As the term content marketing grows to be ubiquitous, many of you will find probably find yourself using this technique I’ve been advocating for years, and which David Meerman Scott calls newsjacking. That is to say, finding a breaking news article, injecting your own personal or corporate slant on the story before it’s got to the point where journalists are searching for more information on the piece, thereby naturally getting your perspective into the mainstream media.
I use this technique as a fundamental tactic in my content marketing campaigns and as a freelance seo consultant I know the benefits of newsjacking is the natural links it returns to your website – many of which deliver engaged referral traffic for days and weeks after the story has broken.
You’ve got to get up early though if you want to use newsjacking as link bait for seo or even to drag in loads of related visitors from a content marketing perspective and I mean that literally. Some of the best pieces of news I’ve been able to get on are those that I’ve seen at 6am. That’s because journalists are lazy, when you work in marketing and PR you’re constantly being told journalists are lazy, spell it out exactly what you want them to do and make them do it, well in this case it’s because there are less journalists awake first thing to capitalise on breaking news stories! You’ve got to understand that in order to make newsjacking work you’re going to need to implement the kind of reactive speed your marcomms team would only normally implement in a crisis scenario (trust me – speed typing when you are trying to get there
Newsjacking could be considered the new PR in the modern world. In the modern world everyone is putting out content via their content marketing strategy and everyone is looking for new angles to create content to add to their site. Newsjacking is a bit like an Inbound PR strategy (opposite of firing out a press release to thousands of journalists and trying to persuade them to use it), it requires you to create the content and put it out there for other people to find, pick up and run with.
The key to understanding how to use newsjacking as part of your content marketing strategy is to understand that journalists want your opinion on the news, they want to know what your business or industry thinks about the news story, if you can legitimately create an angle around the news piece that’s relevant and credible, it’s very likely a news journalist will use it. So whilst getting the breaking news out there first you also need to enhance it with your inside knowledge.
You’ve got to develop news monitoring strategies. By this I mean monitoring the niche/trade magazine sites, blogs and opinion sources, scrutinise what the thought leaders are tweeting about, as well as local news to find the breaking news, developing adding your opinion before promoting the content in the places journalists will find it and reuse it. Setting up RSS feed of these various point lets you know what’s happening in real time. Remember you’ve got to react real time. With newsjacking, speed is everything.
If you’re using a content marketing strategy to benefit your seo campaign you’re probably going to want to use some element of newsjacking to gain traffic and get a wide spread of additional links back to your site. Be sure to remember that you should always vary the type of content you produce and that you’ll miss more often that you hit with this method – at least to start with!