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Niche Newsjacking: Real-Time Content Marketing Tactics For Your Blog and Social Media Campaigns

Posted on 06 Jan 2013 in Content Marketing | 7 comments

Written by:

Since 2004 Alex Grechanowski helps technology startups find their markets and build communities. He is now a Digital Marketing Manager at @Pikaba and @DBBest_Tech. Alex blogs irregularly at Marketing Sutra.

As a content strategist and inbound marketer, at some point you may need to find new audiences, topics, or a fresh angle for your content strategy and community building. For this, some marketers publish more blog posts; others upload more pictures; some of my friends produce more video interviews… but often in vain.

In this post, I’d like to share just a set of tools and ideas I use for niche newsjacking. I’m not trying to compete with big brands on big news – quite often you don’t need to create yet another posting telling your community that Marissa Mayer is the new CEO of Yahoo – Business Insider, Venture Beat, Mashable, TechCrunch, Search Engine Land, Webmaster World – all of them did a great job in a matter of hours. Maybe you can be creative and offer your own twist, that second paragraph, – well, then good for you. But most likely you will able to do it just once for a headline like that – it’s the major league newsjacking.

I first heard the newsjacking term about a year ago but I immediately understood that I was actually doing it for ages. My way of implementing newsjacking is to find stories – which not exactly will become popular – but rather have a strong potential to go viral (at least to some extent) for a particular niche or community.

Niche Newsjacking is a part of the Content Curation Efforts

Over time you can become a subject matter expert or a though leader in the areas you use newsjacking. Take, for example, some topics, like social commerce, mobile analytics, trading software, social media monitoring tools, or lead management – they all are very specific areas, but with huge opportunities to dig deeper and find hidden interdependencies, build your network, and, ultimately, capitalize on the masses of uncategorized, segmental, research-based, and sometimes fun content.

Adding Newsjacking to your Content Marketing Arsenal

The speed in which the newsjacked content is being created is super important – we’re talking about content development in real time. Blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets, LinkedIn and Google+ are all good channels to practice newsjacking. Later, the content you create might become a part of your next premium research reports, infographics or case studies.

To spot newsjacking opportunities, I’m using the following tools:

Google Alerts

  • Track keywords – you can put quotes around the search terms
  • Track important conferences and events (think hashtags) – very often good content is published a few weeks or even months after the end of an event
  • Track industry-specific lingo and new terms, say like newsjacking
  • Track your competition
  • Track your website URL
  • Track yourself

Google News

  • I’ve created custom sections for the niches/terms/companies I follow, all with selected keywords. You can also personalize your feed, adjust sources
  • Monitor news on a daily basis

RSS Feeds

  • Follow industry blogs and publications, as well as major news outlets
  • Follow niche bloggers
  • You can also use your RSS reader to subscribe to some important YouTube, Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook feeds


twitter 125 logo

  • Follow experts, product managers, companies and writers
  • Create and follow lists
  • Create and monitor Searches (use “save search” and “People you follow” options; or go Advanced)
  • Check Trends – visible on the left sidebar

YouTube Channels

  • Find and subscribe to the channels in your niche
  • Follow conferences and speakers



  • Participate in relevant groups
  • Follow and answer questions
  • Read updates on your feed
  • Follow company news in your niche


    • Subscribe to relevant topics and boards

Use Quora RSS importer – a Google Spreadsheet that imports the most recent Quora posts based on a Quora category

Newsjacking University

A couple of good resources for you:

In his book Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage David Meerman Scott suggests that “newsjacking is about taking advantage of opportunities that pop up for a fleeting moment and then disappear.”

Mitch Joel suggests that the concept of newsjacking is “to interject your businesses’ story into breaking news to generate media coverage for what you’re doing.” And further “the concept of newsjacking is not a new or novel way to get media attention. Smart companies have been doing it forever.”

On the BBC you can find a quite famous newsjacking example with Kate Winslet and The London Fire Brigade.
Newsjacking in the Marketing Over Coffee podcast.

And, of course, we cannot go anywhere without a complete guide … to newsjacking.

  • David Meerman Scott

    Alex, while you may have been doing things similar to Newsjacking for years, what changed recently is that Google now indexes in real-time. That allow a timely blog post to be seen by journalists as they search for more information on a topic. Real-time is the key here. Yet nearly all PR people are in campaign mode rather than real-time mode, so those like us who understand newsjacking have an advantage. 

  • Alex Grechanowski

    Hi David, 

    I’m so honored you checked out my article – many thanks for your comment! I completely agree with you on the real-time thing – I even put it into the headline. And for the post promo graphics, good folks at Acquisition Engine used the following quote: “The speed in which the newsjacked content is being created is super important – we’re talking about content development in real time.” :

    I look forward to reading your The New Rules of Marketing & PR book!

    Kindest regards, 


  • NewsWhip

    Handy toolkit – wasn’t aware of the Quora import tool. Recognising that solely targeting your niche will make your newsjacking more effective, not only because there’s less competition for attention but also because your message is better targeted to those who are interested is an essential insight. I’m in the somewhat recursive situation where the niche topic for my content marketing is content marketing itself – I’m considering writing a blog post about how best to use content marketing to get attention for your content marketing tool!

    Best wishes

    Tom @NewsWhip 

  • Sean McColgan

    Hey Tom- drop a link to that post when you write it. Checked out NewsWhip – awesome content discovery tool you’re building there!

  • John McDougall

    Thanks for the great Resource Alex and comment David. Real-time Mode is a great thing to focus on and I also love your drilling down into the niche. That’s great practical advice for people who want slow and get results from industry-specific places. I just saw David’s book on Real-Time Marketing and PR, his new New Rules book and his Newsjacking book. Yikes, I want all 3…

  • Alex Grechanowski

    Hey there John!

    Thanks for stopping by – I’m glad you liked my take on newsjacking. It’s going to be a great addition to your content strategy: blog, LI, FB, G+, don’t you agree?

    @seanmccolgan:disqus – I’m checking out – looks awesome.

  • Alis

    Very useful information. Thank you. I have only one more tip to add. At first its very hard to write good article or essay, that’s why at first I used to see how my thoughts can be interpreted in writing form.

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