A report from Pew found that more Americans are using the web to access news content, which could help companies using the format for content marketing.

In its News in a Networked World study, Pew found that Americans have shifted the way they consume news content, with 61 percent getting news online each day. As the web becomes a primary access point to information, news content marketing campaigns can help companies appeal to the increasingly large online news audience – especially in light of the growing desire for different perspectives on news developments.

While local television broadcasts came out as top news sources (cited by 78 percent of respondents), the popularity of web news content among nearly two-thirds of Americans means that people are open to reading new sources as they learn of them.

Other traditional news outlets were similarly popular with radio (54 percent) and local newspapers (50 percent) garnering readership from at least half of respondents.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they use four to six platforms every day to access news content, and the same amount reportedly access two to three outlets per day. Just 7 percent of respondents said that they access only one news outlet.

Companies that want to attract more online audiences can use news content marketing to provide an interesting, industry-focused take on the news, while also helping companies stand out in search. Also, news updates can increase search visibility among news-hungry web audiences; Google has worked to make timeliness a factor in its search rankings.

Another ranking factor that lends itself to the use of high-quality web content – of news or other varieties – is the recent roll out of Google’s Penguin algorithm, which Brafton recently reported will snuff out websites sacrificing user experience for SEO. Using news content as part of an integrated new media marketing campaign can help companies avoid penalties related to overuse of SEO techniques without a clear focus on a quality user experience.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.