Newsjacking: How To Grow Your Blog Traffic Using the News
When looking at content marketing, and ways of growing your blog, there are various tactics that can be used to bring new traffic your way. While no tactic works in isolation, there is a need to consider several at once. One of the perhaps lesser-known, but super-effective, techniques that you can use is known as newsjacking.
Maybe you have never heard of newsjacking and so you have no idea what it actually is. Perhaps you have heard of the term but you’re not really sure how it should look or how to make it an effective part of your strategy. Maybe you’d like to see some newsjacking examples to give you more of an insight into just how great this technique is.
In this article, we’re going to share with you just what newsjacking is and how you can use it. We’re also going to let you see some great newsjacking examples so that you can see just how it’s done. Sound good? Then read on.
What is the Definition Of Newsjacking?
Before we go too deeply into what this is all about, a newsjacking definition is probably quite useful to have. To put it in simple terms, newsjacking is all about being aware of breaking news. This breaking news is then used so that you can produce content that makes reference to it. This means that your content isn’t evergreen, but it is super relevant at that moment meaning that it is likely to trend. To some extent, newsjacking is about jumping on the bandwagon so that you can bring more eyes to your content.
Is Newsjacking Ethical?
Critics argue that it can exploit tragedies or sensitive events for personal gain, potentially damaging a brand’s reputation and authenticity. Moreover, detracting attention from the original news story to focus on self-promotion may be seen as a disservice to public discourse. The ethical considerations of newsjacking revolve around factors such as intention, timing, and execution, requiring brands to assess the value of their involvement, contribution to the conversation, and respect shown towards the gravity of the situation. Striking a balance between seizing opportunities and respecting the sensitivity of current events is key to navigating the ethical challenges associated with newsjacking.
In today’s rapidly changing media landscape, marketers and PR professionals seek innovative strategies to capture attention and enhance brand awareness. Ethical newsjacking, when practiced thoughtfully, can be a powerful tool. By aligning a brand’s message with trending topics, it taps into existing public interest, demonstrates thought leadership, and establishes credibility. Genuine and authentic connections between the brand and the news story are vital to avoid appearing opportunistic. Sensitivity plays a key role, as ethical newsjacking requires a thorough understanding of the context and potential impact of the news story, particularly in cases involving sensitive or tragic events. Transparency is essential, as brands should clearly communicate their intentions and motives, enabling the public to make informed judgments and preventing perceptions of manipulation. Ultimately, ethical newsjacking involves carefully evaluating the value added to the conversation, respecting the gravity of the situation, and striking a balance between seizing opportunities and maintaining integrity.
How Can Brands Successfully Implement Newsjacking Without Appearing Opportunistic Or Insensitive?
Successfully implementing Newsjacking without appearing opportunistic or insensitive requires careful consideration and adherence to a few key strategies. Some essential steps for brands to follow include:
- Authenticity and Relevance: Brands should only engage in Newsjacking when there is a genuine and relevant connection between the news story and their brand or message. It’s crucial to identify how the brand’s expertise, values, or mission align with the topic at hand. This authentic tie-in helps establish credibility and prevents the perception of opportunism.
- Timing and Sensitivity: Timing is critical in Newsjacking. Brands need to act swiftly to capitalize on breaking news, but they must also assess the impact and sensitivity of the event before participating. It’s essential to evaluate whether the brand’s involvement adds value to the conversation or risks trivializing the seriousness of the news. Demonstrating empathy, sensitivity, and respect for the gravity of the situation is crucial to avoid appearing insensitive or callous.
- Value-Driven Approach: Brands should focus on providing value to the audience rather than solely promoting themselves. The primary objective of Newsjacking should be to offer unique insights, expert opinions, or valuable resources that contribute positively to the ongoing conversation surrounding the news. By prioritizing the interests and needs of the public, brands can position themselves as helpful and trusted sources of information.
