A while back we wrote a post about newsjacking, what it is and what to watch out for when you are using this strategy in your content marketing.

That caused a bit of stir and we received enough questions that we thought we would address the ‘hows’ and ‘whats’ of using this approach in your content marketing.

What’s the big deal?

If you’re a person with a PR background, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, the PR industry has long used newsjacking as a way to share a branded angle on a timely (and related) story in their client’s industry.

Today, businesses using content marketing to attract and engage with their audiences are using newsjacking to boost their SEO, draw in their readers and lead their markets with their innovative thinking on topical developments in the sector.

How do you ‘do’ newsjacking?

Well, there’s the careless way (see the mention of Kenneth Cole in our last post) or there is the positive, thoughtful and engaging way of using real news in your sector, market or industry to help generate positive coverage for your business or brand.

  • Find out what is going on, in real time: Before you can begin writing content on breaking stories, you need to actually find out what is going on in your industry…in real time.

That means you’ll need to tap into a few news sources you trust. One of these should definitely be a source in your industry. You may also want to tap into news that your audience might be interested in. Another possibility to consider is local and national news coverage.

  • What you should be looking for: It’s not enough to simply jump on every story that is out there. You need to be very clear-sighted in your choices.

The obvious is tapping into your niche’s developing stories. But let’s say you sell products to a business-minded audience. You would want to be on the lookout for big stories in the business world that you can put a unique perspective on.

Or, perhaps your audience is interested in pop culture. You would want to follow at least one source of pop culture news and use these stories to find another view on (or to add your two pence).

Whatever you do…

  • Be sensitive to what you are doing: Newsjacking a celebrity death or bad behaviour, a natural disaster or even a military coup in a region across the globe are not the sorts of things you want to be taking advantage of.

It is one thing if you are moved to help a particular event/cause. In fact, we’d highly recommend you publicly support your favourite causes and write about them on your blog and social media streams. However, it’s another to try to make light of something that, for many, will be a serious (and possibly emotionally harrowing) situation. Don’t believe me? Just search for ‘American Apparel’ and ‘newsjacking hurricane sandy’ to see the furore they created with their ham-fisted attempt at newsjacking Hurricane Sandy. Yikes!

In all, newsjacking is a perfectly acceptable way of finding great content ideas to write about. Just make sure that there is a natural connection to your brand or business. It will be easier to write about, for a start, and you’ll find a natural fit with your keyword strategy if you do.

 

 

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