Marketing your business on social media and search engines is tough. Tactics like newsjacking can help but are hugely unpredictable and require a truly dynamic and creative approach that is just not a good fit for most small businesses.
There is another way: DateJacking. Rather than injecting your ideas into a popular news story you create content that taps into the interest in a given date. Christmas. Easter. The release of a new Star Wars Movie. Much like how a supermarket shifts from Halloween to Christmas you build your content marketing efforts around key dates to help gain attention for your content and social media marketing efforts.
From one-off events like the release of a big movie to the myriad of internet holidays like talk like a pirate day, there is something going on every single week that you can attach your content marketing efforts to and amplify your results.
Datejacking improves on newsjacking in every way. It is predictable, scalable and most of all simple. So what are you waiting for? A popular date is coming up – read on to find out how to supercharge your content marketing efforts.
The document breaks down into the following sections:
Jacking the News
Newsjacking is content which is highly responsive to major coverage and aligned with your business objectives. Whilst newsjacking is powerful, it requires a dynamic content marketing team and many businesses are simply not agile enough to jump on the hot topic of the day. This chapter introduces the concept of newsjacking and how it has influenced datejacking.
This chapter details why datejacking has all of the benefits of newsjacking plus so much more. Datejacking unleashes the power of newsjacking but in a far more predictable manner by aligning content with events and dates. Preparedness is often the key to success, and with datejacking you have weeks, months, or even years to plan your content marketing campaigns, which means better, bigger content with greater distribution prospects, and improved results.
Datejacking allows you to tap into an explosion of sharing and interaction around a given date and give your content a way to stand out and gain traction. The many benefits of datejacking include increased brand awareness, improved SEO, enhanced social media, more leads and conversions, and better reputation. This chapter covers the many benefits of datejacking and why you need to utilise its potential in your marketing strategy.
How to Datejack
Datejacking involves just 3 simple steps – identify a date and theme for your content that aligns with your brand, produce that piece of content that will engage with your audience, and finally, promote the hell out of it. This chapter dives into how you can use datejacking to superpower your content marketing efforts and ride the wave of popularity and enthusiasm around key dates and topics.
Ultimately, datejacking allows you to plan an effective campaign in advance to enhance your content’s impact. Tap into the readily available audience from popular events and piggyback onto their popularity to optimise your brand performance. Datejacking is an easy way to increase your odds of content marketing success. In the final chapter we discuss how to start using your calendar of dates to make datejacking a success for your business.
Chapter 1: Jacking the News
The best newsjacking is content which is highly responsive to major coverage and aligned with your business objectives.
Whilst newsjacking is powerful, it requires a dynamic content marketing team and many businesses are simply not agile enough to jump on the hot topic of the day.
Examples of Newsjacking include:
Oreo at the Super Bowl
At 2013’s Super Bowl, the power went out for 35 minutes, and it didn’t take long for people to start Tweeting about it. Oreo saw this as an opportunity to newsjack the event and tweeted this tweet in real time. The tweet has since earned more than 15,000 retweets, more than 6,000 likes, and delivered a greater ROI than their TV ads. This was successful because it was fast, fun, and relevant.
Aldi & The Stone Roses
In May 2016, The Stone Roses teased their new album by placing the band’s iconic lemon on posters across the UK. Aldi was quick to latch onto the excitement and created their own identical posters, but added a price tag of the lemon and their logo onto the poster. This showed Aldi to have a sense of humour, to be relevant and up-to-date with the news, and gain some coverage for themselves.
London Fire Brigade & Kate Winslet
In 2011, it emerged that Kate Winslet saved Richard Branson’s mother from a burning house. The London Fire Brigade jumped onto this story and offered Kate firefighter training. Winslet’s story was going viral, and they utilised its popularity to gain some coverage of their own. They saw that this story aligned with their brand and was an opportunity to appeal to a much larger audience than they could have achieved on their own.
