A fun and safe addition to your marketing strategy is to inject some news and/or pop culture content on your Twitter news feed. This can be in the form of a funny anecdote or full on newsjacking.
Newsjacking is a way to capitalize on the popularity of a news story to increase attention to your business and possibly generate more sales and/or media coverage for your organization. Time is of the essence and the web allows you, in real time, to get your take on a news story out there within minutes.
One thing about newsjacking – you need to be quick. It requires the speed you would use if you were in crisis mode. To get into the loop, you will want to monitor the media in your local area and cover influential blogs, journalists and media outlets around the globe. One way to stay on top of the news is to set up an RSS feed that includes major news outlets as well as industry publications. Of course, don’t forget to check Twitter as a way of stumbling upon newsjacking prospects.
When news breaks, many media outlets look to Twitter for comments about an event or for eyewitness accounts. The crucial link between newsjackera and journalists is the hashtag on Twitter. The hashtag identifies tweets as part of a particular conversation on a subject. It’s easier to find references to a certain topic when there is a hashtag before it. If you can post a tweet with a hashtag about a news event with a new or innovative dimension, you might get contacted by a journalist. This is the first vital step to a newsjack.
Once you choose the story you want to newsjack, you will need to write some content about it. Before you start to write, research the keywords and key phrases you want to target. You can get a boost on google if you choose keyword phrases with a higher search volume. You want to optimize your keywords.
The best newsjacking endeavors link a product, brand or service to a news item even when no link seems to be apparent. You can use an inside joke that is known to your niche audience, a play on words or modified song lyrics to build a bridge between the news item and your company.
Next, you will want to find the primary source of the news story. Also, take a look at what others have already written about the news story. You want credibility as well as originality. Definitely, bring in your unique point of view into the news story.
Some stories can be pre-planned newsjacking. If you are aware of an event coming up you might want to pre-write or outline a story before the news gets around. You can take advantage of a huge event such as the Oscars like Charmin did with their tweet about making sure to check you don’t walk down the red carpet with toilet paper streaming from your backside. Take a look:
There is also the delayed recap instead of breaking news. You might not be breaking the story yourself, but you can offer your perspective on the news.
And let’s not forget the good old publicity stunt! For example, the Chief Executive of an Australian insurance company, TIO, capitalized on President Obama’s trip to Darwin by offering Obama crocodile insurance for free. He said, “TIO has been selling the $10 cover for 23 years – President Obama will get his for free.” What great messaging! As if the President actually requested the croc insurance himself! This type of publicity cost TIO nothing, but the company was mentioned in more than 100 articles, not to mention all the buzz on social media.
Get creative. Another example is taking the Spice girls celebration of Victoria Beckham’s 40th birthday to pitch your own product. If, for example, you sell lingerie, you can “help” the other Spice girls pick out gifts for the birthday girl. Now that Victoria is over 40, she might need a bra with better support.
Overall, well-planned newsjacking directs followers to a landing page, or a video or a blog with a lead capture form. A correctly designed lead capture form opens up your business to a higher conversion rate. You want to foster relationships with your followers with more content and events to turn them into customers.
Newsjacking and creating funny, original tweets based on a news story can lift marketers out of an inactivity funk AND drive up SEO. It can turns leads into sales all at a very low cost to you and can be used as a great part of a content marketing – social media marketing and inbound marketing campaign.