newsjacking

The Ultimate Guide to Newsjacking

What is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking, as bestselling author David Meerman Scott defines it, is about injecting your ideas into breaking news stories.

Essentially, you give a breaking news story (or trending twitter hashtag) a personal twist with a very quickly published blog or social media post.

Benefits of Newsjacking

Journalists look for experts to quote in their second paragraphs, and if you’re one of the first to cover a situation, they may find your post and reference you.

How to Newsjack

From the Author

In his digital-only book —  Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage — Scott lays out a three-step process for effective newsjacking.

 

 

This infographic covers a lot of ground. Let’s break it down a bit with some detailed tips:

Step-By-Step Guide to Newsjacking

Step 1: Set Up Alerts — A big part of successful newsjacking is being first to the action. You want to keep a close watch on trends in your industry and big news in general.

  • I am a big fan of www.talkwalker.com/alerts‎ – they’re free and much more thorough than Google Alerts.
  • Also, I highly recommend the contentgems app inside of hootsuite – which pulls trends from 200,000+ sources and puts it right into Hootsuite where you can easily sent it out to all your social channels.
  • Follow all your favorite blogs in one place with feedly, my favorite RSS reader

Step 2: Check Keyword Search Volume — incorporate the most popular related phrase in your title.

  • The Google Keyword Planner will give you estimated month search volume for any phrase and give you recommendations for related phrases you might not have thought of. Sort by

Step 3: Read About Your Topic — read the original news story and what else has been written.

Step 4: Write Quickly, but Accurately — don’t obsess as timeliness is key

Step 5: Differentiate Yourself — Always inject your own angle, and/or be more thorough, more clear, offer how-to’s, or provide more meaningful examples. (tip: the longer you wait, the more detailed and unique you need to be for this to be successful)

Step 6: Get the Word Out — don’t just share it on your social media pages, do all you can to hype it up big time

  • blog about it
  • re-tweet and re-facebook it using trending hashtags
  • share it on related facebook pages and @mention relevant twitter profiles
  • email it to your lists
  • foster long-term relationships with partners and journalists

Step 7: Watch the Reactions — Look out for negative reactions. Many-a-newsjack goes wrong and offends people. If this happens, apologize and take down your blog or social post.

Read more – The above “How to Newsjack” steps are summarized from HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Newsjacking

Successful Newsjacking Examples

Newsjack Live Events on Social Media

Oreo Cookies — During the blackout at the Superbowl, Oreos send out this genius tweet:

 

https://twitter.com/Oreo/status/298246571718483968/photo/1

 

The Result: Their creativity was rewarded with 15,000 tweets in 24hrs. With the game on pause for so long, many people went online to discuss and Oreo took advantage!

Newsjacking Social Movements

While many brands are afraid to take a stand on political issues for fear of polarizing their audience, Banana Republic “came out” for marriage equality.

The Result: 5,000 likes and 800 shares

 

 

 

Newsjacking Your Competitors

Eloqua — When one of their biggest competitors was purchased by Oracle, Eloqua’s CEO Joe Payne wrote a detailed blog post. The next day, when journalists went to cover the issue, all they found was a very generic press release by Oracle and Payne’s excellent write-up. Payne was quoted in numerous articles on the acquisition including BusinessWeek and PC World. (Read more about this standout move here.)

The Result: $1M in new business for Eloqua within a week!

Mediocre Examples

While great in theory, this newsjacking formula doesn’t always generate huge results. Take for example, Pardot’s post on what B2B marketers can learn from instagram’s billion dollar payday. A well written post, the day after a big news event, posted with a unique spin.

The Result: 5 sites linked to it and 0 shares on social media. Why wasn’t it more successful? Basically, they followed all the steps and didn’t do anything wrong, but it’s missing the humor, extreme-usefulness or controversy that generally makes this technique rock.

If you try to latch on to a big news story without adding any value or real creativity, you might end up on the wall of shame at the CorCondescending Corporate Brand Page.

Newsjacking Fails

Cairo protests

Kenneth Cole’s tweet about their Spring Collection referencing the Arab Spring is infamous. Had nothing to do with fashion and was very insensitive.

