Newsjacking is all about taking a trending topic and referencing it in your copy or creative. This turns popular news into a method for increasing your brand’s reach and engagement.
If your newsjack is well done, netizens will organically share your content, and with enough traction, it can also significantly boost your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ranking as such news tends to be highly searched on Google.
Nothing sounds better than explosive organic reach for digital marketers - Here are some tips to help your brand hop on the engagement train.
Do’s for Newsjacking
Quick turnaround times - The digital sphere gets bored with breaking news really quickly. Spend less time worrying about the perfect copy or creative, and get your post up while the news is still trending.
Example: IKEA Singapore did a fantastic job referencing the ‘crispy’ rendang incident just a day after.
While the news had not peaked, IKEA struck whilst the pan was hot and generated large organic reach. Netizens praised IKEA for being on point and this solidified their reputation for being on top of trends.
We’ve also adapted trends in record time! During the #10yearchallenge, we created a comparison image for the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
The post engaged many students and alumni, and was one of the best performing posts for that quarter.
Creativity and originality - Even things that don’t seem like they would fit your brand image can be spun to your advantage with a little imagination.
Example: Changi Airport Group capitalised on an otter invasion of their tarmac and put up this great image:
A CAG spokesperson said the post “was meant to put on record thanks to its airside staff for helping the otters to safety but in a fun and interesting way.” - Not exactly something you’d expect a brand like Changi Airport Group to post!
We’ve also had the privilege of tapping on viral trends.
Controversy might be good - Some might be leery about newsjacking content that strays too far from their brand image, or that original content might end up with backlash. Which is not always a bad thing!
Example: The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) published an image referencing the now infamous “Is it because I’m Chinese” incident.
This quickly led to an awkward question about racial issues in the RSAF, which turned out to have already been addressed. This achieved two things: The post went viral due to the news and the controversy, and netizens who checked out the post left with the correct information. A win-win situation for all!
Dont’s for Newsjacking
Jumping into things first naturally has a downside - Sometimes you miss the mark and fall flat.
Repeating stale news: While IKEA did really well with their first Crispy Rendang post, they put up another post a week later on the same topic.
The post did not perform as expected as the news was already old.
Be insensitive or offensive: Some pieces of news or certain subjects are just off limits. Snapchat learnt this the hard way with an insensitive ad alluding to Rihanna’s domestic violence case.
Just use a bit of common sense and stay far away from offensive subjects.