Marketing With the News Cycle: 4 Key Events to Inform Your Campaign Strategy

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Being part of the news conversation doesn’t have to come with risking brand safety

“The news never stops coming.” These kinds of sayings often express the overwhelming feeling of living in an age of history-making events. But from town criers to newspapers to digital media, people have always eagerly turned their attention to the most up-to-date sources of information on changes in the world around them, especially at regularly recurring points in time such as elections and the holidays — another reason to call it the news cycle.

Predicting the headlines of tomorrow is folly, yet predicting the increased interest those events will direct toward news platforms is anything but. For advertisers, particularly for high-end brands, the news presents a powerful means of delivering a message to receptive audiences that are more likely to have the means and the understanding needed to convert.

Why the news is worth your advertising budget

Centuries of collaboration between newspapers and advertisers have shaped the modern practices of both industries. However, trust in mass media has declined sharply in recent years, driven in part by widespread perceptions of partisan bias in reporting, along with fears of unreliable or outright falsified coverage. Some advertisers have pulled away from news-related campaigns due to brand safety concerns, not wanting their products and services to be associated with controversial or seemingly exploitative outlets.

Regardless, people still want to stay up to date, as demonstrated in a report that shows news apps have significantly higher average active days per user than even social media. The only way to reconcile brand safety concerns with the reach and impact of news advertising is to partner with platforms that have proven themselves to be trustworthy.

SmartNews is considered one of the least-biased news providers in the US, according to a YouGov study. It’s helped us earn a loyal, educated audience, nearly 40% of whom have an annual household income of $100,000 or more. If you’d like to learn about the ways we can help brands get in contact with our audience, reach out today. Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about how to use the news cycle to your brand’s advantage, read on.

4 newsworthy events to inform your campaign strategy

Consumers pay attention to the news year-round. However, certain major events reliably boost how much time they spend looking for the latest developments. Here are four such events, and how you can plan your campaign strategy to optimize them.

Midterm elections

When you think of advertising during election season, you likely think of the streams of mud-slinging attack ads that dominate screens for months before ballots are cast. While these ads can quickly become off putting, politicians and their supporters create them for a reason: They know people are paying attention. Simply being an advertisement that isn’t trying to sway consumers’ votes may be refreshing on its own, but you can push even further with ads that are aware of their place in this turbulent time and offer a reassuring sense of stability and decency.

State of the Union

The annual State of the Union address attracts the attention of millions of US residents and interested international parties near the beginning of each year. Given its purpose as a single, encapsulating statement on current issues affecting Americans both at home and abroad, coverage around the address can transcend even the usual politically plugged-in audiences. Granted, viewers are just as likely to tune in to coverage to jeer at the presidential statements as they are to cheer them, so it’s best to keep your brand’s messaging clear of topics that are likely to be prominently discussed.

Royal coronation

The former Prince Charles is now King of England, but he won’t be properly invested with the title and its powers until his coronation ceremony currently projected for June 2023. The passing of the crown jewels is not something that is meant to occur regularly; however, the long stretch of advance notice given before this momentous occasion makes it an ideal example of a one-off event that you could easily account for in an advertising campaign. Americans who approve of Charles’ succession tend to have higher incomes, making this an excellent opportunity for luxury brands to ensure they’re part of the conversation around the ceremony.

Holiday shopping

The biggest trends in kid’s toys. Great places to find Black Friday deals. Travel-related traffic and weather updates. People turn to their favorite news sources for updates on these topics and more all throughout the holiday season, and landing your ad in front of or alongside this coverage could be a shortcut to the top of many lists (wish or otherwise). More than two-thirds of the average Black Friday shopping budget went toward gifts in 2021, which means the early holiday shopping window is a perfect time to target potential buyers for the kinds of deluxe products that make impactful presents.

Start building your campaign for the next news cycle

You don’t have to be reactive to make the news cycle work for your advertising campaign. SmartNews’ Contextual Package is purpose-built for advertisers that want to target enthusiastic users during tentpole events, with exclusive packages for the upcoming midterm elections, holiday shopping, and more. We’re proud to be the No. 1 news app in the US for time spent per user per month, and we’re excited to bring that level of engagement to your brand as the news never stops coming.