The Art Of Newsjacking (And What It Means For Your Content)

art of newsjacking content

What content type do you think of when you hear the words ‘content marketing’?

Blog posts? Onsite copywriting? Ebooks and brochures?

We’d be willing to put money on ‘news’ not being the one to spring to mind. But the fact of the matter is, news-based content is an under-the-radar approach that can be ultra-effective with the right know-how.

Fear not: this doesn’t require you to become the next Rupert Murdoch (phew).

Instead, it simply requires you to master the art of newsjacking. As luck may have it, that’s exactly what we’re teaching you today…

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the process of capitalising on trending news stories in your own branded content production.

It’s all about hopping on super-relevant bandwagons, seizing the opportunity for increased, instantaneous engagement that sends more potential customers your way.

The newsjacked content you produce can vary in form, from articles and blog posts to social posts and infographics. It ultimately depends on the story you’re telling and the angle you wish to take.

Why does newsjacking work?

Newsjacking isn’t a revolutionary content marketing tactic. On the contrary, the practice has been around for the best part of a decade.

Despite this, the practice is rarely given the attention it deserves - until now.

Newsjacking is set to be a solid content marketing tactic in 2022 and beyond. That’s because, with an increasingly significant number of us getting our news from social media, newsjacking, paired with a good promotion strategy, can mean plenty of new eyes on your business.

Whether it’s new users on your website or new followers on your socials, participating in current, super-relevant conversations can lead to a wave of new engagement.

There’s a bunch of secondary benefits to newsjacking, too. For example, if you’re lucky, your newsjacked content can even become viral itself.

Even if this isn’t the case, newsjacking can be an effective way to sweep up a whole host of new backlinks to your site, providing longer-term SEO benefits even when the topic buzz has died down.

As a result, there’s the possibility for high ROI or, at the very least, a whole host of new potential customers that can be funnelled towards conversion.

How can your brand use newsjacking?

All sounds pretty good, huh?

But how can your brand actually put newsjacking into practice? After all, it’s important you do it the right way. Coming across as too forced, ‘corporate’ or exploitative can quickly become a PR disaster.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to newsjack strategically and successfully:

Step 1: Find your story

First things first, you need to find your story.

Now, we can’t stress this part enough: make sure it’s relevant. You need to have something to add to the conversation, so ensure you’re speaking from a position of authority and trust.

Sourcing relevant stories doesn’t rely on you hitting refresh on BBC News all day (although we guess this approach would work, too).

Instead, research trending hashtags and topics on socials, and pair with handy topic-popularity software such as Google Trends and BuzzSumo.

This will enable you to spot hot points of discussion and analyse the types of content performing well within that discussion - a real win-win.

Step 2: Research, research, research

In an age of fake news and media hyperbole, always sufficiently fact-check your story and source.

Failure to do this could, at best, result in egg running down your brand’s face. At worst, it could result in negative publicity and online backlash.

Once you’ve found your reliable story, be sure not to forget about keyword research, too. Whether this is hashtags for your social promotion or search terms for your SEO, consider how you’ll be as visible as possible in your conversation.

Step 3: Hurry (with care)

Successful newsjacking relies on you having one ear to the ground - it only works if you’re involved in the present-day conversation.

With this in mind, ensure you’re being timely with your content for maximum engagement - ideally, this is after the news has broken but before it’s covered by major news outlets. This is where local and niche/specialist news outlets provide particular value.

If you think you’ve missed the boat, don’t go ahead and publish your content anyway. Outdated content will undermine your authority and credibility within your industry and wider customer perception.

This isn’t to say you should rush your content, sacrificing quality in the process. Instead, hurry with care by implementing smart time-saving hacks in your content creation.

Step 4: Align content with brand

​​To successfully align your newsjacked content with your brand, it needs to represent your brand identity.

This means it should be topically relevant to your brand, industry or values, and be consistent with your brand voice, tone and style.

Today’s digital audiences are savvy enough to spot when this is insincere, so don’t force it - this kind of mishap is most commonly seen on awareness days where brands damage their credibility through empty gestures.

Of course, this all amounts to you needing to understand your audience. Take the time to have a solid grasp on what they react to - what inspires them, what outrages them, what matters to them most?

Step 5: Publish and promote

Getting to know your audience will also help when it comes to publishing and promoting your newsjacked content. Where’s the conversation happening? What platforms does your audience use?

Think about the wider-reaching audience, too. For example, publishing a news piece on business, finance or thought-leadership? Be sure to publish and promote on LinkedIn as well as your blog.

Newsjacking can be a powerful way to achieve instant rewards through content marketing, providing it’s conducted using these steps. It’s important not to overuse newsjacking in your strategy - this is an easy way to overload your audience and dilute your authority.

