Newsjacking

A stair-stepping of three musical notes blurts out from the TV at 6 o’clock, and you automatically know; the news is on.

 

I’m not going to pretend that you all are going to be captivated, and in fact the majority of you will turn the channel. After all, studies say only 24 percent of millennials still watch the news. However, information is easily available, and most Americans will use a social media platform to search for and get their news every day.

 

This is why Newsjacking is a great tool to have in your social marketing arsenal. Newsjacking is the practice of taking advantage of current events in a way to promote or advertise your brand. Viral content is born here.

 

Coming from a journalism background, I adore social media because everything moves quickly and in real-time, so I get my news right when it happens.

 

Social media gives marketers a new and unique advantage; to inject themselves into the now and connect with consumers quickly.

 

Take TIO Insurance, an Australian insurance company. When they heard President Obama was coming to visit Australia, they offered him $500,000 in crocodile insurance. So that in the event Obama was eaten by a croc during his stay, Mrs. Obama would get a payout of $500,000.

 

This was the perfect way to inject their business into the big news of the day. In fact, over 4,000 news stories were written just about the company and their zany idea. Talk about big time media coverage for a small-town insurance company.

 

Buyers are interested in products and services based on what’s happening now. It’s a little exhausting trying to stay ahead of the curve or explain to your clients these zany ideas as they happen, but these are the risks that lead to a payoff in the end.

 

Following the news, being quick, witty and creative, is an that art requires quite a bit of finesse. I challenge you to pay attention to the news. Remove yourself from the products and services box from which your content is born and create those connections to potential customers through newsjacking.

Loribeth Reynolds