the “Big Mac” trademark all over Europe to the fast-food chain known as Supermac’s from Ireland. The landmark decision was released by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The decision continued to allow McDonald’s to use “Big Mac” as a name for its burger meal in Europe, but other businesses can also use the same name on their menus.
It was Burger King that used newsjacking to take advantage of its competitor’s recent legal mishap. The fast-food company released several promotional pieces of content that highlighted the “Big Mac” name. It released a description that stated: Big Mac-ish but flame-grilled of course.
Burger King’s newsjack on Mcdonald’s’ loss is a classic example of carefully developed content.
The Best Way to Newsjack
The key to creating an effective newsjack is to make sure to be the first to come up with one that is related to a very popular story or event. Posting ahead of your competitors will give you an opportunity to be more recognizable online. You need to begin by having a reliable and effective way to monitor stories as they happen.
Here are a couple of steps you need to employ in order to get ahead in the game:
- Choose a story that will serve your brand best.
- Come up with a smart and attractive quip.
- Make sure to stand out.
- Do not be hostile against anyone or a competing brand. Be witty and funny, but not
- Promote your content to the right group of people.
What is the best way to track news stories?
You have to stay connected on social media most of the time. Of course, for reliable sources of news stories, you are strongly advised to follow well-known news sites such as Reuters, Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, and Agence France-Presse (AFP), to mention a few.
There is also another way you can track stories as they happen. You can use:
- Trending hashtags on Twitter
- Google Alerts to check keywords
- Google Trends to track trending stories
- Sprout Social for social channels
- Blogger accounts
- Twitter accounts of reliable journalists
Some traditional marketers and content creators may see newsjacking as offensive. But when executed creatively and with a bit of sophistication, it can actually reflect a brand’s values as well. At the end of the day, it is just a matter of putting your idea into words, in a way that does not demean your biggest competitors at all.
As a method to promote your brand, newsjacking can help you achieve your goals faster. The only way to know if it will truly work for your brand is to try it out today.
Big Upcoming Events Perfect for Newsjacking
- 23rd Annual Latin Grammy Awards (November 17)
- Impact Wrestling Over Drive (November 18)
- 50th International Emmy Awards (November 21)
- American Music Awards (November 22)
- Black Friday sale (November 25)
- Survivor Series WarGames (November 26)
Watch out for these huge events and be on the lookout for the unlikely turn of events. Do you remember what a shock it was for everyone when Will Smith walked up on stage and slapped Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards in Mach 2022? That was epic. Nobody expected it and the memes just kept on coming like anything.
Every huge gathering is bound to have some slips, a minor accident, a drunk presenter harassing someone backstage, or people simply making a fool of themselves. When those epic moments happen, take the opportunity to come up with a quip that highlights your brand.
Newsjacking is one of the most effective ways of creating relevant content that resonates with your prospects.
This is especially the case if you newsjack topics that they care about.
It doesn’t even have to be just current events, it could be latest trends in the industry or in the case of Burger King, reacting to their competition.
Every content marketer needs to know how to newsjack.
It’s an essential skill if you want to remain on top of your game.