Instead, incorporate newsjacking into a well-rounded, purpose-driven content strategy. Need a helping hand? Drop Paragraft a message to learn how we can make content work better for your brand. Instead, incorporate newsjacking into a well-rounded, purpose-driven content strategy. Need a helping hand? Drop Paragraft a message to learn how we can make content work better for your brand.

Blog posts? Onsite copywriting? Ebooks and brochures? 

We’d be willing to put money on ‘news’ not being the one to spring to mind. But the fact of the matter is, news-based content is an under-the-radar approach that can be ultra-effective with the right know-how. 

Fear not: this doesn’t require you to become the next Rupert Murdoch (phew). 

Instead, it simply requires you to master the art of newsjacking. As luck may have it, that’s exactly what we’re teaching you today… 

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the process of capitalising on trending news stories in your own branded content production. 

It’s all about hopping on super-relevant bandwagons, seizing the opportunity for increased, instantaneous engagement that sends more potential customers your way. 

The newsjacked content you produce can vary in form, from articles and blog posts to social posts and infographics. It ultimately depends on the story you’re telling and the angle you wish to take. 

Why does newsjacking work?

Newsjacking isn’t a revolutionary content marketing tactic. On the contrary, the practice has been around for the best part of a decade. 

Despite this, the practice is rarely given the attention it deserves - until now. 

Newsjacking is set to be a solid content marketing tactic in 2022 and beyond. That’s because, with an increasingly significant number of us getting our news from social media, newsjacking, paired with a good promotion strategy, can mean plenty of new eyes on your business. 

Whether it’s new users on your website or new followers on your socials, participating in current, super-relevant conversations can lead to a wave of new engagement. 

There’s a bunch of secondary benefits to newsjacking, too. For example, if you’re lucky, your newsjacked content can even become viral itself. 

Even if this isn’t the case, newsjacking can be an effective way to sweep up a whole host of new backlinks to your site, providing longer-term SEO benefits even when the topic buzz has died down.

As a result, there’s the possibility for high ROI or, at the very least, a whole host of new potential customers that can be funnelled towards conversion

How can your brand use newsjacking? 

All sounds pretty good, huh? 

But how can your brand actually put newsjacking into practice? After all, it’s important you do it the right way. Coming across as too forced, ‘corporate’ or exploitative can quickly become a PR disaster.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to newsjack strategically and successfully: 

Step 1: Find your story 

First things first, you need to find your story. 

Now, we can’t stress this part enough: make sure it’s relevant. You need to have something to add to the conversation, so ensure you’re speaking from a position of authority and trust. 

Sourcing relevant stories doesn’t rely on you hitting refresh on BBC News all day (although we guess this approach would work, too). 

Instead, research trending hashtags and topics on socials, and pair with handy topic-popularity software such as Google Trends and BuzzSumo. 

This will enable you to spot hot points of discussion and analyse the types of content performing well within that discussion - a real win-win. 

Step 2: Research, research, research 

In an age of fake news and media hyperbole, always sufficiently fact-check your story and source. 

Failure to do this could, at best, result in egg running down your brand’s face. At worst, it could result in negative publicity and online backlash. 

Once you’ve found your reliable story, be sure not to forget about keyword research, too. Whether this is hashtags for your social promotion or search terms for your SEO, consider how you’ll be as visible as possible in your conversation. 

Step 3: Hurry (with care)

Successful newsjacking relies on you having one ear to the ground - it only works if you’re involved in the present-day conversation. 

With this in mind, ensure you’re being timely with your content for maximum engagement - ideally, this is after the news has broken but before it’s covered by major news outlets. This is where local and niche/specialist news outlets provide particular value. 

If you think you’ve missed the boat, don’t go ahead and publish your content anyway. Outdated content will undermine your authority and credibility within your industry and wider customer perception. 

This isn’t to say you should rush your content, sacrificing quality in the process. Instead, hurry with care by implementing smart time-saving hacks in your content creation. 

Step 4: Align content with brand 

​​To successfully align your newsjacked content with your brand, it needs to represent your brand identity. 

This means it should be topically relevant to your brand, industry or values, and be consistent with your brand voice, tone and style. 

Today’s digital audiences are savvy enough to spot when this is insincere, so don’t force it - this kind of mishap is most commonly seen on awareness days where brands damage their credibility through empty gestures. 

Of course, this all amounts to you needing to understand your audience. Take the time to have a solid grasp on what they react to - what inspires them, what outrages them, what matters to them most?

Step 5: Publish and promote  

Getting to know your audience will also help when it comes to publishing and promoting your newsjacked content. Where’s the conversation happening? What platforms does your audience use?

Think about the wider-reaching audience, too. For example, publishing a news piece on business, finance or thought-leadership? Be sure to publish and promote on LinkedIn as well as your blog. 

Newsjacking can be a powerful way to achieve instant rewards through content marketing, providing it’s conducted using these steps. It’s important not to overuse newsjacking in your strategy - this is an easy way to overload your audience and dilute your authority. 

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