The Worst Content Marketing Is What Everybody Else Is Doing: How to Get Ahead and Stay ThereContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the PlatformRise of Social Media in Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]How eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Wisely Snipes in News Jack City
Posted on March 27th 2014
One of the first tricks I learned from the best bloggers on the web is how to do a newsjack. A newsjack is a technique used by marketers that leverages a popular news item towards your marketing goals. It was popularized by David Meerman Scott in his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Here is a Scott’s famous timeline:
There are some great how-tos and tutorials already out there on newsjacking so I won’t go over familiar territory. Instead, I want to cover three newsjack wisely snipes (“Wesley Snipes, get it?") we’re using at ShareBloc that follows the trajectory of Scott’s timeline but with our own twists.
The Classic NewsJack
As Scott expertly lays out in his book and blog post, the key to his definition of a newsjack is speed and judgment. Since journalists are looking for additional content, a timely post can help insert your blog into the news stream. This works for B2C or B2B. For example, 20th Century Fox recently released the final trailer for their upcoming summer tent-pole movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Disney retaliated by releasing images of the still-in-production Avengers sequel. Disney’s newsjack wasn’t only around two comic-book movie franchises. The X-Men movie introduces a fan-favorite character called Quicksilver but early Internet sentiment has been negative on the character’s “look.” Disney, who owns Marvel’s X-Men (but not their movie rights), is also introducing Quicksilver in their movie (confused yet?) and early Internet sentiment is more positive. By conflating the two Quicksilvers, the movie trailer was newsjacked by arguably less exciting production stills.
We attempted a newsjack last year during the height of #SFBatKid in San Francisco. Because #SFBatKid can be a sensitive topic, we wanted to make sure our post was not only relevant to the news item, but also added value to our readers. As Scott says in his post, a newsjack should always use good judgment.
The Delayed NewsJack
Here, I humbly depart from Scott’s timeline. We believe there is value in creating distance from the original news item, particularly if the news item has long-tail value. In the delayed newsjack, you want to create value for those who “missed” the news item the first time around or create deliberate separation. For example, there was a recent TechCrunch article by the CEO & co-founder of Kik, a popular messaging service, titled “After WhatsApp: An Insider’s View On What’s Next In Messaging.” Because Ted Livingston, Kik’s CEO, released his article one month after the acquisition date, his post and Kik can stand alone in the WhatsApp news cycle outside the initial noise generated post-acquisition. I personally think the post and timing was deliberate. Notice, Ted doesn’t even mention his own company’s name in the article’s title!
At ShareBloc, we use delayed newsjacks with frequency. Notable inbound celebrities like Moz founder Rand Fishkin have recently conducted “Ask-Me-Anythings” (AMAs) on comparable sites like Reddit and Inbound.org. If you have ever participated in an AMA in real-time, you’ll know it’s exciting to be chatting with leaders like Rand, but the format is confusing. We’ve been summarizing these AMAs 1-2 weeks after the original event and it’s gotten a great response from the community (and from the celebrities themselves). Of course, we’re just cribbing from sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable, who have been doing this for Reddit celebrity AMAs for some time.
The Prolonged NewsJack
We’re now off the charts here. Sometimes, you want to newsjack an ongoing phenomenon. For example, during the run-up to the Super Bowl, everyone from local car dealerships to national brands were looking to newsjack the Super Bowl’s brand. Hilariously, these newsjacks have to do it without saying the words “Super Bowl” since the NFL owns exclusive rights to market the Big Game. No one did the newsjack better than satirist Stephen Colbert. During the two-week run-up to the big game (see, I’m doing it too), Stephen Colbert advertised his shows under the theme “Superb Owl,” while having the same exact letters in the same exact order as Super Bowl, could legally be considered a separate entity.
ShareBloc employs a similar tactic. Marketo is having their annual conference in April Marketing Nation Summit. Since our users and Marketo users have a significant overlap, we launched a contest, the Content Marketing Nation, to leverage the Marketo conference and brand. Working with five of Marketo’s biggest partners, we’re giving away a free ticket to Marketing Nation Summit for the best post on marketing automation. The contest ends on Friday and so far, we’ve gotten almost 1,000 visitors to the micro-site. That’s a big win for a small startup like us and helps our promotional partners get in front of more of their leads.
In the end, obey the general rules laid out by David Meerman Scott: Be timely (even if timely means delayed or prolonged) and use your best judgment. Good content, with the right distribution and thoughtfulness, will find its audience.