 

 

 

Kenneth apparently ascribes to the old adage “Any press is good press”, because just recently tweeted “”Boots on the ground” or not, let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. ” in response to the CIAs statement about Syria. This has spurred someone to create a parody Twitter account, churning out offensive witty newsjacks on their behalf.

Hurricane Sandy

Hubspot wrote a post about how to newsjack Hurrina Sandy and really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

 

 

 

However, they did the right thing and apologized, changing the title of their post to “Is Newsjacking Hurricane Sandy Right or Wrong?”, asked for feedback and responded the wave of responses without censoring negative comments.

Spamming with Irrelevant Hashtags

Including hashtags that have nothing to do with your services or your post just makes you look cheap and spammy. Don’t be that brand.

George Zimmerman Trial 

 

 

 

Is Newsjacking Worthwhile?

Unmetric analyzed data from 10 infamous twitter newsjacks (5 positive and 5 negative). Their results show an average 0.7% increase in followers, ranging anywhere from 100-2000 new followers.

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3 Simple Tips to Get More Blog Comments (Or Any Blog Comments for That Matter)

Ever feel like you’re blogging into thin air?

Pouring your self into your blog and consistently not getting any comments can get very discouraging.

But don’t worry. You’re not alone, and there are (easy) things you can do to help.

First off, if your site is barely getting any visitors there is, of course, no way you’re going to get any comments (unless they’re from your mother). Solving that outside the scope of this or any single blog post. So let’s assume you have a decent amount of traffic and a reasonable expectation to get at least one comment here and there.

1. Write Remarkable Content

This may sound obvious, but let’s be clear – not all good content is remarkable content.

Certainly, in order to stand out among the 2 million blog posts published every day, you need to write good quality posts. But unless your content really stands out in a unique way, nobody is going to spend the time to read it, let alone comment on it.

Writing remarkable content is often detailed and long, but it doesn’t have to be. Only use as many words as it takes to get your point across. However, the words you use need to have some edge.

Remarkable content is:

  • Useful
  • Funny
  • Original
  • Authentic/transparent
  • Data-driven
  • Highly targeted
    and/or
  • Controversial

Get ready, because this one simple tip could change everything:

2. Ask for Comments and Tell Them What to Write!

That’s right.

The #1 way to get more blog comments is to ask for comments and tell them what to write!

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It’s one of the first laws of usability and conversion rate optimization — tell people what you want them to do and they’re more likely to do it.

There are three main ways to do this:

1. Ask for Comments at the End of Each Post

If you end each post asking your readers to leave a comment and giving a specific request of what you want them to say, people are much more likely to leave a comment.

Many people try to do this, and end with something like “Enjoy This Post? Leave a Comment”. That’s a start, but look — people are lazy and in a rush. Many people browse the web fully in Consumption Mode, and you need to give them a hand to switch them into Thinking and Reacting Mode.

Bonus Tip:

Link the question to the comments section (the URL is just “#comment” in WordPress) to make it even more actionable. Also, there are often different widgets (like and author box, related posts, etc) between the end of a post and the comments section, and this brings them all together. See how I do this below…

2. Ask for Comments on Social Media

When you share your posts on social media, repeat your request for specific comments. You’ll probably get more comments inside of Facebook itself, than people will come to your site to comment, but that’s very good too!

3. Ask for Comments by Email

You can also ask for your email subscribers to comment on your posts, by replying to the email and/or leaving a comment on the site.

Was this a face-palm moment for you? Share this post with your friends so they don’t miss out.

Then, go give it a shot now – add a specific request for comments at the end of your latest blog post, share it on Facebook and by email with a specific request for comments, and see the results fly in.

Success Stories:

How the Pros Get 100+ Comments

Two of my favorite marketing bloggers who do this to great success are Neil Patel at QuickSprout.com and Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers.com — They both often get over 100 comments on each post, and they ALWAYS end each post with a request for comments on a specific subject.

