Most internet marketers are aware of the benefits of newsjacking. Every day they observe successful attacks by news pirates on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Someone envies marketing filibusters from marketing, while others try to board the informational brigs themselves.
At first glance, newsjacking is not different from traditional PR methods. However, the work of news pirates is associated with a number of risks and dangers. The effectiveness of marketing depends on the ability of newsjackers to solve difficulties and avoid threats. What risks are we talking about and how do experienced news wolves solve the problem? About this below.
Reefs, reefs and headwinds of newsjacking
David Mirman Scott, the author of the term “newsjacking”, believes that it is enough for a brand to ride the news wave at the right moment to dramatically increase the reach of its audience. But news pirates practitioners know that quick reaction is not enough for success. Marketers must be aware of the risks of newsjacking and be able to avoid them. The most dangerous pitfalls of news piracy include:
- Explicit attempts to use news topics in the interests of business. Usually this risk is triggered when a brand doesn't even try to make the message witty and fun. "Our skaters won in Sochi, it's time to buy skates in our network of sports shops." Would you like this Facebook post?
- An involuntary insult to the feelings and views of people participating in an event that has become an informational occasion for newsjacking. The unfortunate joke of designer Kenneth Cola about the mass protests in Cairo became a textbook example for news pirates.
- The unwillingness of the brand to a negative reaction. Choosing really relevant news topics, news pirates will sooner or later face a negative reaction from a part of the audience. In this case, the success of a marketing campaign depends on the ability of the marketer to work under pressure and constructively respond to criticism.
- No important news related to your industry. Brand managers of steel mills, retail chains and other trivial businesses may believe that events that can be tied to their industry rarely occur in the world.
- Selection of too narrow industry news. Information about the occasion should be clear to all members of the target audience. Otherwise, you will attract the attention of only colleagues and competitors.
- Lack of audience reaction to newsjacking. This is one of the main risks of news piracy. Potential customers pay attention not to all brand messages, and marketers should be ready for this.
- The lack of awareness of marketers or target audience in the Internet culture. Newsjackers should use the memes and jargon popular on the web. Not all customers understand expressions like "IMHO, bayan", "lol", "thank you, cap", etc.
How well-known brands avoid the risks of newsjacking
Witness and ingenuity are the main weapon of the newsjacker against pitfalls. Notice how well-known brands elegantly bypass reefs.
Charmin - nontrivial PR trivial business
Charmin is the brand under which Procter & Gamble launches toilet paper. Introduced yourself to the marketer of this brand? Indeed, what kind of creativity can we talk about when it comes to obvious trivialism and bytovuha. And how, Christmas trees, sticks, make the audience "like" or "share" a note that many consider it almost taboo? For example:
Charmin marketers used the Oscars to subtly remind them of their product. They did not give rise to accusations of vulgarity, lack of taste and direct advertising.
Marketing Lesson: Unlike politics and economics, pop culture is a safe and inexhaustible source of newsjacking ideas for almost any business. Moreover, marketers can prepare in advance for major cultural and social events. Of course, the best examples of newsjacking are obtained when a brand spontaneously reacts to unexpected incidents. However, the expected events, such as the Oscars or the Olympic Games, can add bright colors to boring corporate news feeds.
Left without light? Then tide goes to you
The Super Bowl is becoming the moment of truth for American marketers every year. US residents are very fond of American football, so on the day of the final game, the number of TV viewers is increasing dramatically. The 2013 Super Bowl was remembered for turning off the lights at a stadium in New Orleans. And marketers remember the reaction of the brand Oreo, who wrote that the cookie remains tasty even in the dark. This is another textbook case of newsjacking.
Naturally, other brands also did not pass by turning off the lights in the stadium during the final game of the season. Brand Tide came to us with this post on Twitter:
A simple, witty and timely post received thousands of retweets. An impressive result, if we take into account the lack of connection between the product Tide and competitions in American football.
Marketing Lesson: It is important to be alert, even if the expected events are not related to your business at all. There are often surprises in life that can be a source of the idea of newsjacking. To take advantage of unexpected opportunities, marketers need to own tools for working with social networks. Please note Tide used hashtags to increase the visibility of your note.
"Guess" from Stella Artois
Brand Stella Artois successfully played on the attention of the public to the Oscars. Before the ceremony, marketers of the brand invited the audience to play the game "guess the movie":
The post received only two retweets. However, the subscribers of the brand easily guessed the film, which was reported in the comments.
Marketing Lesson: Newsjacking is not only “likes” and “sharing”. Consider a pirate raid successful if you were able to get feedback and get the audience to comment on the note.
Wit and timeliness: a recipe from the pizza maker DiGiorno
Many people follow important events in real time, using hashtags on Twitter or other social networks. This is a great opportunity for brands. DiGiorno pizza maker sold it like this:
Marketers used the #TheSoundofMusicLive hashtag, which became popular during the broadcast of The Sound of Music Live! December 5, 2013. The post DiGiorno received hundreds of retweets. And marketers rated it like this:
Marketing Lesson: Newsjacking is very simple. It is enough to add information about your brand to some popular event. This can be done with the help of a word game, a joke, a good photo.
Animal lovers also watch the Oscars
Petcentric’s pet marketers decided to attract an additional audience through newsjacking. They were prepared to look for some news occasion during the Oscars, which the audience was honestly told about:
By publishing this photo, Petcentric marketers made two good moves at once. First, they openly admitted that they would hunt for a news feed during the Oscars. Internet audience loves brand openness. Secondly, marketers used the image of a kitten. Even Robert De Niro knows that in some magical way photos of cats on the Internet have a huge potential for virality.
Marketing Lesson: to become a successful newsjacker, you need to know the Internet culture. This will give you the opportunity to respond to current trends, correctly use memes, take into account netiquette.
Who does not risk is not a pirate
Newsjacking is an effective way to make boring commercial messages lively and memorable. However, news pirates constantly face risks, the most serious of which are unsuccessful jokes that cause negative, lack of public reaction, lack of connection between popular events and the scope of business.
To avoid these risks, marketers need to act quickly, try to avoid too sharp topics with a negative color, use ingenuity, choose popular events.
And what events, interesting to domestic public, would you choose for newsjacking?