Chapter 2: Enter Datejacking
– a way to unleash the power of newsjacking but in a far more predictable manner by aligning content with popular or celebrated events and dates. There are hundreds of dates each year that can be used to help make your content more sticky.
e.g. Our meat replacement is perfect for a meat-free feast. #worldveganday
Datejacking allows you to plan in advance, predict trends, and look ahead to everything from important industry events to popular culture dates. This is in stark contrast to the responsive nature of newsjacking which requires agility to latch onto the often unpredictable news in real time.
With newsjacking, the need for agility and quick response also leaves more room for error, particularly if you do not have the resources to watch the news all day, know what stories will work best, and create great content quickly. The rush to create content can lead to forcing your brand to fit with the news just to gain some coverage and posting irrelevant, unconsidered or even insensitive content that can risk tarnishing your reputation and integrity.
Datejacking, on the other hand, gives you the time to produce a well-thought-out and considered strategy for your content, and carefully assess how your brand will fit with the theme to produce the best results.
Preparedness is often the key to success, and with datejacking you have weeks, months, or even years to plan your content marketing campaigns, which means better, bigger content with greater distribution prospects, and improved results. Datejacking has all the benefits of newsjacking, and so much more.
Chapter 3: Why Datejacking
Content marketing is hard. Like really hard. Getting traction is tough. Sometimes impossible. Datejacking allows you to tap into an explosion of sharing and interaction around a given date and give your content a way to stand out and gain traction.
The following are some of the many potential benefits of Datejacking:
Datejacking improves the reach of your content, and as such, you get your brand in front of new audiences, driving overall awareness and engagement with your business.
As more people see your content you will generate more website visitors. These users are then qualified and this feeds into other marketing strategies (think lead generation and remarketing).
Quality content gets shares and links. Links help with your SEO. The only safe and sustainable way to build the kind of links Google really likes is to create great content that people link to. This boosts your overall rankings for the commercial terms you really care about.
The more quality and popular the content, the more social shares your post will get, and the more likely those people are to go to your Twitter or Facebook page and connect with you. If your post gets social traction you gain more followers and more awareness – all good things and perfect to drive awareness and engagement with your brand.
Leads and Conversions
By including a strong incentive and call to action in your content you can generate more leads and build out your sales pipeline. The more content you can connect with some form of lead generation the better, so supplement your basic piece with some additional incentives that require an email to access.
Social media is a blizzard of ‘me too’ content. 99% of the people are sharing the same posts and saying the same thing. This is an opportunity to have something new to say. To demonstrate your brand’s personality and to stand out from the ever-growing crowd.
With all content marketing, you must clearly understand what success looks like and what metrics you will use to see if you have a hit or a miss. Metrics like views, reach, social shares, likes, follows, click-through, traffic, bounce rate, links, or ideally, lead generation, all provide valuable insight.
By measuring your results you can tweak your strategy and see which dates you can effectively jack to engage with your target audience. Ultimately, you should have a clear idea even beyond these typical digital marketing KPIs of how this piece of content connects to your overall business objectives and helps you move forwards.
This year brands took to Twitter to share their National Star Wars Day celebrations, creating massive amounts of customer interaction and spreading their brand’s reputation using #Datejacking. Massive brands such as Domino’s, Pixar and NASA all took part. To find out more check out the link below.
Glamour and National Lipstick Day
National Lipstick Day takes place on 29th July. Glamour leveraged this date by launching their new site, Lipstick, and posted lipstick-related content, including a poll into their reader’s favourite lipstick colours. Glamour also teamed up with Birchbox for a National Lipstick Day event in their store and used this to create even more content for their site. This date fits in perfectly with Glamour’s brand, and they utilised it to generate buzz and excitement around it. They used the date to create crossover between the digital and physical versions of their magazine and engage with audiences online and off.
