People are reading more news online, and brands must deliver accurate, timely news updates to reach their online audiences.

Given that more than half of Americans own smartphones and two-thirds use social networks, marketers might assume target audiences are too distracted by real-time updates to pay attention to their branded content.

That’s not the case, according to a recent study from Mobiles Republic. In fact, the poll of 8,000 people from six countries found consumers are as hungry as ever for news updates. Marketers can satisfy their prospects’ cravings with factual, fresh and free news content.

Mobile users want bite-sized news content

Three-quarters of smartphone owners check for updates more than once a day and 53 percent read news on their devices for 30 minutes or longer. This means brands have valuable opportunities to reach on-the-go target audiences with organic content, especially if it’s optimized for online feeds and social networks. Ninety-five percent say they get their news through aggregators, while 28 percent turn to Twitter and 43 percent read on Facebook.

“People want to remain informed in a timely manner, more so now than ever before in our world’s recorded history.”

What’s most important to internet users who need a news fix? Accuracy is the number one criteria for 82 percent of people, while 57 percent say freshness is critical and another 57 percent point to the price tag (i.e. they want it for free).

“Due to mass adoption of consumer mobile devices, the access and appetite for trusted news continues to increase. People want to remain informed in a timely manner, more so now than ever before in our world’s recorded history,” said Gilles Raymond, mobile industry veteran and CEO of Mobiles Republic.

Brands must become trusted resources

Many journalists have already gotten on board with this trend, using social platforms as their soap boxes and online news outlets to share recent articles. Despite the fact that household names like Anderson Cooper embrace Twitter, Brafton reported that only 39 percent of journalists consider themselves digital-first writers.

As more writers transition to the web for content writing publication, it’s likely readership will continue to rise. Marketers can establish their brands as reliable news providers by delivering timely and free updates that are tailored to their target audiences. This builds companies’ digital footprints, but also encourages internet users to become followers and pushes branded content to the top of search engine results pages.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.