Feb 06

Newsjacking Content Marketing (Updated): Current Events Plus Controversy Equals Content Marketing Gold

Tom Brady Newsjacking Content Marketing

Newsjacking content marketing is a remarkably effective way to generate attention to your content. Once you grab your audience’s attention, then you can convert that attention into leads for your business.

Warning: While it can lead to content marketing gold, it can also lead you into a nasty situation if you don’t prepare.

In this article, you will learn how to effectively use newsjacking in your content marketing to generate traffic and leads to your business. Let’s start by defining what newsjacking actually is.

What is Newsjacking Content Marketing?

Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story and generating tons of coverage and social media engagement. (It’s also a great book by David Meerman Scott)

There is breaking news every minute in this all-access world we live in. The news could cover topics anywhere from the ridiculous like Chrissy Teigen’s wardrobe malfunction at Super Bowl 51, to horrible topics like the refugee crisis.

Newsjacking is simply creating your own unique content to capitalize on the popularity of trending news stories. The first key is to time your story.

Why You Should Use Newsjacking Content Marketing

Why should you use newsjacking? The answer is pretty simple: Because people are paying attention to that story. People are talking about it and are looking for more information.

If your target market is paying attention to a particular story in the news, hop in and create some valuable content around it. We’ve seen some of our clients use this strategy to go from a few hundred views to thousands!

How to Effectively Use Newsjacking to Generate Leads

The key is to make sure your content is harmonious with the news story. If you “newsjack” Chrissy Tiegen’s wardrobe malfunction and talk about a serious subject that is completely unrelated to the main story, that’s click bait and there will be a serious backlash. Nobody likes the old bait-and-switch.

Here are 3 quick tips on how to find stories:

  1. Follow the News: You could set up 15 minutes per day in the morning to find out what’s trending. Check the major news channels, Google Trends, Twitter or Facebook.
  2. Prepare: If you find something interesting and relevant to your business, read about the story so you’re knowledgeable enough to say something intelligent.
  3. Be Congruent: Choose a story that is relevant and congruent with the points you want to make in your newsjacking story.

Once you’ve discovered an opportunity, then write quickly. You don’t have much time. We recommend having these 3 elements in your story:

  1. Value: Deliver something of value to your audience that your audience will find useful.
  2. Clarity: Clearly demonstrate the benefits of reading your take on the story and speak in terms that your audience can understand.
  3. CTA: Have a strong call-to-action to capture leads that you can follow up with. Again, make sure the CTA is relevant and congruent with the main story.

Once you’ve created a great newsjacking piece of content, get the word out! Post your blog on all of your social media sites and on your website. Also, make sure to use relevant keywords so you increase your chances of the search engines finding your content.

Add a Dash of Controversy

Newsjacking sounds great, right? But you probably want to know how to take it to the next level.

When you add your unique take on a controversial news story, you get a recipe that is highly likely to generate tons of attention to your content. However, this recipe could also backfire if you don’t prepare.

For example, look at what happened to Budweiser during the Super Bowl. They probably did not intend for their commercial to spark controversy, but now they have to deal with the #BoycottBudweiser debate.

Budweiser Newsjacking Content Marketing

Look how Howard Schultz and Starbucks used newsjacking! Starbucks They Controversial = Yes! #BoycottStarbucks debate = Yes. But then came the #BuyStarbucks campaign.

While we recommend adding a dash of controversy, we also recommend staying away from the most controversial topics. You obviously don’t want a #BoycottYourBusinessName campaign!

Sound too difficult to pick a topic? We can help! Here is one example that offers a golden newsjacking content marketing opportunity:

* Dick’s Last Resort Restaurant (where you pay them to insult you) could use Donald Trump newsjacking. This string of insults below comes from a hilarious Howard Stern skit. Dick’s could call it, “Trump’s tips for Dick’s.”

Credit (Flickr Creative Commons)

We recommend focusing on the news channels that your target audience follows. (Quick Tip: Google Trends is also a great place to find topics for your newsjacking content marketing)

Next Steps

Put together a list of 2-3 breaking news stories that you can put your own spin on and relate it to your product and service. Then start writing. Make sure you have a clear point, a strong call-to-action and always seek to provide value to your audience.

If you have a few ideas, but you’d like a second look. Feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!

To your continued success,

Hendrik