Content creation on the fly is made much easier by following search and social media. This practice known as newsjacking allows marketers to publish content in relation with the trending topics at the moment. In this post, Daniel Page discusses how to newsjack the right way.By Widjaya Ivan via Flickr
Search and social media move very quickly. Being able to produce niche-relevant material to capture searches for trending topics can increase a site’s traffic immensely. One can often see news sites doing just that.
This tactic of grabbing and riding trends for extra traffic is known as newsjacking.
Brands can employ the same technique to attract more visitors to their sites, demonstrate that they are constantly aware of what’s happening within their niche, and establish a reputation as an authoritative source of information.
However, they need to be very careful about the sort of trends they attempt to hijack and do some careful research before producing content on their site or via social media. Last year, the Aurora shooting prompted this tweet from CelebBoutique:
#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress
Whether they were aware of the shootings or just saw the trending topic and decided to jump on board, the result was a PR disaster. If a brand is going to dabble in newsjacking, they need to make sure that a responsible and trustworthy person is manning the helm.
Newsjacking Success Stories
We’ve seen numerous instances in recent weeks of companies taking advantage of big news events to get their brand and content in front of consumers. The Academy Awards is a paradigmatic example of a newsjacking worthy occasion.
Charmin, a brand not often associated with glamour, took full advantage of the Oscars to tweet images and content that played on the event and their brand identity.
Good luck to the nominees tonight. Don’t forget to look down before your speech. twitter.com/Charmin/status…
— Charmin(@Charmin) February 24, 2013
Oreo also has a social media marketing team who are really on the ball and ready to react to trending events. During this year’s Super Bowl, a power outage left the stadium in darkness for 34 minutes. Oreo tweeted:
Power out? No problem. twitter.com/Oreo/status/29…
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
As you can see, that tweet garnered over 16,000 shares.
It is essential to be aware of what’s happening before you can produce relevant content. Social media is the number one indicator of what’s going on in the public zeitgeist. There are some great tools built on top of Twitter for monitoring hashtag trends. HootSuite can be easily configured to keep an eye on what’s happening within a particular niche, and there are dedicated web applications to do just that like TwitterFall and Monitter.
Be Ready To Write and Publish
Once trends have been observed, businesses need to have a writer on hand who is capable of quickly doing the necessary research and producing content that is accurate, high-quality, and well-written.
Traditional businesses move slowly. They have organizational hierarchies and silos of responsibility that make it difficult to be nimble when it comes to content publication. Trending topics can change hour by hour, so newsjacking is going to be less effective if a particular piece of content has to traverse the company to get the OK from numerous people.
In time, businesses will have to adapt to a changing marketing landscape and adopt some of the organizational traits of media companies, including a person who has the responsibility to give the go ahead for publication without having to consult with other departments: an editor or content officer.
To get content written and approved quickly it may be necessary for businesses to either develop an in-house content marketing team with a manager who has editorial oversight or outsource their content marketing to a company that has the expertise on hand.
Once content is created and published, the next step is to let as many people as possible know about it. That means publicizing it on social media channels and encouraging followers to share as widely as possible.
Newsjacking isn’t always going to work, but when it does, it can create a huge influx of traffic and do wonders for brand awareness and site traffic.
What are your experiences with newsjacking? Let us know in the comments.
Daniel Page is the Director of Business Developement for ASEOhosting, a leading provider in SEO hosting and multiple IP hosting. Follow ASEOhosting on Twitter at @aseohosting, Like them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/aseohosting, and check out all the services they offer on http://www.aseohosting.com/