By Katy French
If you’re human, you’re probably glued to the news, current events, trends, and pop culture happenings all day, every day. People have an insatiable appetite for this type of content—and the conversations surrounding hot topics—so it’s no wonder brands want in on the action. Hence, newsjacking has become a common occurrence in marketing, whether in a brand infographic, blog post, or video.
The Value of Newsjacking in an Infographic
It’s true that newsjacking has gotten a bad rap in recent years. But aside from the aggressive name, newsjacking isn’t inherently bad; creating content around current events can certainly be beneficial for brands. It can help you engage with people, stimulate conversation, create community, and give people a sense of your character and values.
The problem is that most brands don’t know how to do it authentically. They think newsjacking means capitalizing on current events when what it really means is connecting through current events. Some brands have seen enough newsjacking disasters (think Pepsi’s protest ad or AT&T’s 9/11 tweet) that they shy away from it entirely. This is understandable and, depending on the subject, might be the right call. But there are plenty of cases where newsjacking can work if you do it honestly and authentically.
The Dos and Don’ts of Newsjacking
If you want to try newsjacking in your next infographic, follow these tips to make sure it’s a success.
DON’T be a slime ball. It seems common sense, but too many brands are guilty of this. It’s ironic, too, seeing as the entire point of newsjacking is to share your unique voice and connect on a one-on-one level—to be the opposite of a greedy, faceless corporation. But somehow newsjacking often reinforces that exact reputation.
DON’T write about things unrelated to your brand. Good content marketing is about delivering interesting, relevant content that people care about. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s popular with your crowd. Do CMOs care about Beyoncé’s hot new video, or would they be more interested in the unique marketing strategy she used to release that new video?
DON’T tackle sensitive subjects. Controversial topics and tragedies may be in the news, but adding your two cents is rarely worth it. Viewing these topics as fodder that’s “hot right now” will more than likely get you in some major hot water.
That said, there are opportunities to express your brand values in relation to some of these issues. For example, for National Women’s Health Day, we created an interactive experience addressing the stigma around menstruation for women and girls around the world. Menstruation may be considered a taboo subject (especially for a creative agency), but we felt it was important to discuss.
DON’T wait too long. Brands that act quickly can win big in newsjacking. Remember the famous tweet Oreo put out during the power outage at Super Bowl XLVI?
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
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Source:: Business 2 Community