Survey: TV, Web serve different functions for news consumers

Television is the go-to medium for breaking news, but online reports provide depth. Content marketers should apply these findings when promoting their brands.

Rumors fly regularly regarding the news, how it’s digested, who’s interested, and how they’re consuming it.

It’s not uncommon to hear that television still reigns supreme when it comes to broadcasting the news or that the Internet has taken over—sometimes both in the same day. These conflicting ideas can make content creation—especially when it’s related to news or events—difficult, tedious, and confusing.

However, a recent initiative called The Media Insight Project, a joint effort carried out by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, looked into news trends by surveying 1,492 adults in an attempt to clear up the misunderstandings.

The results are surprising. Take a look at what they found and how you can adjust your content strategy accordingly:

The findings

The Internet is not always the go-to option for people looking for news-related information. When news breaks—such as the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370—adults are more likely to turn on the TV than to use mobile devices or computers to access information. Television is also the leading medium for national news, with big names like CNN leading the way among preferred networks for international news, politics, business, economic, and social issues.

According to The Media Insight Project, although television leads the way for uncovering breaking news, the Internet is the option of choice for people looking to follow up and learn more. The results demonstrated that 60 percent of respondents go online to follow up on breaking news with only 18 percent turning on the television. Just as interesting, over half of the study’s respondents have signed up for news alerts, highlighting certain key phrases as they appear online.

What it means for you

As someone interested in content marketing to establish a brand’s credibility online through content, this study should matter to you. Though you might not work for a news agency of any type, you can still use news to your advantage in your marketing strategy.

Pay attention to news that relates to your industry, the service you offer, or the products you retail, so you’ll have an idea of stories that might appeal to your target market, changes that will get their attention, and information that they should be given.

Absorb that information, and look for ways to provide more detailed versions of it to your customers. If you market car seats and a recent recall has led to questions, take the time to answer them, and perhaps set up a tutorial of some kind. If a new drug epidemic is becoming a national problem and you run a rehab center, consider creating an infographic that breaks down relevant information and makes it relatable to your consumer market.

By paying attention to the news that surrounds you, creating a content plan as soon as it breaks, and sharing it with your followers, you’re increasing the odds that your information will be shared virally. More important, you’re setting up your brand as the go-to source of information, which is—as this study demonstrated—why users go online after news breaks in the first place: to go deeper and to learn more.

Don’t dismiss news stories as a way to boost your content marketing’s effectiveness. Instead, use it as a part of your regular routine to increase traffic and overall results.

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