How Do You Know If It’s Appropriate To Newsjack It?

By March 10, 2015 March 27th, 2019 No Comments

Newsjacking is excellent for creating killer content. It can give brands that much needed boost in traffic and engagement, however it can also be a dangerous game. You have heard of it before, right?  It’s sort of like carjacking but with news and without the firearms. More specifically it’s just taking advantage of trending stories to increase brand engagement.  Sounds easy right? Well not if you want to do it properly, attempting to adapt current content in a suitable way to push your brand, can be a marketing minefield. SEO Gold Yes that’s right, it can be a prospector’s dream from an SEO point of view – as the world searches a topical story, why not get in on that? A cheeky combo of keyword research and newsjacking can be a nice little tool for drawing users into your funnel. Topical content is going to get more attention and have a higher engagement, with better share-ability making it more likely to be scattered through the social winds. If you do it right, just sit back and watch your traffic spike. If you get it wrong, well,,, we’ll get to that in a minute. All Good Things Must Come To An End Unfortunately topical content is deficient in staying power and this realistically is its biggest problem. News has a short shelf life and doesn’t tend to stay relevant for very long. This means that you need to create more and more content as frequently as possible. It can be a bit of a trek at times and it might leave you wondering whether or not it was really worth it, when it will likely be irrelevant in a matter of days. Nobody Likes A Cheap Laugh Don’t be afraid to show your sensitive side, or at least keep it in mind when newsjacking. A cheap share might seem like an easy opportunity to express your quick wit, but there is a high potential it could blow up in your face. There are too many examples to count but by any chance do you remember all that controversy over the Hurricane Sandy-jacking?… or what about that absolute fiasco the day after the Boston bombings? boston tweets Bet you’re thinking how do I avoid this happening to me? So heres 3 Rules for successful newsjacking.   Rule #1: Pick the right story Ever heard the saying you can do anything but not everything? Well it’s like that except for the fact that you can’t actually do most of them, but that’s OK. Pick something that actually relates to your brand, never force it. If it doesn’t seem like a natural connection then it’s probably not.   Rule #2: Don’t be late to the party Look I love to be as fashionably late as the next person, but when you’ve already read 25 shit tweets about some Kardashian story that’s been lurking in your newsfeed for the last few days, no matter how good you think it is, nobody wants to see another one. The best time to get in there is right before the story gets momentum, and before every other useless attempt at newsjacking has been made. Rule #3: To Newsjack Or Not Newsjack,,, That Is The Question  This is where most seem to fail. You need to be critical about what news you jack and how exactly you plan on doing it. Whether it’s a bank truck, a car, or the news, critical thinking is key. Look at it from a “normal” persons perspective – Is it offensive? Do you think they will find it funny? Does it even make sense? Sometimes it’s hard to drop the ego when it comes to your own creative genius, so get a second opinion before you go posting it into the big bad world.   So now I’ll leave you with a recent piece of newsjacking that I am a big fan of, this ticks all the boxes… If you can make a person stop and think, and give them that little oasis of creativity amongst a wasteland of word vomit, you’re on to a winner. So you thought all that #TheDress stuff was over, me too. However The Salvation Army in S. Africa has released a rather sinister take on the viral sensation. Harrowing as it may be, this is one of the best that we’ve seen recently.          

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