Newsjacking Boots Your Visibility

Newsjacking Boots Your Visibility

January 9th, 2013
Newsjacking Boots Your Visibility

One of the most effective tools in a content marketer's arsenal is newsjacking. Newsjacking is the process of injecting your brand into the day’s news, creating a twist that grabs eyes when they’re open widest. For example, a number of brands including American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, and Gap attempted to newsjack Hurricane Sandy (and failed). Newsjacking is trick, but, when done right, can generate buzz and awareness around your brand.

Why should you newsjack? Benefits include:
  • Boosting SEO
  • Drawing in readers with ultra-timely commentary
  • Sharing a new angle for branded content ideas
  • Leading your market in thought leadership.
 
You walk a fine line when you newsjack. So, what’s the right way to do it?
 
  • Stay tuned: Choose a handful of news outlets to watch. One should be a trusted industry-focused site. Another may be relevant to your audience. (For instance, if your audience is heavily rooted in pop culture, you may focus on a celebrity news site.) Finally, monitor local and national news sites. Before you newsjack a story, make sure you double-check its veracity with other outlets.
  • Be very discerning: Deaths, tragedies, or national disasters are not events of which you should take advantage. Newsjacking requires enhanced sensitivity — a characteristic that some major brands have demonstrated they don’t have.
  • Act fast: To get the most traction, hop on news as soon as you can. You aren’t the only content marketer out there looking to find a news angle.
  • Make a natural connection: Make sure the news story has some kind of relevance to your content. Reaching for tough connections will make writing harder and the content tougher for readers to swallow.
  • Take a constructive angle: Especially in the case of a disaster or tragedy, newsjacking requires a positive, compassionate spin.
  • Include keywords: One of the primary goals of newsjacking is ramping up visibility for your content. Make sure to include relevant keywords to improve search rankings. These keywords may relate to the news story itself if it’s a smaller trending item, perhaps relevant to your industry only. As you do with other branded content, it’s also smart to focus on the keywords you’re trying to dominate for general search ranking.
When performed properly, newsjacking becomes a subtle yet eye-catching tool in your content marketing toolbox. But the practice has caused quite a bit of controversy. Do you think there’s room for the practice in your content marketing?

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