14 July 2020 Guest Contributor

Many have what it takes to start a business, but few can manage to run it AND stay ahead in the market. If you’re in a competitive sector, then you understand just how hard building a strong brand can be.

One of the critical tips in creating brand awareness and rising in the market is to do things differently to showcase your creativity and prove to your target audience that you mean business. Luckily, the internet has made things easier and provides you with an accessible platform to reach a broader audience. 

Among the most powerful online marketing devices is ‘newsjacking’. Unfortunately, few people have mastered how to newsjack a story or trend to build their brands.

But what is newsjacking, you ask? The word newsjacking was initially used by David Meerman Scott when he wrote the book Newsjacking. In this book, he explains how you can inject your story into breaking news by adding compelling opinions and insights that are relevant to the story at opportune times. What this means is you get to leverage trending stories and, in turn, gain traffic to your site or social media platform.

We are in an era where people no longer rely on legacy media like newspapers and television to know what's happening around them. More often, they now refer to their preferred social media sites for breaking news and trends, and if you can use such stories to focus the attention on you, you are assured of gaining traffic.

You can use newsjacking to boost your SEO because the search engine algorithms are more likely to rank your site top if it contains information that people are continually looking for. Nonetheless, you should not just pick any story and expect it to hit or give you the results you want. You must follow some tips to boost your brand. Let's have a look at some tricks to follow.

Be informed

You cannot possibly use the news if you are not informed about everything that is happening around you. If you decide to follow this path, you should always be on the lookout for any upcoming stories. With this, you will be among the first marketers to hijack and use it on your site. The first rule is to stay alert, and luckily, you no longer have to do that manually. You can make use of automation tools for automatic updates on trending stories. You can also sign up on various news sites for news alerts. Whichever method you choose to follow, make sure you get hold of the stories as soon as they come up.

Work on the Keywords

This is where the work comes in. Finding the stories is easy, especially with the available tools, but using the right keywords to match the trending event and your brand can prove to be a challenge. Keywords are everything when it comes to optimising your site for SEO, and you must, therefore, take your time and research. While the goal is to make your website easily discoverable, whatever you share should be relevant and easy to understand. Do not spam the keywords hoping to overtake your competitors. You definitely won't be the only business owner using the particular story, but if you make it readable and valuable to the readers, you will be several steps ahead.

Be Proactive

Your speed will be the primary determinant of how useful and practical the strategy will be. When you think about newsjacking, you should think of stealing but in this case, in a good way. This means that you must be fast and do it before anyone else. You must be creative when coming up with ideas, type fast, and have the story up on your site in a few minutes. As soon as someone else posts it, it is no longer breaking news, and you will not reap much from it.

Twist the Story

Newsjacking does not necessarily mean that you should use the story as it is. The goal is to be different, and it is highly recommendable that you come up with a generic topic twisted around the trending story. Make the headline relevant to your brand and whichever services you are offering. You should not assume that your readers are interested in every trending story. For example, if it is political news, keep in mind that some people have no interest in politics and are more likely to skip the story. Therefore, you need to be creative and imaginative on how you can spin it to come up with something completely different to attract attention.

Push the Content

One of the common mistakes by small business owners or beginners is that they overlook the importance of marketing their content. As much as the blog post was meant to help you uplift your brand, you should also put in work to inform people about it. Social media is an excellent tool for spreading the word about your content and pleading with your followers to read it. You may incorporate a link that will direct your followers to the post. Ask them to leave a comment and share the link on their pages.

Go For Timeless News

It is also advisable that you go for timeless news as this makes your post relevant even in months to come. Do not rush to pick the kind of stories that will lose meaning in a matter of days. For example, if you post about a royal party hosted by the president, no one will be interested in reading the same story in a week. Nonetheless, if you post about a tragedy or lawsuit filed against prominent persons, the chances are that the suit could take months, and people will still want to go back to the story to see how it all started.

Newsjacking is a super useful tool but only if used right. Remember, you have to be imaginative, faster than your competitors, and the story should not sound promotional. Twist the headlines to suit your brand and market your content. With these tips, you have what it takes to get started.