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Boost Traffic to your Online Campaign with Newsjacking : A Complete Guide for Marketers

Posted in Resources/Guides

Breaking News!!! Something happened in your industry or your similar target industries or somewhere in the world.

During such a scenario if you happen to publish related content through blogs, videos, press release or start a lead generation or sales campaign, then you are a Newsjacker. If newsjacking is a new term for you , then lets dive deep and find out how you can drive online campaigns.

What is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking refers to the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success. The term was popularized by David Meerman Scott’s book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Basically, news is breaking every second in this crazy world of ours, and there’s a point at which marketers have a unique opportunity to ride the popularity wave of a breaking story to benefit their business in some way. Scott’s timeline describes the complete life of a news story.

life of a news storyYou will find a lot of websites like or any other news related websites , publishing content whenever there is any breaking news. When you be a part of a news story , you actually create a buzz along with it as it has been rightly said – “Go with the Flow”.

Scott explains the concept of newsjacking stories that aren’t directly related to your business in his book with a Kate Winslet example. That’s right, I’m working Kate Winslet into this blog post. You may or may not remember, but last year Kate Winslet was staying with Sir Richard Branson at a private retreat in the British Virgin Islands when lightning struck the home, setting it on fire. Branson’s elderly mother was in the home, and Winslet carried her out of the fire to safety.

Pretty amazing, right? News outlets certainly thought so, and the story was picked up worldwide. But you know who else thought it was amazing? The London Fire Brigade who, within a few hours of the story’s release, wrote a story for their website in which they offered Winslet a chance to train with their firefighters at their local training center. They let reporters in on their offer, and with little or no money the London Fire Brigade had tons of site traffic, inbound links, and media exposure to do with as they pleased. And that, my friends, is newsjacking!

How to Newsjack ?

Step 1: Set Up Alerts.

Newsjacking requires a very instant and quick response to a news event. The first step is to constantly monitor the news and set up alerts. Google Alerts can be a very useful tool to notify you about breaking news in your industry. You can also set up a RSS feed from industry thought leaders , majors and publication houses that will alert you about newsjacking opportunities.


Step 2: Keyword Search Volume

Once you have a news report to newsjack run a small test to research on the keywords to target. This will help in optimizing your website for keywords which have a high amount of search volume. Get the power of organic boost through websites like – Google Insights for Search which will help you find out the keywords with highest related search volume.For example, did you know that the phrase “what is the google panda update” has an approximate global monthly search of 14,800, while the phrase “google panda update explanation” has (gasp!) no search volume?

Step 3: Look Around Before You Leap

There might be other players in the industry who might be willing to take advantage of this news story. It is important that you idea is not already being published or used in any ways by some other group. Try to read along other news stories content and make sure that they do not match with yours. It will help maintain your uniqueness and credibility.Think about it this way — if the London Fire Brigade offered their free fire training lessons to Kate Winslet a few hours after another group did the exact same thing, they’d look foolish and behind the times, not to mention their effort would be wasted.

Step 4: Whats In It For Me ?

Above is the question every viewer asks and this is the prominent question that needs to be answered. What is the value add are you providing to the users? The best way is to ask yourself- what’s interesting in the news story you are creating?For example, a developer could newsjack the Google Knowledge Graph story by writing about how their algorithm was engineered, as opposed to writing about how it affects marketers.

Step 5 : Godspeed!!

Now get your super fast fingers and publish the content- fast. You may never know that some one else might also have the same or similar idea. Why miss the flight to a awesome results? Newsjacking  might require a team with players working on the different aspects  like picture selection and editing, typing the content, press release generation , optimization etc. Finally get it reviewed by your superior or colleagues and publish it.

Step 6 : Spread Widespread

The last and most important part is marketing your marketing. You can gain some traffic some natural search algorithm, but it wont give the nitro boost you were expecting . A mix of social media , content submission , booking marking can definitely help in spreading your word.