Newsjacking: From Spirit Airlines to the Arctic Vortex, today’s headlines should be news that marketing and public relations savvy businesses use to target and engage clients. Share your thoughts.

By Julie Talenfeld

Spirit-Airlines-300x168What a week to be a South Florida SEO content marketer and newsjacker. First, Colorado’s debut of legal recreational marijuana sales encouraged Spirit Airlines to light up a “Get Mile High” new marketing campaign. The “Arctic Vortex” sent some chilly weather to South Florida. A Florida football team won the college BCS national championship. Meanwhile, two museums and a park are taking shape – or nearing completion – along Miami’s Bayfront Park.

Whether a Fort Lauderdale retailer with warm-weather clothes, a Boca Raton attorney who happens to be a Florida State University alum, or a downtown Miami restaurant awaiting the opening of the Perez Art Museum Miami, smart South Florida marketers found ways to inject themselves into these important national or regional stories.

By doing so, they possibly can enjoy the social media and search engine optimization (SEO) halos that come with it.

The practice of tracking news headlines as a way to inject one’s opinion and business into the news stream is called “Content Marketing.” It’s also called “newsjacking.” By writing about national or South Florida news stories, marketing savvy businesses can capitalize on issues already trending in the consumer’s minds – and create searchable content linked to those stories.

The marketing campaigns at 93% of business-to-business marketers use content-based media development; 73% plan to increase content-based marketing in 2014 over 2013, according to a marketing study from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

You may already be a ‘Content Marketer’ and not realize it. If your attorneys have written articles on their practice areas, or you’ve posted stories and photos on the latest fashion trends, then you’re a content marketer.

Though the research targeted B2B marketers, business-to-consumer marketing is equally important for those companies or executives who target them. How can you become a content marketer?

- Read. “Ripped from the headlines” requires you – or someone on your team – stay up on current events. “Newsjacking” is an active practice, and changes with every news cycle – even several times a day.

- Know your market – and marketplace. What are your readers searching for? What are the keywords they’re searching with (and your competition is infusing into their content)? The right words targeting the right audience helps ensure greater relevance and higher search results.

- Don’t forget traditional media. It’s one thing to post a blog, share it to your Facebook or Twitter, or turn it into a video for YouTube or Vine. Next, revise the blog and share it with area media. If you’re an expert in your field, and the topic is timely and relevant, the “traditional” media always wants local, exclusive content.

Finally, write content with an “evergreen” component. You don’t want something you’ve written on the “Arctic Vortex” to melt away once the temperatures rise. Write with an eye for lasting relevance.

The Arctic Vortex was big news this week. By becoming a content marketer, you can help ensure you’re at the center of the next news vortex.