Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on hot news events that are totally unrelated to your business. It is the art of using current trending news to create content that your audience will read. The term was made popular when David Meeman Scott’s book, Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage was published.
If, for example, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have a baby and name her North West. What does that have to do with your business? Nothing. But everybody is talking about it. So how can you capitalize on that interest?
Let’s say you own a company that offers Branding services, you could write a blog post or tweet about celebrities attempting to “brand” their children by giving them unique and memorable names like Apple or Moon Unit.
Or perhaps you are an Intellectual Property Attorney. You could talk about how Jay-Z and Beyonce’ trademarked their baby’s name, Blue Ivy. Could you trademark North West when it’s such a generic term?
Ok, one more. You sell products that are perfect for Mother’s Day gifts. You could highlight celebrity Mom’s and tie baby names into your product promotions.
Key components of good newsjacking is to make sure you ask yourself what would be interesting to your reader and how it relates to what you sell and that you publish quickly. To be an expert newsjacker, you need to read about the news item, become well versed in it, then write your post quickly, putting your expert spin on the topic. And don’t forget to share it on your social media channels as well as your blog.
Remember the 35 minute black out at the Super Bowl? Oreo tweeted a photo of its cookie with the caption “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.” It was retweeted over 15,000 times and generated over 20,000 likes on Facebook!
But a few helpful hints include:
- Time your newsjacking piece right after breaking news while journalists are scrambling to provide additional information. You never know…you may be able to leverage the frenzy for information to get your content shared wider than any other piece you’ve written.
- Stay on top of current news by subscribing to news feeds, setting up alerts and by using social media monitoring tools.
- Differentiate your content from the rest of the buzz by including your own spin. Think about what your target audience might find interesting about the story and use it.
A good resource with tips and tools is The Inbound Marketing’s Guide Complete Guide to Newsjacking by Hubspot.