Case Study: The Wall Street Journal and the Marijuana Industry

The 24 hour news cycle is a glorified monstrosity fueled by our “always logged on” lifestyle and incredible ability to research and engage on any topic, anywhere at anytime. Be that as it may, this means that at anytime there could be a fresh news article that highlights your industry and creates a talking point for you and your audience.

This news is great news for your business because it gives you a current (maybe even trending or viral) topic to capitalize on and create content that has a better chance than normal of getting shares, comments, likes, and attention. If you play your strategy right from the beginning you will have not only multiple pieces of content for this news cycle, but plenty of ammo next time the topic is in the news or the issue is raised among your audience. You will be able to direct them right away to your brand’s point of view on the matter in multiple ways – having the ability to engage in a deep and meaningful way in the conversation your customers are having for a long time to come without having to play catch up every time.

Let’s use a recent example.

However you feel about the marijuana industry it is certainly becoming a powerful force. There are polarizing views, the issues are in the big and small news outlets, and money is being made by many businesses all centered around the legal distribution and consumption of this product. This means that plenty of people are talking about it and you can use that conversation to draw attention to your business.

If you are in the legal marijuana industry and have products or services to sell, you can be quite confined by the restrictions on advertising in place on social media and other digital platforms. So your positive business message is restricted but the debate rages in full public view online.

This is where “newsjacking” becomes your secret advertising weapon of choice.

Recently the Wall Street Journal put out an article titled: Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than You Think. Those with experience in research, toxicology and user psychology would probably be able to poke some holes not only in the opinion of this piece but also the delivery of the message. My guess is if you are in the business of selling marijuana products or services you could come up with a wealth of talking points, stats, and opposing research because you are so deeply involved in the business and culture.

Now is your chance to showcase your expertise and opinions about the business you know so well.

Here are a few ways to create content that responds to a news article like this:

  • Live stream video talking about what the WSJ article gets wrong, misses or generalizes.
  • Blog post about how your business works to ensure safety and accuracy in the information provided to customers.
  • A video or written interview with an employee about what steps your business takes to ensure the safest and best results for your customers.
  • Highlight customer reviews and testimonials about the overall quality of your products or service in contrast to the negative press of this piece.
  • How many Veterans and PTSD sufferers use marijuana products or services with success?
  • A breakdown of your company values and how they support the best of the industry.
  • A breakdown on how your business is different from your competitors’.
  • A viewer Q & A about the topics in the article.

If you were to do even just 2 of these ideas right away you would be immediately placing your business front and center in the current news cycle, cementing your authority in the industry, providing additional insight and value to your audience, and reinforcing your commitment to quality service and promoting your customers’ best interests – all without any restrictions on your marketing. An added benefit is that by creating engaging content on a current topic, there is a much greater chance your supporters will be sharing that message enabling your business to reach many more folks for free because you are riding the wave of a “trending topic” and are firmly on one side that aligns with your ideal customers.

While I could stop here and let you put your newsjacking skills into action, I’m going to provide you a clear “action plan” for this type of content strategy that will let you take one news article and maximize the content you can get out of it.

Content Strategy

View our 8 page slide deck on Newsjacking in the Marijuana Industry below.

Following this content strategy, you now have potentially 20 pieces of content from 1 live stream! Who feels good??? I certainly do.

-Mike Moreno, Much More Media, LLC

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