Why You Shouldn’t Rely Too Heavily on Newsjacking

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’re not familiar with the term “newsjacking”, here’s a quick overview. The term became popular after the publication of David Meerman Scott’s book, “Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage”. The title includes a brief explanation but what we’re talking about here is newsjacking when it comes to content marketing. According to Hubspot:


Basically, news is breaking every second in this crazy world of ours, and there’s a point at which marketers have a unique opportunity to ride the popularity wave of a breaking story to benefit their business in some way. Now, the popularity dies down pretty quickly — perhaps in hours, usually in days, if you’re lucky, in weeks — but the impact of seizing the story early to benefit your business is big … especially compared to the effort you had to put in to get in on the action…If people are going to be talking about it, and it affects our audience, we should be writing about it and getting in on the action!

Now that you know what newsjacking is, you might be thinking to yourself, “hey, that’s what we do!” Exactly. There’s a good chance that you’re a newsjacker without even realizing it! Newsjacking can be beneficial to your content marketing strategy, especially if you’ve established yourself as a thought leader in the industry. If that’s the case, people will absolutely turn to your content to know what you think of this latest news. Now you’re probably wondering why we’re saying you shouldn’t rely too heavily on it.

Hubspot points out that “the impact of seizing the story early to benefit your business is big”, but they also acknowledge “the popularity dies down pretty quickly—perhaps in hours, usually in days, if you’re lucky, in weeks”. That’s what we’re going to focus on here. Newsjacking for content marketing purposes isn’t going to benefit your marketing strategy over the long term.

If you want to generate traffic to your website and/or blog naturally over the long term, you’ll need to invest time into creating and publishing evergreen content, essentially the exact opposite of news jacked content. Evergreen content is content that’s just as valuable today as it will be in 6 months or more. It’s the type of content that people will continually be searching for, and not just searching for in the span of maybe a few days while an industry news item is “hot”.

Now we’re not saying that you shouldn’t news jack at all. There’s certainly a place for that type of content in the mix. What we’re saying is that it shouldn’t be the only content, or the majority of the content, that you’re producing. It’s important to create a balance when it comes to your content marketing strategy. Newsjacking might give you a huge spike in traffic for a few days, but it doesn’t compare to the steady flow of traffic that an evergreen piece of content will deliver to you over the long term.

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