Newsjacking: How To Use It To Boost Your Brand + Design Tips

You know something big has happened somewhere when every brand starts posting about it. In fact, many on social media see the memes first and then get to the news. Have you wondered how the system became this way? What makes a particular incident go viral?

Well, this is what we call moment marketing or newsjacking in the marketing world. Staying connected to its audience and being relevant is what every brand dreams of. If they can have a door in the foot on all important topics, marketers will toast their lives every single evening. 

But this is not truly possible all the time. However, if you are aware enough and have all the right alerts set up, you can tap into some sensational conversations. 

Most brands are quite apprehensive of jumping on trends as all of them may not be relevant. But trendjacking or newsjacking is a great way to gain momentum and have a little fun with your audience. And if you find a relevant news item, you should truly go all in. 

If you have been on the internet for a long time, you know that while trends are great, everyone has a hot take to share as well. So brands have to pick the right news to jack and walk the fine line between funny and offensive at times.

So why do it at all? And if you must, how do you do it? 

This blog by Kimp tells you all you need to do. 

Let’s dive right in. 

Why do you need Newsjacking or moment marketing campaigns?

Before diving into designing a newsjacking campaign, you must know what it is. Is it just about posting something on the topic? No, it goes beyond that. Newsjacking or trendjacking is a marketing technique wherein a brand inserts its products/services, values, or branding identity into the news item.

It is an intersection of the brand’s promotional campaign with the trending news. 

We know that dipping your toe into the viral land can help your engagement rates, increase your views, and make your brand popular. But is that all? 

What are the tangible benefits a brand can expect from a newsjacking campaign?

1. SEO benefits 

Trendjacking has a direct marketing benefit. Whenever a particular goes viral or starts getting momentum, searches for a particular phrase, keyword, or word increase across platforms. And SEO is not just for content you publish on blogs alone. If you get it right, your social media posts will also show on Google for the right keyword. You become part of the story, part of the trend, and will also get featured in the articles that follow. 

So, creating content based on trendjacking can benefit your brand by improving your chances of showing up in search engines. 

2. Mix up your content 

Monotony is marketing’s enemy. You do not want to become predictable in your customers’ eyes. Surprising them and keeping them on their toes is essential to keep the spark alive in this relationship. Corny, but true. 

When you publish content by newsjacking, you catch the world off guard. No one expects this to come from your handle and this interests them. The sheer surprise factor results in your posts going viral and your engagement exploding. 

3. Connect with your audience 

Emotional connection is something every brand craves. If your customers get hooked on you and make your brand a part of their life, you know they are not going anywhere anytime soon. 

Newsjacking is a great way to form that emotional connection. When you post about something your audience highly cares about, they connect instantly. They understand that you care and this forms a bond that lasts forever. 

Newsjacking Best Practices 

From whatever we told till now, you know that newsjacking is a significant technique to leverage for your brand. So, let’s move on to understanding how to execute that. We know it is a tight walk, and the more you know the better for you. 

1. Platform selection 

Content creation in normal times vs. newsjacking is quite different. Usually, you know the platform to post on but do not know what to post. Here, you may actually know what to post but are unsure where to post. And platform selection can play a vital role in the success of your campaign. 

Now, trendjacking became a thing only with Twitter and its real-time hashtag engagement. But that does not mean that you pick only this platform for newsjacking. You must understand where your audience is and where the news is actually trending before making the final call. 

Newsjacking works across blogs, tweets, Instagram reels, and so on. So understand the topic and then pick the right platform. 

2. Timing 

Since newsjacking is all about capturing the moment, timing is more important than ever. This is the time to skip your scheduled posts and invest in some quick turnaround times in your posting. 

In this cycle,  you see the appropriate time to post your content that fits with the current sensational news. You have time till the news stays on everyone’s radar but anything after that is just lost effort. 

For brands who are worried about their reputations, we recommend taking the time to understand the topic, double checking creatives, and the current conversations before going live. 

3. Pick viral formats

We mentioned that newsjacking is valid across a variety of platforms, but there are some formats that have a clear edge in this game. And these are of course the usual suspects that go viral sooner than any other content piece – memes, videos, GIFs, and so on. 

So if you want to do newsjacking the right way, ensure that you pick one of these formats just like Verizon here did. 

4. Understand the vibe 

Not every news qualifies as the right candidate for moment marketing. Tragedy + time may be equal comedy but not with sensitive issues. As brands, you do not want to antagonize so not everything is good for memes. 

There is a time and place for marketing and this fits the moment marketing brief too. Understand what the mood is, and what customers are feeling with this particular news piece. Do not disrespect and stay off sad and unpleasant topics where people are obviously suffering. 

Or you may join Urban Outfitters in every customer’s bad book. 

6 Successful Newsjacking campaign ideas: Design Tips + Examples 

We are great believers in seeing is better than reading. And this is definitely true for newsjacking campaigns because it is such a challenging space to navigate. So take inspiration from some of the most successful newsjacking campaigns worldwide and the corresponding design tips from the Kimp team.

Excited? Let’s go!! 

1. Plug the product the right way 

Most people consider newsjacking and moment marketing to be just about being present in the moment and nothing bigger than that. While this is true for most campaigns, you can leverage newsjacking to push your products as well. 

