Have you ever noticed that whenever there is a “breaking news”, within hours every big brand is tweeting or posting about it in some witty way? This advertising ploy of tagging along with the latest news events to self-promote, is know as newsjacking. It is a very creative way to generate a buzz.
How does it work?
The way it works is rather simple: when a news breaks, people turn to the media to learn more about it. Before the internet became popular, they relied on TV and newspapers. But now, news breaks first on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. When people search online for more information, if you have “hijacked”the news, your newsjack is now part of the search results. It also gets into traditional media as journalists gather data online. So, newsjacking is literally “hijacking” a news story. When done correctly, a newsjack not only promotes your business, but also earns appreciation for a successful and clever endorsement.
When to start newsjacking?
For newsjacking to be effective, it should be executed in real-time. Social media is a platform that accelerates the process to great extend. Publishing a print ad can take days or weeks, but injecting content into Facebook or Twitter takes only a few minutes. A successful newsjacking campaign demands a creative team that can go from idea, to concept, to post in less than 48 hours. An advantage of newsjacking is that the stories do not even have to be related to the brand’s niche. Which means anything goes as far as newsjacking is concerned.
Here are some popular newsjacks on Social Media by reputed brands
Suarez’s bite in FIFA WC 2014
When Uruguay’s Luis Suarez created news by biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup game, brands proved once again that they are hungry for real-time marketing. The reaction was quick with clever tweets from major brands all over Twitter.
This is how brands reacted to the biting incident.
— SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) June 24, 2014
Blackout during Super Bowl 2013
Last year, during NFL Super Bowl game, the lights inside the stadium went out. Brands like Oreo and Audi, saw this as an opportunity to market themselves in clever ways.
Sending some LEDs to the @MBUSA Superdome right now…
— Audi (@Audi) February 4, 2013
— Tide (@tide) February 4, 2013
Royal Baby’s birth
When the world waited for the birth of Britain’s royal baby, brands celebrated on social media with royal baby posts and tweets.
— Pampers (@Pampers) July 22, 2013
— Coke Zone (@cokezone) July 22, 2013
And then there were three. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/wzIDmfKsxH
— Starbucks UK (@StarbucksUK) July 22, 2013
These are some examples of real-time advertising by newsjacking on social media.
If you have a team of creative and responsive marketers keeping tab on news and current events, newsjacking is a relatively low cost yet very effective marketing strategy. A successful newsjack is a simple as following the news and acting quick.
Do you know any brilliant newsjacking campaigns we might have missed? Tell us in the comment section below.