The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says that about 5 percent of all internet visits are related to reading news, but how many consumers does this figure translate into? Nearly one-quarter (21 percent) of U.S. consumers are “news junkies,” according to ExactTarget’s Subscribers, Fans and Followers Report, and marketers should optimize their websites to appeal to these news enthusiasts.

The news junkie is the consumer who uses the internet as his or her primary source of news information. The study indicates that these consumers are generally over 35 years of age, and the majority of them (61 percent) are male. They generally follow news providers on Twitter, and they are very active social media users – which means they could become valuable brand advocates for businesses that create quality news content.

ExactTarget says these readers are open to advertisements and supporting sponsors of news “as long as the content is consistent with their interests.” They also want news in near real-time, which indicates that marketers should update content frequently to catch the interests – and perhaps dollars – of news junkies.

As Twitter is one of the top news sources for these consumers, marketers are reminded to deliver their content to consumers via social platforms as well as on their websites. It may also be worthwhile to try to get content accepted into Google News in order to engage news junkies on this popular site.

Recent data from Compete reveals that Google News had more than 10 million unique visitors in the month of May alone, and recent updates to the site with “News for You” features can make it easier for content providers to find their niche audiences.