If you feel that a particular news moment fits in with your products or services, then go right ahead – promote your product. Of course, as we mentioned before, the news has to be appropriate enough to promote your product. Customers do not appreciate promotions during a crisis. 

As you can see in this example, Target Style saw the opportunity to push their fashion and accessories range with this Emmys moment. And it is a great promotional moment because people love these Red carpet moments. Not to mention, that aspirations and dreams sell faster than anything else. 

Kimp Tips: When you are promoting your product via newsjacking, ensure that you keep it as generic and simple as possible. The message has to be delivered in less than 5 seconds. 

Your design has to be on point without pushing a lot just like the example does. And ensure that your branding design like logo, brand name, and any other markers as per brand guidelines for best results. 

2. Pop Culture references FTW

Some moments last forever. No, we are making another cheesy pun, but talking about the power and influence of pop culture moments. Sitcom references, Movie franchise-related promotions, and so on last a long time. So you get a lot of time to prepare your trendy content and present it to the audience. 

What is important to understand is that the pop culture community is very critical. They smell fake fanboys from a mile away, so only pick these moments if it either connects with your product or audience. 

Otherwise, it is going to be effort completely wasted. 

Kimp Tips: From a design standpoint, it is absolutely necessary that you get the references bang on. Even a minor color variation or misrepresentation of the smallest design element can turn your newsjacking moment into a conversation you do not want to be a part of.

And if you are making money off a popular franchise such as launching a themed product, ensure that you have the design license in hand. 

3. Celebrate causes with newsjacking 

You want to be part of the conversation, right? That is why you are here and that is why you want your marketer to predict a trend even before it is a trend. We understand and it is possible. 

But before you jump into every news item, take a step back and understand what you are associating yourself with. Do not be in the news for the wrong reasons. We saw how the current generation consumes news content via these posts. So pick news that customers will be happy about. If they feel happy about the news, they will feel positive about your brand too. 

So celebrate newsworthy causes with your audience just like America Airlines. The brand knows that the legalization of same-sex marriage is happy news for a lot of the people in their target audience. So, they posted this and generated more goodwill than they can handle. 

Kimp Tips: Just like in pop culture-related newsjacking, getting the imagery and visual design right is important in this case too. The internet audience is quite sensitive so ensure your message is clear enough. Choose visual aids to make your point so that is clear to everyone. 

4. Pick relevant trends 

Newsjacking is great but you do not have to stick to just news. Pick popular trends that your customer base is participating in and enjoying. What better way can there be to join the conversation?

Picking trending topics also makes a lot of sense from a marketer’s perspective. This is where all the momentum is and this is where you can generate the engagement you are looking for. 

Usually, these trends grow beyond platforms so all you have to do is identify where your target audience is and then you are good to go. 

Check out this example for the ALS bucket challenge by Samsung. In one stroke, the phone company participated in the most viral challenge and also managed to promote the product’s most important features. And because it is trending, this generated a lot of views than anything else would have. 

Another popular social media challenge was the #10yearchallenge and MSI chose to leverage that as an opportunity to showcase its growth over the last decade. Pretty cool, right? 

Looking for a team to create trendy content? Connect with Kimp Graphics + Video today! 

5. Bring a smile to someone’s face 

The emotions customers feel when they see your content is what they will associate the most with your brand. So if you want them to feel happy when they think of your brand, choose the right news to hijack. 

Feel-good content always wins especially if it is topical. This theory was proven right when Indian brands celebrated the Olympic champion, Hima Das, for her tremendous play in the IAAF World U20 Championships. She became the first athlete to bring a gold medal for the country. The brands immediately took to social media to celebrate her and show that they care. 

Newsjacking of this kind never goes wrong. 

But there is some news that can go wrong if you don’t treat them well. Power outages are no joke and some brands have actually stung themselves while trying to make money from this moment. 

But not Intel. Intel chose to go the humanitarian way and found a way to stay in the news without offending anyone. They shared the video of an artist playing even during the blackout. This became a rally for strength and made Intel a caring brand in the capitalistic world. 

6. Bring on the memes 

Remember what we said about leveraging viral formats. Well, we all know by now that memes are the frontrunners in that. The entire Gen Z and millennial generation consume news via memes and they will one day run the world based on this information. Scary and exciting, right?

So, if you want to go viral and are looking for a way, may we suggest creating memes. Yes, topical content and memes are a match made in heaven. They have a message, make people laugh, and spread like wildfire. What more do you need in newsjacking? 

Kimp Tips: When you create memes, ensure that your design team understands the context and topic clearly. Ensure that your branding is at the forefront of the meme design so that when it does go viral, you can cash in. 

Use news stories to boost your brand with Kimp

Newsjacking is a game of creativity, timing, and great content. If you have these three, your brand will go viral for all the right reasons. 

But the timing can be a huge challenge. Having a full-time design team just for this is not scalable, but what else can you do?

You can sign up for Kimp’s unlimited design services for graphic design (Kimp Graphics) and video (Kimp Video). We deliver unlimited design requests across 100+ categories including GIFs, memes, illustrations, and social media posts – all within 24 hours. 

So sign up now and work with a team that can make you go viral.