How to Use Newsjacking to Boost Your Business

March 11, 2023

What is newsjacking, and why is it worth considering for businesses and organizations? Simply put, newsjacking is the act of taking advantage of a current news event or trend to promote a product, service, or idea. It can be a powerful way for organizations to increase their visibility, boost their social media engagement, and drive traffic to their website.

But newsjacking isn't just about jumping on the latest trend for the sake of it. It requires a careful balance of timeliness, relevance, and value. Successful newsjacking campaigns are able to quickly respond to breaking news and incorporate their message in a way that adds value to the conversation.

To give you an idea of what successful newsjacking looks like, here are a few examples:

- When the Mars Curiosity Rover landed on the Red Planet in 2012, Oreo quickly tweeted a picture of an Oreo cookie on a red background with the tagline "You can still dunk in the dark." The tweet went viral and received over 16,000 retweets.

- During the 2014 World Cup, Coca-Cola created a series of GIFs that incorporated their logo into celebrations by soccer players. The GIFs were shared widely on social media and helped to increase brand awareness for Coca-Cola.

- In 2015, when the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer was released, Progressive Insurance tweeted a GIF of the character BB-8 with the tagline "Introducing the newest member of the Progressive family. #TheForceAwakens." The tweet was well-received and helped to promote Progressive's brand in a fun and relevant way.

These examples illustrate the importance of timing in newsjacking. In order to take advantage of a current news event or trend, organizations need to act quickly and respond in real-time. In the next  few points, we'll delve further into the key elements of newsjacking and how organizations can successfully execute a newsjacking campaign.

Timing Plays a Big Role

Timing is crucial when it comes to newsjacking. In order to take advantage of a current news event or trend, organizations need to act quickly and respond in real-time. This means monitoring the news and being ready to pivot and incorporate your message into a relevant story as soon as it breaks.

If you are too slow to respond, you may miss the opportunity to join the conversation and be seen by a larger audience. On the other hand, if you are able to quickly and effectively newsjack a story, you can increase your visibility and drive traffic to your website or social media channels.

It's also important to note that newsjacking can be a double-edged sword. While it can be a powerful way to increase visibility, it can also backfire if you are perceived as being opportunistic or tone-deaf.

This is why it's so important to carefully consider the timing of your newsjacking efforts and to ensure that your message is relevant and adds value to the conversation.

Be Relevant and Add Value

In addition to timing, it's also important for organizations to ensure that their newsjacking efforts are relevant and add value to the conversation. This means aligning your message with the current news event or trend in a way that makes sense and is not perceived as opportunistic or in poor taste.

It also means providing value to the audience by offering insights, information, or resources that are relevant to the current news event.

For example, if a news story breaks about a natural disaster, it might not be appropriate for a company to try to newsjack the story and promote their product or service. However, the company might be able to add value to the conversation by offering resources or information on disaster preparedness or recovery.

By being relevant and adding value, organizations can effectively newsjack a story and promote their brand in a way that doesn’t come with negative undertones.

Pick the Right Platform

The platform that you choose to share your newsjacking campaign on can definitely make a difference in terms of its reach and effectiveness. Different social media platforms have different audiences and features, and it's important to choose the right platform for your message.

For example, if you are targeting a younger, more visual audience, platforms like Instagram and TikTok might be the most effective. These platforms are known for their heavy use of photos, videos, and GIFs, which can be great for creating shareable content that resonates with users.

On the other hand, if you are targeting a more professional or news-oriented audience, platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn might be better options. These platforms are known for their focus on current events and news, and are often used by journalists and industry professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their field.

Ultimately, the platform that you choose will depend on your target audience and the type of content that you are creating. It's a good idea to consider which platforms your audience is most active on and tailor your strategy accordingly.

Consider the Format

The format of your newsjacking campaign can definitely have an impact on its success. The type of content that you create should be tailored to the platform that you are using and the audience that you are targeting.

Here are a few different types of content that might be effective for newsjacking campaigns:

Short-form content: On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, it can be effective to create short-form content such as tweets, posts, and stories. This could include text, photos, videos, or a combination of these elements. Short-form content is easy to consume and share, making it a great option for newsjacking efforts.

Long-form content: On platforms like LinkedIn and Medium, it can be effective to create longer-form content such as articles or blog posts. This can be a good option for organizations that want to delve deeper into a topic and provide more detailed information or analysis.

Interactive content: On platforms like TikTok, it can be effective to create interactive content such as polls, quizzes, or challenges. This can be a great way to engage with users and encourage them to participate in your newsjacking campaign.

Ultimately, the format of your content will depend on your goals and the resources that you have available. It's a good idea to experiment with different types of content and see what works best for your organization.

Potential Benefits of Newsjacking

There are several potential benefits to newsjacking for businesses and organizations:

Increased visibility: Newsjacking can help to increase the visibility of a business or organization by getting their message in front of a larger audience. By aligning your message with a current news event or trend, you can tap into the audience that is already interested in that topic.

Boosted social media engagement: Newsjacking can help to boost social media engagement by providing fresh and relevant content for users to share and interact with. This can help to increase the reach of your content and drive traffic to your website or social media channels.

Improved search engine optimization (SEO): By newsjacking current events and trends, businesses can improve their SEO by creating timely and relevant content that is more likely to rank highly in search engine results.

Enhanced reputation: By successfully newsjacking a current event or trend and adding value to the conversation, businesses can enhance their reputation and be seen as thought leaders in their industry.

Increased sales: If done effectively, newsjacking can help to drive sales by increasing visibility and driving traffic to a business's website or social media channels. By aligning their message with a current event or trend, businesses can increase the relevance and appeal of their products or services to potential customers.

Best Practices for Newsjacking

Keep it simple: When newsjacking, it's important to get your message across quickly and clearly. Avoid using too much text or clutter, and focus on creating simple and visually appealing content.

Use strong visuals: Visuals can be a powerful tool for catching people's attention and getting your message across. Use high-quality images, videos, and graphics to help your content stand out.

Use strong headlines: Headlines are crucial for getting people to click and read your content. Make sure to use strong, attention-grabbing headlines that clearly communicate the key points of your message.

Use storytelling: Storytelling can be a powerful way to engage your audience and make your message more memorable. Consider using storytelling elements such as characters, plot, and conflict to bring your message to life.

Use humor: Humor can be a great way to make your content more memorable and shareable. However, be careful not to be perceived as tone-deaf or inappropriate.

Keep it mobile-friendly: With more and more people accessing the internet via mobile devices, it's important to make sure that your content is mobile-friendly. This means using responsive design, large text, and clear calls to action that are easy to tap on a small screen.

In Conclusion

Newsjacking can be a powerful tool for businesses and organizations looking to increase their visibility, boost their social media engagement, and drive traffic to their website. However, it's important to carefully consider the timing, relevance, and value of your newsjacking efforts in order to be successful.

By following the tips outlined above, such as using strong visuals, headlines, and storytelling, and making sure to keep your content mobile-friendly, you can create newsjacking campaigns that stick and drive results for your business.

If you need help creating strong visuals for your newsjacking campaign, a design partner like Mad Creative Beanstalk will be a great option. Trusted by 100s of early-stage startups and organizations, we can help you create designs that your brand deserves effectively.

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