Anyone who creates content for a website will have seen a story in the news headlines and thought ‘If I can include that on my website, I can bring in huge numbers of traffic!’
But does it work like that? What is Newsjacking? Where have all my pens gone? And should my content marketing include news contact?
News content can benefit your content marketing but as with everything else in life (apart from cake and possibly doughnuts) use some common sense and don’t go over the top.
What Is The Difference Between News Content And Newsjacking?
News content on a website or blog is a natural way to draw traffic to your website. If, for example, you supply CCTV systems, you may want to include a link to a very popular BBC drama about CCTV systems in your content marketing.
You can see the logic in doing that, lots of people are talking about it, it has made CCTV cameras part of the water cooler chat and that may have the result of some people looking at your website and possibly making an enquiry.
So, that’s a win-win, right? Well sort of. Short term it is, popular dramas create a buzz that can last for quite a few weeks.
However, the buzz does die down, people start talking about Strictly Baking I’m A MasterChef Get Me Out Of Here and programmes on the iPlayer (the link I used above) usually have a limited shelf life of a few months.
Anyone who happens to be on your website later in the year may wonder what it is you are talking about, see a dead link and think, “I’ll go somewhere else I think.”
Newsjacking, like anything with the word ‘jacking’ at the end of it is slightly more aggressive. That is where you try and include a big news story and try to shoehorn it into your content marketing, no matter how tenuous or convoluted the link.
Now, it can be used effectively, if there is a big breaking news story across most or all of the mainstream media and you can create an angle that is genuinely interesting and original than yes, absolutely, go for it.
But, the more tenuous the link, the more forced it is going to look.
You’ve probably seen good (by good, I mean bad) examples of this when a local news website tries to take a huge news story, for example, Donald Trump vs Iran, or Donald Trump vs anything and see a headline ‘What Does Donald Trump’s Latest Outburst Mean For Knitted Doily Makers In Falmouth?
Then in the comments section of that news article, you will read countless variations of “how is this local news? What has happened to our local press? Etc”
So, the news content will have driven some people to the website, but is it positive? Or are they cringing and highly unlikely to take that local news website seriously ever again?
One more important point about including news content is that you have to be on your toes. If your marketing and social media teams are able to react quickly then it can look good and work well.
If, however, you latch onto something when it has jumped the shark or has long been forgotten then that content will look naff. Simples.
Using ‘simples’ is an excellent example of using a popular advert long after it was popular with the general public.
See, also, out of date memes or trying to sound like young people about 10 years too late, you dig?
What Is Evergreen Content?
As its name suggests, evergreen content is content that is relevant and reliable pretty much all the time and if done particularly well, can last for years and never go out of fashion (much like Fleetwood Mac or my collection of classic combat trousers).
Good examples of this are How To Guides. For example, a How To Guide To Marketing, if done well can be evergreen. Sure, the methods will change over time, but the foundations and philosophies behind it will likely be around for a long time.
Another example would be, if you were a company that sells record players and audio equipment then a blog called The Greatest Top 50 Records On Vinyl is likely to have quite a long shelf life.
News content will deliver a quick fix and can produce a high spike in traffic, if timed well and used effectively.
Newsjacking can do the same if it’s not too convoluted, unlike the links they use on The One Show.
Evergreen content will, by its very nature, be more time consuming, is more difficult to create, but if you do use evergreen content then it will produce reliable results for a longer period of time.
Good content marketing, we think should be flexible, adaptable and use a combination of all three, with common sense, always use common sense.