How to Find Newsjacking Ideas Without Even Trying

  • Content Marketing and Strategy

Breaking News! Something important happened in relation to your industry!

Did you know that you can use industry-related news to your advantage in your content strategy? It’s called “newsjacking” and you can use it to “ride the wave” of breaking news.

What is Newsjacking

So what is newsjacking? Newsjacking is a term that refers to capitalizing on buzz-worthy news stories – the benefit being a marketing campaign or a way to drive sales. And with fresh news stories breaking every second, there is a world opportunity out there.

Newsjacking is a tool that many businesses should use – especially marketing agencies. The world of marketing is changing constantly – so there will always be a fresh piece of news to jack.

The news doesn’t even need a huge breaking news story – it can be as simple as a popular TV show airing or a controversial tweet. President Trump’s “Covfefe” tweet is a great example of a newsjack-worthy tweet. After the tweet came out, several brands were quick to jump on the newsjacking trend and put out relevant content.

We recently used McDonald’s Black Friday Tweet fail in a similar fashion. We saw the fail and quickly wrote a blog about the tweet and posted it to One of the users actually asked us to write this blog in response to the blog – so thank you for the idea! @liltambrahmgirl!

How to Use Newsjacking to Your Advantage

There are several ways that you can use newsjacking to your advantage, but there are a few things that you need to do in order to stay on top of the news. Here are a few of our suggestions!

Closely Follow the News

In order to successfully newsjack, you need to be a newsmonger. Absorb as much news as humanly possible. There are a few tools that you can use to stay ahead of the news curve.

Twitter – One of the easiest tools to use for news is Twitter. You can follow accounts relevant to your industry – and thousands of tweets pour in by the second. You can organize the accounts you follow by creating lists or by creating keyword feeds on Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

RSS Feeds – Another great way to stay on top of relevant news is to subscribe to RSS Feeds. An RSS is a type of web feed that will allow you to access updates to online content. You can directly subscribe to individual feeds, or you can utilize feed readers to make the process even easier. One tool that our Accounts Team uses religiously is Feedly. We have specific feeds set up to organize the content for which we are looking.


Newsjacking is an Art Form – It Can Get Ugly!

When trying to newsjack, you need to be smart about it. Not all news is right for your brand. Make sure that the news is relevant to your industry or can be used in a light-hearted way that reflects your branding or offering.

The best example of newsjacking is when Oreos newsjacked the Super Bowl blackout in 2013. The Super Bowl isn’t directly related to the chocolatey sandwich cookie – but they spun the blackout in a clever way, and they were rewarded for it.

On the other hand, there have been a few cringe-worthy newsjacking fails that we can all learn from. It is important to be mindful when you are considering content. Steer clear of insensitive or controversial content.

One such cringe worthy tweet came from DiGiorno Pizza when the brand accidentally used the hashtag “Why I stayed” about pizza, not realizing it was related to domestic violence. Their mistake should be a reminder to ALWAYS check your hashtags when trying to newsjack.

Digiorno Pizza

Coming Up With Content Ideas Is Not Always Easy

At the end of the day, the easiest way to benefit from the news is to pay attention to the news. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools out there that help with this process, but we understand that some business owners do not have time to focus on such things. We’re happy to do the dirty work for you!

If you’d like to discuss how we can improve your digital content strategy, contact us today!

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