Firstly, and most importantly, they both excel at my first tip – creating remarkable content. Neil writes data-driven 2,000+ word posts and often spends 10s of thousands of dollars on creating expert guides. Derek is the master of driving action inside a blog. He asks for comments, retweets, social shares and for people to email their friends, all in one post. And he pulls it off, because he embeds the requests while asking if people got value from his posts and suggesting how their friends can benefit too.

But these guys have over 100,000 blog subscribers! What about us little fish?

It works for small and even brand new blogs too.

Double-Digit Comments on a Brand New Blog

For example, I wrote an article on a brand new blog called 10 Ways to Make Life a Celebration for the Art of Living Foundation. The article was the only post on this new blog to get more than 1 comment. What’s the trick? I left it open-ended, only giving 9 Ways, and asking people to fill in the blank!

9 Times More Comments Than Average

Another great example of this is our client Emma Seppala Ph.D’s post Benefits of Meditation: 10 Science-Based Reasons To Start Meditating Today INFOGRAPHIC — I wrote and added a question at the end for her that says, “Do you meditate? Please comment below saying why or why not.” and made it a H3 tag so it stood out.

The post has 15 comments at the time of this post, vs her average 0 or 1. Yes, 6 of these are Emma’s replies, but still, 9 comments is about 9 times more comments than most of her other posts.

Even her #2 and #3 most popular posts which are also both infographics and each have over 10,000 views… both have 0 comments (she hasn’t implemented my recommendation yet). The difference is asking for comments.

3. Notify People About Follow-Up Comments

There are many WordPress comment platforms out there. I have experimented with Facebook Comments, Disqus Comments and Jetpack comments, which all allow an important function that default WordPress Comments lack — they add the ability for the commenter to get an email notification when someone replies to them.

This is very important if you want to cultivate real discussions on your blog. Otherwise, you’re leaving it up to your busy visitors to check back on your post hoping for a reply.

Jetpack makes this feature most user-friendly by adding a checkbox for “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” This way, the user can choose this on a per-comment basis. Jetpack also includes an option for the user to subscribe to your other posts, which is an easy way to set up blog to email syndication.

 

For Disqus, it’s a setting in your Disqus account on all your comments. Most people will never think to change this, which could be a good or bad thing, as they’ll get all comment replies, but might start filtering them out if they get too many they don’t want.

 

When using Facebook Comments, users will receive a notification inside Facebook instead of by email, when other users reply to their comments. Clicking on the notification will take the user back to the web page where the comment originated, driving more traffic back to your site.

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On-Site SEO – 10 Tips to Perfectly Optimize a Post #infographic

Google has more than 200 factors it looks at when deciding how to rank a website in its results pages… so how do you know which are the most important to focus on when you’re layout out your pages and configuring your site? In order to distill their SEO research and help make the on-site SEO optimization game a little easier to understand, our friends at quicksprout designed this infographic to show how to make a blog post or webpage as search-engine-friendly as possible.

Top 10 Tips to A Perfectly Optimized Page:

  1. Use SEO-Friendly URL Extensions
  2. Perfectly Optimized Title
  3. Use Visual Media; Link to Authority Websites
  4. Drop Keywords in First 100 Words
  5. Use Related Keywords
  6. Optimize Image File Name and ALT Tags
  7. Improve Loading Speed
  8. Optimize Your Page for Social Sharing
  9. Have a High Word Count for Content
  10. Use Responsive Code to Adapt to Different Mobile Devices

 

Want some help optimizing your site? Learn about our SEO Services or Contact us for a FREE Strategy Session and we’ll do a quick review of your site and share recommendations for improving your design and SEO.

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How to Write 100 Blog Post Titles on a Single Subject (Instructographic)

Because many business bloggers have a fairly narrow subject range, it can often be hard to come up with new ideas on the same topics. Here’s one method to quickly generate a whole list of ideas:

Let’s kick it off with a simple “Instructographic” ?
Want the details? Keep reading below…

Step 1) Choose a word you want to write about

This could be:

  • Such as one of your blog post categories
  • A keyword you want to rank for
  • A word from one of your products or services that you want to promote

Step 2) Plug it into a quick and easy phrase generator

Use Keyword Research Tools like ubersuggest ensure you use popular phrases in your titles.

