First of all by reading this I would like to salute you for your conscious effort to reduce the amount of content pollution that can be found all across the internet.
What is Newsjacking?
Essentially the term newsjacking refers to the creation of content which is designed to associate a brand with a trending news story in the hopes of driving more traffic to the site and peak reader interest.
The term was made popular by David Meerman Scott in his ebook entitled ‘Newsjacking’ but the concept has been around for a while. Since the rise of social media we are seeing news stories being shared at an unprecedented rate which offers content marketers a new way to inject their ideas and angles into a breaking news story, in real time, in the hopes of generating media coverage. The benefit of newsjacking is that news is constantly breaking every second of every day providing marketers with new, fun content ideas.
There is a point in the ‘life of a news story’ which gives markets a unique window of opportunity to ride the wave of one of these breaking stores in order to amplify their own online presence. This window can be seen in the diagram below:
Above: David Meerman Scotts’s Life Of A News Story
How Does Newsjacking Help my SEO Campaign?
Think of when a new breaking news story gains in popularity and starts to trend and build momentum, journalists strive to locate additional sources in order to build upon and bulk out the initial piece of breaking news. The main location they will scour through first will be our good old friend Google. Now if you publish your timely content that is relevant and well optimised chances are Google’s real time indexing will help it find its way to some important audiences.
Where Do I Start?
The number one rule when it comes to newsjacking is you have to act quickly as ‘new news’ quickly becomes ‘old news’. The life of a news story usually dies down at quite a significant rate which is usually hours from the initial break, to a couple of days and sometimes but very rarely weeks.
Let’s be honest you could spend all day monitoring the internet for your golden nugget of a story which is why the best newsjackers make use of technology in order to better make use of their time and make finding stories a breeze. It’s all about leveraging such things as RSS feeds (which include major news outlets and industry related sites), Google alerts and social media in order to stumble upon new opportunities.
You can also check out the following websites to immerse yourself in trending news:
• Huffington Post
• Google Trends
Important Note: Do not by any means try and newsjack a sensitive story such as a celebrity death or that of a natural disaster. This can have severe consequences and you could see a backlash from your audience.
I Have Found My Story, What Next?
Once you have found the story that you would like to work with start to think of ways in which you can angle your content so that it is not only relevant to the news story but also to the products or services in which you are trying to promote. It’s important to be creative here but not so much so that the connections between the two are weak. People for the most part love to read interesting and fun articles that have unexpected connections but there are boundaries with this.
Make sure to spend at least a few minutes doing a little keyword research. During the time of writing this America has been hit by what is known as a Polar Vortex. Now a search for ‘what is a polar vortex’ compared to ‘polar vortex definition’ could throw up completely different results. You want to make sure you get the biggest coverage possible so by using the Google Keyword Planner you can get a quick idea of the sorts of terms people are typing in to the popular search engine to find the news on your chosen story which will give you that added extra little organic boost.
You know them two ‘little’ websites named Facebook and Twitter? Use them!! It would be a shame after all your hard work for your creative content to go under the radar. If you have a blog make sure to firstly stick your piece on there and then tweet it out to all your followers as well as sharing it with your Facebook crowd. Also look for other blogs and stories that are writing about your story and spread the word.
Newsjacking can be a welcome break from your standard mundane content schedule, providing results that can far exceed that of your normal content. Next time you want to write an engaging piece that captivates your audience’s attention and serves well to your content marketing make sure to utilize newjacking.