As you consider the writing part of your content marketing plan, three elements are vital:
However many marketers and unskilled content writers find it challenging to create a steady flow of material that ticks all three boxes. This is where “newsjacking” can help.
‘Newsjacking’ is a term that we use to describe the process of ‘hijacking’ news stories and putting our own spin on the subject, as quickly as possible. For example, let’s say there’s some breaking news about something in your industry – yours should ideally be one of the very first websites or blogs to report (and expand on) this hot news story. Why?
- When you’re the first – or one of the first – sites or blogs to release a breaking news story, you’ll earn yourself a top spot in the SERPs (search engine results page) – at least for a while
- As a result, you’ll increase traffic to your site, and, when the content is well written, build on your authority with your niche. (And this can lead to more clients/customers/subscribers).
- You’ll can establish you, or your company, to be a ‘thought leader’
- You have the opportunity to be able to your own stamp on the story, which is great for branded content ideas
It Can Be Harder Than It Looks
So all you need to do is hit up The New York Times, The Australian or The Times, or any other popular news source and reiterate some story, right?
A lot of marketers who use newsjacking badly are actually hurting their, and their clients’, businesses. When it comes to newsjacking “relevance” is key. You just can’t take a random news story and try to force it to fit your brand or market. Doing so will only result content is that is debatable and make readers wary of your topic knowledge.
Developing Your Newsjacking Strategy
So here I’m going to share some newsjacking best practices to help ensure that your use of this strategy really works for you.
Tune In: If you didn’t care for the news before, it’s time to stay tuned in to some of the top news outlets. Aim to have a minimum of one trustworthy site that’s focused on your industry, and at least one other that’s relevant to your audience (i.e. if your target market are young tweens and teens, then focusing on young pop culture news would work to your advantage).
Make sure that you also keep up with local and national news, and learn to think creatively in applying news stories to your business.
TIP 1: Set up an RSS feed so that you’ll always receive the top stories as soon as possible.
TIP 2: Set up Google Alerts for specific keywords, and remember to check the ‘News’ option rather just general search.
Double-Check Your Sources: The last thing you want is to be reporting on something that’s speculative or plain wrong. Before you publish any news-jacked story, double check its veracity with preferably the source, or media that specializes in this niche.
Be Sensitive: Just because a story may be ‘breaking’, it doesn’t mean that you should necessarily turn it to your advantage, for example, a natural disaster or a military coup are stories that you shouldn’t exploit for business gain.
Most of my clients these days include News-focused blogs as part of their ongoing content packages, This is because news-related articles add an extra ‘meatier’ element that supplements their general niche-related posts. For many, I take the guesswork out of their newsjacking by identifying relevant topics and then adapt the topic to their business.
If newsjacking sounds like something you’d like to try for your website, contact me.