While this is a whole subject in itself, let’s just say that using keywords that people search for in your titles is a good idea to improve your search engine rankings and get more traffic. I recommend UberSuggest as one excellent tool that uses Google keyword data to turn a single word (like meditation) into a ton of phrases (379 for “meditation”).

Next, you can turn these into titles using mind mapping or the “Rule of 7” below.

Step 3) Flesh it out with the “Rule of 7”

Make Your Phrase Specific Enough to Be Covered in a Single Blog Post

In a blog comment moz.com, an ex-magazine editor Kelly Boyer Sagert, suggested this great methodology:

“I would often get sent ideas by writers that were way too broad for an article — and maybe even too broad for a book. Then, someone taught me the rule of 7 that I’ve been able to share with other writers. If you take a broad idea and narrow it down 7 times, it tends to become “article sized” or “blog post sized.” Here is an example:

  • Level 1: dogs (see Step1 – pick a word)
  • Level 2: pet dogs (see Step2 – ubersuggest)
  • Level 3: activities for pet dogs
  • Level 4: activities for pets dogs and their owners to enjoy together
  • Level 5: exercising with your pet dog
  • Level 6: exercising with your pet dog to lose weight
  • Level 7: lose 10 pounds a month by exercising your dog

It usually works, as long as you actually narrow down an idea (rather than jotting down a related idea) and as long as you narrow down in a way that fits the end goal — meaning suitable for the blog in question.

Let’s Recap:

So next time you’ve got a case of writer’s block, just follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Choose a word (such as one of your blog post categories)
  2. Plug it into ubersuggest.org‘s quick and easy Google-based phrase generator
  3. Flesh it out with the “Rule of 7”

That’s it. You’ve got yourself a quick and easy recipe for a ton of killer blog post titles on any single subject.

The #1 Secret to Get You & Your Team to Write More Blog Posts

Are you an individual who knows the power of blogging, but find it challenging to go from thinking to writing? Or a company or nonprofit full of subject matter experts, but can’t get them to write for you?

Want to know the secret to a steady stream of content for your blog? Well, this might be the answer to all your worries:

Write your blog post titles in advance.

You/your writer(s) could do this yourself for a small blog, but for a large multi-author blog, I’d recommend you have a dedicated “Title Guy/Girl” aka “Director of Blog Post Idea and Title Generation”. In other words, assign one person to the task of coming up with a ton of great article ideas and titles and sharing them with your writers.

Why You Need to Write Your Blog Post Titles in Advance

Write your own blog? Now you’ll have a list of inspiring titles ready to go!
Have a multi-author blog? Tell your writers what to write and they’ll be more productive.

Not convinced yet?

Here are two incredibly important reasons why you should give your blog writers titles in advance:

  1. Many writers struggle with not knowing what to write about
    1. could be writer’s block
    2. your blog categories may seem too broad
    3. they’re confused on what’s allowed
    4. should they write about themselves, your company, your product, other people
  2. The title is unbelievably important for getting people to read and share the articles

Having one or two people create a big list of catchy titles will address both of these core issues, leaving you some awesome benefits:

Cure Writer’s Block

If you give a subject matter expert a list of great sounding titles, at the least, they’ll appreciate the time-saving suggestions, and at best be instantly inspired by the possibilities and flooded with ideas.

For example, I volunteer for a non-profit who got dozens of their volunteers to agree write but not a single one sent in an article in 6 months. Why? Probably these issues under #1 above were leaving them without the clarity to get started. One writer told me “I would have acted on it a long time ago if they’d have given me something to work on.”

Confusion stops people in their tracks. Clarity generates action.

Get Killer Titles!

Writing titles is a skill upon itself. Not every writer is great at coming up with catchy and engaging titles. Yet, it of such utmost importance that it cannot be overlooked. I’ve heard it said that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. So without a good title you might as well not even write the post.

BONUS: Improve your Search Engine Rankings

Furthermore, having a great title makes it MUCH more likely that people will want to share your blog post with their friends. Social media shares bring you traffic and help your search engine rankings.

Find this post useful? Please share it.

Have any other title generation strategies? Please leave them in a comment below.