Are you getting fewer and fewer leads from content marketing? While your tried-and-true content may be valuable to loyal followers, you have to be willing to try new things to reach larger audiences. Changing up your strategy is essential to spark interest among people who aren’t currently viewing your content. Newsjacking allows you to piggyback on trending topics and improve SEO, driving more inbound leads to your site.
What Is Newsjacking?
Just about everyone knows a chatterbox who always has the scoop on what’s happening in the neighborhood or at work. More than likely, this person isn’t satisfied with only sharing the facts. The bigger the story, the more attractive it is to an audience. So, the storyteller can’t resist putting a personal spin on every tale to stand out and gain attention.
“Hijacking the news” is a lot like being the chatterbox who presents a hot story in a unique way to steal the limelight. Newsjacking is an SEO technique that involves promoting your brand by bringing a fresh perspective to a breaking news story. In many cases, the news is only loosely related to the brand, which exposes content to new audience segments.
Why Newsjacking Is Effective for SEO
Chances are, your content only reaches a tiny fraction of the web community. It’s also common for site visits and subscriber numbers to plateau when your content doesn’t offer enough variety to break through to new audiences.
Trending news stories have a limited lifespan, but they generate loads of search traffic over a short time period. When you act quickly and provide useful information about popular topics, other media outlets may quote your content or link to it. As a result, newsjacking is a smart way to gain a short-term SEO boost and drum up fresh leads.
When used correctly, newsjacking can help you:
- Overcome a content slump
- Create a catalog of high-ranking posts
- Increase social media engagement
- Generate a large number of quality backlinks
- Attract new subscribers and/or sales leads
With newsjacking, it’s important to bring your brand into the story in a meaningful way. You shouldn’t be dishonest or try to mislead people into reading content that doesn’t offer anything of value. Instead, choose topics that position your brand as an expert, so other content creators are more likely to refer back to your posts.
How to Make Newsjacking Work for You
There are four common ways newsjacking can fail or completely backfire.
- Your content is too promotional and not focused on the story.
- Your content isn’t published fast enough to gain traction.
- Your content is too generic or irrelevant to go viral.
- Your content is poorly conceived and causes negative backlash.
To be successful at newsjacking, you have to think about what’s in it for the reader. How do you satisfy your marketing needs and your audience?
First of all, know your audience. What do your target readers find useful? Exciting? Entertaining? Shareable? Upsetting? Newsworthy? You can use tools such as Google Trends and Google Alerts to find news that is approaching peak popularity.
Try offering your expert analysis on a topic or responding to news in a creative, unexpected way. Let’s say you have an accounting business, and there’s a trending story about a celebrity couple battling over a divorce settlement. You could use the celeb squabble to build buzz, and then shift to offering advice on how to make good financial plans as newlyweds and avoid a strained marriage or eventual divorce.
Now, imagine you’re newsjacking the same topic, but from the perspective of a salon owner or personal trainer. Instead, you might use the conflict to talk about how important it is to find ways to feel good about yourself when coping with a stressful situation.
Another technique is to provide answers about a topic that may not be common knowledge. How often do you search for trending news on a topic and find the same person or company mentioned in multiple articles? Definitions and background material add context that is highly quotable, making the story more attractive to journalists.
Before you publish anything, bring a critical eye to newsjacked content to make sure it doesn’t alienate large portions of your audience. Successful content will reflect the values of your audience and motivate people to share it with their social network.