Creative ways to advertise your business like Newsjacking, the practice of creating content around popular news stories and injecting it on social/web platforms to tie into your brand can make your brand stand out on the Internet. Newsjacking is a backdoor method of advertising that rides online popular trends that can return large dividends if your business is ready to act quickly on these opportunities.
Social media is a big help with identifying popular news stories as they are starting to rise in popularity. Your newsjacking team needs to pay attention to what is trending on social networks like Facebook and Twitter while anticipating content that has the potential to explode in popularity preemptively.
The sooner your business launches its campaign the more potential for exposure. In an ideal situation, you should create and publish your content after a story breaks and before the public gets excited about the story and starts mass sharing related content. Once the story has peaked in popularity you’ve missed the newsjacking window of opportunity.
Being able to act is just as important as knowing when to act: if your business is going be able to seize the opportunity in a breaking news story, it needs to be ready to strike as soon as possible. While the 24 hour news cycle means that news is breaking all the time, deciding that on Tuesday and Thursday you’re going to launch newsjacking campaigns may have mixed results.
Prime news stories for your brand are on their own schedule so if the opportunity for a strong campaign shows up on a Wednesday you’ll miss out with a Tuesday/Thursday plan. The process starts with your social media and online staff being able to skip through red tape and turn around content as quickly as possible. Establish what is and what isn’t acceptable in Newsjacking with your online team so they don’t even need to ask for permission before launching a campaign. The fast turn-around means you can newsjack earlier and better capitalize on breaking news.
The final part of creative marketing with newsjacking is the creative part: you’re going to need an angle to tie the breaking news to your brand. If you can’t find a good angle, it may be in your best interest to skip out on this breaking news story and wait for another opportunity down the line.
Additionally, trying to ride a tragic story for exposure can bring your business negative attention. If you are going to newsjack a sensitive story, your angle needs to be respectful and make practical sense. Some newsjacking angles include the basic story, which is a stripped-down “this is what happened” approach to the breaking news to inform your audience or a slightly delayed opinion piece on the breaking news. Humorous angles also work well, like laundry detergent brand Tide’s “we can’t get your blackout, but we can get your stains out” post during the Super Bowl Blackout. A good angle that hits early has the best chance of bringing in more brand attention.
Dan S is a former news journalist turned web developer and freelance writer. He has a penchant for all things tech and believes the person using the machine is the most important element.