While marketers in many countries are worried about a recession, there is also optimism regarding the business climate and marketing budgets.
When topical news stories become a brand-building opportunity
By our News Team | 2023
The immediacy of social media and the 24-hour news cycle makes newsjacking a viable marketing tactic. But beware of the pitfalls.
We live in a world where a lot happens every minute. There is such a deluge of content from various sources that it is tempting for marketers, in particular, to piggyback on a ‘hot topic’ for their brands.
The danger, though, is that many marketers do not seem to understand that newsjacking is an art and, if used correctly, can deliver results. But, if done haphazardly, it is merely a risky waste of time and resources.
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Since newsjacking is about real-time stories developing and happening in real time, you must determine the approach that will best get you the attention you desire, writes George Damson in the latest issue of Strategic Marketing for Africa, the magazine of the AMC.
Damson is the Managing Director of Blitz Interactive Agency, a Malawian brand communication agency. He is also the current Vice President of the Institute of Marketing in Malawi.
Ensure you pay attention to brand fit
Newsjacking without paying attention to brand fit can result in reputational damage. It can also cause a loss of identity, as your customers may start asking if you really know the purpose of your brand – very dangerous territory.
Equally critical is deciding if you are going to use newsjacking as a long-term strategy or a one-off tactic. You can create a lasting impact with one well-placed newsjacked item, but that does not mean you need to do it over and over again.
The issue of brand purpose is once again key here. If you are to use newsjacking long term, it requires planning and preparation – just as you would with any other element of your brand strategy.
Another important aspect to note is that newsjacking loses its impact if you follow the crowd.
“This is a nonsensical approach to newsjacking, and there is absolutely no benefit to your brand. If you are to newsjack successfully, you must lead the conversation and do it so effectively that even if others jump on the bandwagon, you set yourself apart,” Damson advises.
You can read more about newsjacking in the latest issue (Issue 3 2023) of Strategic Marketing for Africa, the magazine of the African Marketing Confederation. Read or download the digital edition here.
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