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

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

When Newsjacking Works

Effective newsjacking requires a strong understanding of breaking information and trending topics.

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

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

How to Start Newsjacking

To start newsjacking, the first step is finding the right stories to jump on. There will always be opportunities in this fast-paced world. Identifying trending terms and hashtags faster than your competitors will allow you to ride the wave of popularity.

To track relevant news:

  • Use Google Trends to monitor trending stories.
  • Use Google Alerts to monitor keywords
  • Use tools like Vista Social to monitor social channels
  • Watch trending hashtags on Twitter
  • Follow journalists and bloggers who cover stories connected to your industry.

Newsjacking To-Do List

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

Once you have a strategy for tracking potential stories, you then need to act quickly. Some of the best newsjacking tactics include:

  • Picking the right story: The breaking news you include must be relevant to your brand and industry.
  • Write quickly and accurately: Write fast while making sure to double-check your facts to protect your reputation.
  • Be different: Covering the same news as everyone else won’t get you noticed. Stand out by including your own perspective based on what you know about your audience.
  • Tread carefully: While it’s important to act fast, you should also act with caution also. Some opinions and news topics may rub your audience the wrong way.
  • Promote your post: After posting, generate attention for your newsjacked story by holding a virtual press release with Facebook Live, contacting journalists interested in what you have to share, or tweeting about your content using a pre-established hashtag.
  • Track engagement and responses using a social tool like Vista Social: Understanding your performance will help you to plan future campaigns.
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Benefits of Newsjacking

Newsjacking is not simple. It requires companies to be highly tuned into the latest news relevant to their industry or brand. However, when used correctly, newsjacking is beneficial because it:

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