Producing content that our audience wants to read is a constant challenge for those of us in the communications industry. For writers and reporters, editors, marketers and public relations professionals, and of course, bloggers, the pressure to find unique and engaging content that will keep our readers coming back for more has never been higher. There is content EVERYWHERE. And anyone can be a content producer, making it harder than ever to driver readers to your information.
Given that the way we consume content has changed so much in the past decade, it makes sense that the way we produce content has also changed. There are many new and evolving tactics that can help take your content to the next level, but one tactic in particular has come in handy for me recently. Earlier this month, at the height of the World Cup frenzy, I took the opportunity to blog about marketing and the World Cup. The post did well, with many people clicking to read more. Now, although I’d love to say that the post did well because it was so fantastically written (and I do hope it was!), it is more likely that it did well because I newsjacked. News of the World Cup was everywhere, so I took the opportunity to make sure it was also at HealthComU.
Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news event (or sporting event as the case may be) to promote your content. Newsjacking was made popular by marketer David Meerman Scott, who turned the topic in a book entitled “Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage.”
How it works
I don’t want to steel thunder from Meerman Scott’s book (and I highly recommend you read it), but here is a snapshot of his newsjacking tips:
- Be open to serendipity
- Monitor keywords, phrases, and trending words
- Track journalists and other media/news outlets
- Follow Twitter hashtags
Then, when there is breaking news, you’ll be in a position to react quickly and get in the game early, with great content that sets you and your organization apart. The key is to offer something that others aren’t and gain traction just as public excitement is starting to build.
Although these aren’t health care-specific examples, take a look at these brand marketing efforts that effectively used newsjacking.
Finally, here are some tips from the field:
- Don’t force it. If you feel like you’re trying to shoehorn your content in a newsjack attempt, you probably are. Although you want to take advantage of all attempts to promote your content, your audience will be able to tell if you’re trying to make something out of nothing.
- Be flexible. Editorial calendars are important for making sure that you always have content to publish, but you shouldn’t be so married to your calendar that you don’t allow for newsjacking opportunities. This may mean you have to bump some content or publish when you normally wouldn’t, which means everyone needs to stay on their toes so you can jump when you have the chance.