Pew data shows it's time for marketers to get in the news game with their content strategies. Readership is up 10% in the past two years.

Industry news has always been a staple in content marketing strategies, but now it’s spilling over into social media too.

The Pew Research Center’s report on The Evolving Role of News on Twitter and Facebook shows that 63 percent of users get their news on Twitter and Facebook. Social media users now represent about 75 percent of the American population. The more they turn to social networks for news updates, the greater the marketing opportunity for brands publishing news-driven articles.

63% of users get their news on Twitter and Facebook in 2015

Industry news, or news jacking, is a strategy in which companies use breaking news stories and research reports as the source of their content. A real estate company might write about a new commercial development project, and how it’s expected to impact house prices in the area. A payment processing company may cover updates in regulations and explain in layman’s terms how they will affect business owners who accept credit cards.

Brands benefit from news-driven content marketing strategies in two-ways. They get to:

  • Join conversations that are relevant to their industries

  • Cover a wider range of topics in their content strategies (beyond evergreen pieces about their products and services)

But before businesses move forward with news jacking strategies, they need to understand that relevance is key. Readers are quick to recognize when a brand has forced its way into a conversation it doesn’t have a place in. (Here are just a few examples of bad brand behavior on social media.)

Marketers need to make sure their content team is adding value to the original story or stats. Whether that’s through a unique narrative, a fresh view point or a focused lens, companies should be using the ‘news jacking’ approach as a chance to dispel pertinent information in a way that’s more accessible to their audiences. This is not an excuse for companies to jump into conversations that are irrelevant to their target audience, just for the sake of hopping on a trending topic.

For a closer look at how companies are using news in content marketing strategies, download this free eBook: How to use Industry News for Content Marketing

There’s been major growth in the number of people who consider social networks ‘media outlets’ over the past two years. In 2013, 52 percent of Twitter users checked the site for updates, while even fewer Facebook users (47 percent) viewed the site as a source of news.

Social media is quickly becoming the top destination for diverse readers to seek news content. As Facebook and Twitter further evolve to reinforce this trend, there’s prime opportunity for brands to build presences on these one-stop-shop networks where people go to connect, learn and communicate. 

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.