What has an annoying mobile game app and SEO got in common?
Well, the recent demise of Flappy Bird (no, I hadn’t heard of it either) has seen a rush of online marketing activity which is commonly known as “newsjacking”.
Basically, it’s a technique where you take a hot news story and use it in your marketing. And if it’s done well, it can result in a lot of attention for your brand. And attention these days means social shares and article links – all of which will help your SEO. It’s one of the most popular forms of linkbait.
It doesn’t need to be purely online marketing – UK opticians Specsavers use print advertising alongside social media. They actively look for newsjacking opportunities for their campaign “Should have gone to Specsavers” and move fast when they spot one. Their most successful was during the olympics after the incorrect Korean flag was shown at a football match. This brought them a huge amount of publicity – and links from top websites.
But newsjacking has its pitfalls. You need to choose your story carefully. There are many examples of ill-thought out tweets which brought red faces and humble apologies from the brands involved. Specsavers themselves found this out when they jumped on the cricket controversy over hot spot during the Ashes in 2013. Kevin Pietersen didn’t find it funny and Specsavers ended up making a substantial damages payout.
If the news story involves death, hardship or people in difficulties, then proceed with the utmost caution.
But the Flappy Bird story is perfect for newsjacking – quirky, human interest and a rags to riches tale.
Of course, small businesses don’t have the resources of big brands but newsjacking doesn’t have to be big or complicated. It can be as simple as a blog post:
not to mention this one you’re reading now.
Have you spotted any more? Do add them in the comments.