Market Watch & the Walking Dead
With the new season of The Walking Dead fast approaching and Walking Dead enthusiasm rising, Marketwatch wrote a blog post combining business management with zombies. They took a boring topic and made it interesting and fun by linking it with popular culture. They used characters and plot lines to produce 7 lessons about management and featured on both business and entertainment blogs. This demonstrates how simple datejacking can be, as you don’t need a massive campaign, but a single blog post can be effective in attaining results.
Chapter 4: How to Datejack
Ready to take your content marketing to the next level with datejacking? Now you know what datejacking is, let’s dive into how you can use datejacking to superpower your content marketing efforts and ride the wave of popularity and enthusiasm around key dates and topics.
We have broken the basics of #datejacking down into 3 simple steps:
Firstly, review all relevant dates. This guide includes some of the big and obvious ones and you can download our Datejacking PDF at the end of this article for a fully comprehensive list with over 100 dates and resources to easily identify many more. You will want to compile all the relevant dates and add them to a calendar. Google Calendar allows you to easily create a calendar which you can use for this.
The dates you use can be fun or they can be serious. They can be closely aligned with your industry like the start of a specific season or they can be popular holidays. Don’t be too rigid here – outline a number of dates that you think may be useful and then brainstorm content ideas with your team around these dates.
These dates should include:
- Festive Holidays
- Christmas, New Year, Halloween
- Events in your Niche Calendar
- Talks, events, conferences
- Popular Culture
- Film,TV, book & theatre releases, music performances, sports events
- Awareness/National Days
- National Video Game Day, Talk Like A Pirate Day, Shakespeare Day, World Mental Health Day
Datejacking Content Ideas
Once you have your key dates, decide which ones would be the best fit for your brand and work on creating a really awesome piece of content based around that event.
Conduct research to make sure it’s not been done before, and try to find something original to talk about…
Think about the different formats your content could take. Videos, blog posts and images are all popular choices. Decipher what is popular with your audience and how your ideas could be communicated effectively.
Also, ensure that your brand is properly aligned with that date. Think about how your brand fits into the event, be creative and find an angle that can fit it. However, if you can’t find an idea that fits your brand, don’t force it. If your brand isn’t really related and your content idea isn’t very strong, ultimately, prospects will not engage as effectively and your goals may not be achieved.
Don’t forget that educational content can be fun by latching onto popular dates and creating an informative content marketing article in the style of a pirate for National Pirate Day will likely help the user enjoy and remember your post – it will certainly help you stand out, so don’t be afraid to sprinkle some levity on your lessons.
Once you have your awesome piece of content that fits with your chosen date, promote it like there’s no tomorrow. Whether your content takes the form of a blog post, video, image, or event, you need to get it out there and maximise its natural visibility. Whether the date lasts for just the day, the month, or week, keep getting it out there whenever and wherever people are talking about it to keep expanding your audience and impact.
Social media is a great starting point for this, as your chosen date will most likely be trending on various platforms. Promote the content on all your social media platforms. We see new dates trending on Twitter every day, so use the date’s hashtag to engage followers and get your update out there. Retweet it on Twitter, repin it on Pinterest, and repost it on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin in the given time frame of the date.
Things to consider about promotion:
- Promote the post on all your social media platforms.
- Boost the post through advertising on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter to gain further reach and interactions.
- Identify those who have shared and linked to similar content on your event, date or topic and let them know about your content.
- Identify influencers who may share your post and pitch them your article.
- Send your content in your email newsletter.
- You can’t just hope people find the article – this is time sensitive – push it out there and promote the hell out of it.
Chapter 5: Summary
Datejacking allows you to plan an effective campaign in advance to really develop and enhance your content’s impact. Tap into the readily available audience from popular events and piggyback onto the popularity of these dates to optimise your brand performance.
When we break this down, #Datejacking has 3 easy steps:
- Identify a date and theme for your content that aligns with your brand
- Produce that piece of content that will engage with your audience
- Promote the hell out of it
Ultimately, content marketing is difficult. Datejacking is an easy way to make your content more sticky and increase your odds of content marketing success.