If you are in the insurance business, you see almost everyone as a potential customer. Determining how best to reach your prospects, and engage them with insurance marketing content, is the sort of challenge that makes your day. You want to project industry expertise and offer the kind of product knowledge that not only impresses people who need insurance but that makes them feel confident enough to buy it from you. One way to do this is to use newsjacking insurance content, a technique that focuses on providing value to a reader. And one way to make your content shine is to use relevant information gleaned from current insurance news stories.

Understanding the Practice of Newsjacking

“Newsjacking” is a term that was coined by marketer David Merman Scott, and refers to a company’s efforts to raise awareness and draw attention to its message by leveraging current news trends. The usual vehicle is Twitter, but companies can use newsjacking in blogs, on their websites, on Facebook and in other social media locations. By using just one detail from late-breaking national insurance news, such as an important statistic, an insurance agent can create content of value for his local audience, capture traffic and attract customers.

A Little History

The Wall Street Journal referenced a long list of blogs that appeared during the Academy Awards in 2015, several of which contain good examples of taking something that happens during a current event and turning it into a benefit for your brand. One such example involved the simple fact that there was inclement weather that evening: “It’s raining on the red carpet, which spells opportunity for retailers on social media. Barneys is already touting Givenchy rain boots on Twitter [by Jack Marshall].”

In fact, big television events are deep wells of inspiration for brand-boosting exercises. When NBC ran a live broadcast of The Sound of Music, DiGiorno latched onto the production’s hashtag with “Can’t Believe pizza is not one of her favorite things.” This witticism went straight to the top of Twitter’s trending topics list.

One Oreo tweet, however, is said to have started newsjacking off on a memorable note. During a 2013 Super Bowl blackout, the Oreo folks tweeted: “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.”

Newsjacking Can Spread Information of Value

Let’s say you want to reach young twenty-somethings with an offer for automobile insurance. Your newsjacking efforts turn up an insurance news statistic that states drivers in their twenties who are married actually get bigger discounts than married drivers in their thirties. You have the details and the perfect policy. This can be the focus of a tweet, a blog, a social media post or even a quick direct mail postcard that you can send out locally. It positions you as an insurance agent who is up on the latest industry information that is of benefit to a certain segment of your reading audience.

People Search for Timely Information

You may be interested in targeting homeowners, so you search insurance news sites for current relevant items. You find a fresh post indicating that premiums for FHA mortgage insurance are going to be cut. According to the article: “The White House estimates that the lower premiums will enable up to 250,000 new buyers to purchase a home.” Using this factoid, you might begin a tweet with something like: “FHA premiums to be slashed benefitting thousands of buyers.” This is new, timely insurance marketing content that can be of value to local families, and you can expect a response from your followers who are in the market for a new home. You have repurposed content here, but again, you are viewed as a savvy insurance agent who keeps abreast of the latest industry information.

Keep The Proper Perspective

Companies, some of them household names, have attempted newsjacking that ends in disastrous content. A brand image is not going to benefit from a tasteless posting linked to a catastrophic event, such as Hurricane Sandy or the attack on Pearl Harbor. Insurance agents should be especially careful about this. If the factoid you’re thinking about using comes from an event that resulted in pain or suffering to anyone, your decision is simple: Leave it alone.

Three Rules to Remember

  1. Choose the Right Story: Not every story is a good candidate for newsjacking. Browse pertinent websites, such as Insurance Journal or InsuranceNewsNet to find the latest news items. Be familiar enough with your customer base to know what works, what the people need, what you can provide.

  2. Deliver Timely Information: Experts say that the best time to newsjack is just before the story begins to gather momentum and journalists start to exploit it.

  3. Always Think Critically: Will this newsjacking insurance content offend anyone? Does it make sense? Will it be helpful?

As Aristotle pointed out, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Newsjacking is one of several ways you can establish yourself as an insurance authority within your local market. By using timely, relevant information out of national insurance news, you can create valuable content for your audience, presented in way that is both useful and engaging.