- Transparency and Clear Communication: Transparency is key in maintaining trust with the audience. Brands should clearly communicate their intentions and motives when participating in a news story. By being upfront about their involvement and highlighting the value they aim to provide, brands can avoid any perception of manipulation and build credibility.
- Ethical Evaluation: Before engaging in Newsjacking, brands should conduct an ethical evaluation. They should ask themselves if their involvement is truly in the public interest or if it’s solely for self-promotion. It’s essential to consider the potential impact on the affected individuals or communities and ensure that the brand’s actions align with ethical standards and values.
By following these strategies, brands can successfully implement Newsjacking in a responsible and ethical manner, avoiding the pitfalls of appearing opportunistic or insensitive while capitalizing on timely opportunities to engage with their audience.
When we are looking at newsjacking content, it is not limited to just written blog posts. It may be that you decide to explore social media posts or graphics. You may decide that using infographics is the best way to get your point across. You might even decide to post a video that covers the breaking news.
To make more sense of this newsjacking definition, it is worth considering some hypothetical newsjacking examples:
If you run an SEO agency, it could be that Google comes along and issues one of its updates. You know the kind – the ones that we all fear slightly in case we suddenly lose our rankings! This is big news in the world of SEO so it would make sense for you to produce content all about this news story.
Smaller Local Business
You don’t have to be an international or even national, company to make use of newsjacking. As a small local business, you can easily tap into local news and events. These can be used to produce blog posts or even to put out some posts on your social media channels.
Does Newsjacking Work Today?
In short, yes it does! Newsjacking is nothing new. It has been used successfully by businesses and brands for well over a decade now. The reason that it continues to be used is an obvious one – it clearly works. In truth, it probably works far better now than it did 10 years ago. Why? With the likes of Twitter and other social media platforms, it is much easier to get a handle on which news stories are actually trending.
One of the reasons that newsjacking is likely to continue to see an increase in popularity is because it provides an amazing return on investment. All you need to do is put your own slant on content that has already been produced. The hard work has already been done. Suddenly, you have a piece of content that can easily go viral.
If you get your content right, there is also the chance that it can become a story in its own right. When we look at newsjacking examples a little later, you will see how some companies news jack and produce content that remains relevant long after the actual news has been forgotten.
How Can I Newsjack?
Hopefully, you now have an understanding of what newsjacking is. Perhaps you can now see the benefits of using it as part of your content marketing strategy and you’d like to give it a go. If that’s the case, we’ve put together some simple steps that you can follow so that you can go ahead and start to implement them now:
Locate Relevant Stories
Of course, newsjacking is hardly going to be successful unless you can find relevant news stories in the first place. You need to be able to find stories that are emerging and have the potential to be big. This allows you to get in early before everyone else does the same thing. An easy way of doing this is just to monitor news websites throughout the day. Other ways of finding news stories include:
You can use Google Trends to analyse the top rising search queries. This shows you how something is being picked up and if it is likely to explode in popularity.
If you’re not yet using Reddit then now is the time. There are forums that cover pretty much everything and with the filter, you can easily identify what is starting to trend.
Hashtags on the likes of Instagram and Twitter and a great way of identifying news stories that are growing in popularity.
This is a tool that allows you to see all of the latest developments and news stories. You can add your own search terms and get real-time updates.
Research Your Keywords
As soon as a story is gaining interest, people will start to search for it. You need to know, as soon a possible, what they are actually searching for and the terms that they are using. Getting your keywords right, alongside a suitable news story, means that you will bring yourself plenty of traffic.
You can use various keyword tools to find the best words to target. It is always worth looking at news stories and considering if any of the names or terms used are difficult to spell. If they are, it may be worth targeting some of the most common misspellings that are relevant.
For newsjacking to be a successful strategy, you need to make sure that the stories you are using are accurate themselves. In a world of fake news, you can cause serious harm to your reputation if you simply jump on the bandwagon without making some simple checks.
