Newsjacking is a term coined by David Meerman Scott in his book, “Newsjacking.” According to Scott, Newsjacking is the process of adding your thoughts and opinions into breaking news stories. It’s piggybacking on trending news topics to get yourself noticed.

Aligning yourself with popular topics brings more attention to your business. Newsjacking boosts SEO by giving you more keywords and phrases to rank for. With your finger on the pulse, you attract attention from a wider audience.

When Newsjacking Works

Good newsjacking requires a thorough understanding of breaking information and trending topics.

As stories begin to trend, search traffic for keywords in that story starts to accelerate. Google often features articles about trending stories at the top of the search results. Additionally, trending stories are highlighted by Twitter and Facebook.

To newsjack at the right time, you must get in before the story peaks. Though there’s often tough competition for trending traffic, companies that get in early collect backlinks from other outlets using their content as a reference.

How to Start Newsjacking

The first step in newsjacking is finding the right stories to jump on. There will always be opportunities in this fast-paced world. Identifying trending terms and hashtags quick enough will allow you to ride the wave of popularity.

Track relevant news by:

  • Using Google Trends to monitor trending stories.
  • Using Google Alerts to monitor keywords
  • Using tools like Sprout Social to monitor social channels
  • Watching trending hashtags on Twitter
  • Following journalist and bloggers who cover stories connected to your industry.

Newsjacking To-Do List

The key to newsjacking is jumping on stories before your competitors.

Once you have a strategy for tracking potential stories, you’ll need to act quickly. Some of the best things you can do include:

  • Picking the right story: The breaking news you cover must be relevant to your brand and industry.
  • Write quickly and accurately: Make sure that you write fast but double-check your facts to protect your reputation.
  • Be different: Covering the same news as everyone else won’t get you noticed. Inject your own angle into the story based on what you know about your audience.
  • Tread carefully: While it’s important to act quickly, you must also be careful. Some opinions and news topics may rub your audience the wrong way.
  • Promote your post: Remember to generate attention for your newsjacked story. Hold a virtual press release with Facebook Live. Contact journalists interested in what you have to share. Tweet about your content using a pre-established hashtag.
  • Track engagement and responses using a social tool like Sprout Social: This will help you to plan future campaigns.

Benefits of Newsjacking

Newsjacking is complex. It requires companies to be constantly aware of the latest news relevant to their industry or brand. However, used correctly, newsjacking is also beneficial because it:

  • Places your brand into larger industry and social conversations.
  • Puts you in front of new audiences and potential customers.
  • Boosts social media engagement.
  • Demonstrates the nature of your brand to audiences.
  • Shows that you’re dialed into the needs of your customers and community.