It may not be possible to go into any deep research to validate a news story, but you should at least be considering the source and the channels that are reporting it. Don’t try and newsjack a story where you aren’t happy with where it is coming from – it can do you far more harm than good. Remember, Google is serious about EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). You need to show that you can be trusted and that you know what you are talking about!
Consider The Content And Your Brand Image
You need to ensure that, when you are newsjacking, the content aligns with your brand. Giving out mixed messages about what your brand means or stands for will cause confusion and stunt your growth. You need to be sure that what you are producing makes sense sat alongside everything else that your brand stands for.
If your brand is known for being light-hearted, it may not suit you to try and newsjack a serious political story. Likewise, if your brand is known for its serious stance on issues, would you really want to use newsjacking to poke fun at a celebrity story?
Where Will You Publish Your Content?
You may have found the perfect story to newsjack and got your keywords spot on, but you then need to consider the best place to publish it. The aim of newsjacking is to get eyes on your content as soon as is possible.
Whilst you may be looking for content for your blog, there are times when this is unlikely to be the best place to publish your new content. It is worth considering if social media channels will get more eyes on what you have produced in the quickest time.
How To Newsjack Successfully
Having a newsjacking definition and knowing the basics of how to newsjack, will not always be enough. There are plenty of people out there who are using this strategy and having great success. You need to make sure that you are one of these, rather than being someone who is producing content for the sake of creating content. To know that you have been successful, you’ll need to measure the impact of your content, but here are some tips to get you on your way:
Keep Your Authenticity Intact
The customers that you already love you for a reason. Potentially new ones will be attracted for the same reason too. This being the case, you need to make sure that when you are newsjacking, you are being authentic. Content that appears forced or fake will not be well received and may even hurt your brand in the long run.
Know Your Audience
If you already know your customers well, then you know the types of people that you are producing content for. You need to have confidence in the fact that they will react well to your newsjacking efforts. You also need to know where they are and where they are most likely to consume your content.
Timing Is Everything
For your newsjacking attempts to work, you need to time the release of your content to perfection. You need someone who is able to digest a news story and get content out there fast. You need to make sure that your content is published before everyone else is all over it. By this point, you will have missed the opportunity.
Consider The Relevance
When you look at newsjacking, it is important that there is some kind of connection between the story and your business. The story doesn’t have to be directly related to you and your sector, but if you want it to resonate with your audience then it needs to have some form of a sensical link.
Avoid Being Ott
Newsjacking works. Done well, you will find that it brings you a huge increase in traffic. That being said, you need to ensure that you aren’t overdoing it. There are other strategies to consider to boost your rankings and get more eyes on your content (backlinks for instance). It is important that newsjacking is part of an overall mix and not your sole strategy.
Great Newsjacking Examples
We mentioned sharing with you some newsjacking examples. While there are plenty to choose from, we have looked at two of the best that we have seen in recent times so that you can see just how this strategy works.
The first of our newsjacking examples comes from Aldi. This is a business that is well known for its sense of humour and it comes across really well on social media. It tends to look at current events or reviews of its products but 2021 saw it landing in a little hot water over the Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake.
Aldi was being sued over its creation. Whereas many companies would have taken a very different approach, Aldi took newsjacking to the next level and came back with a barrage of humorous tweets and other posts. Aldi’s posts went viral and suddenly a bad experience had become a great PR opportunity.
The latest football Euros saw several issues with sponsors. Many start players refused to be interviewed with certain products placed alongside them. A prime example was Cristiano Ronaldo who refused to be seen with Coca-Cola. He instead said he only drank water and this led to billions being wiped of Coca-Cola’s share price.
IKEA reacted quickly and rebranded its reusable water bottles with a nod towards the footballer and the tournament. A great example of newsjacking.
Used correctly, newsjacking has the potential to bring you an abundance of traffic. Your blogs stand to benefit from content that is timely, relevant, and in tune with your brand. If you approach this strategy from the wrong angle, it carries the potential to backfire and cause significant harm. The use of a professional copywriter can avoid this and ensure that any content marketing strategy that you are pursuing brings you the best results possible.