The Value of News Content
News is a common denominator that spans every industry and market around the world. Weather you are an enterprise corporation in China, a financial institution on Wall Street, or a law firm in downtown Atlanta, your market is saturated with news and events each and every day.
So you have news on one side of the equation.
On the other side of the equation, you have your website and your overall online presence in places like search engines (i.e. Google) and social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…).
Regardless of the size and scope of your business or industry, every business wants more exposure and presence, and every business wants to expand the reach and influence of their brand.
In other words, every business wants to acquire more customers.
Which makes sense, because this is how your business goes from mediocre to abundantly successful.
So what can we do with this equation?
Is there a way to leverage the news on one side, and the attraction for new customers on the other?
Powering your business website with news articles
Since we have an abundance of news and events happening in our industry, or geographic location, every day, this provides a unique opportunity for your business.
In a lot of ways, the news industry is broke.
And it’s not because there’s a shortage of news, it’s because the internet has created many different channels from which to read the news.
This means the news industry, and the channels from which people read their news, is fragmented.
And this fragmentation creates a unique opportunity for your business.
Attract new visitors to your website from news content
However, there are two places on the web that news content is not necessarily considered fragmented. And in fact, within these two mediums, news content is neatly consolidated and readily available. And these two places are search engines and social media.
News Content in Search Engines
One of the highest volume categories of search volume in Google is “news and events”. In fact, news related search volume is so powerful, Google decided long ago to include news items directly in the search results for relevant searches.
I know from experience that news is a huge source for inbound traffic. In the past 5 years, I’ve created and subsequently sold two blog that were accepted into Google News. And because of the shear amount of traffic from search, and the particular type of traffic these blogs were attracting, they were seen as valuable resources to the businesses that purchased them.
But more than just the search volume, news is highly targeted to either a particular topic or geographic location.
As mentioned with the two news blogs that I sold, these were attractive to the buyers because not only were they high traffic websites, but the content – and subsequently, the visitors – were highly targeted to their specific niche.
And this is where the opportunity resides for your business to leverage news in search.
News Content in Social Media
Not only is news popular in search engines, but it’s equally popular in social media channels like Facebook and Twitter (especially Twitter…).
However, people find the news in social media differently than they do in search engines.
With search, people are ‘obviously’ searching for specific news events.
With social media, people see the mention of a news item, find interest in it, and click on the associated link to read more.
And this is how social media can become a huge source of inbound traffic to your website!
Leveraging News To Grow Your Business
Let’s bring this all together and see how news content can help drive an increased amount of relevant traffic to your website, and help you grow your business.
Relevant Traffic To Your Website
Because news in general is centered around particular topics (i.e. business, events, finance, government, etc…), or locations (i.e. Atlanta, NYC, Binghamton, San Francisco, etc…), your business has the unique opportunity to leverage news to drive a particular type of audience to your website.
By producing news content on your business blog that focuses on a particular topic or location, you will naturally attract visitors to your website that are likewise interested in, or centered around, those topics.
How a personal injury law firm is growing traffic to their website by leveraging news
For example, we have a personal injury law firm client in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that wanted to increase traffic and exposure to their website.
But more specifically, they wanted to attract people from Milwaukee that were interested in reading news about accidents and injuries.
As such, we started producing news articles on their blog that covered accident and injury related news from around the metro Milwaukee area.
Their website experienced a 190% increase in traffic from the city of Milwaukee from search engines, and a 500% increase in traffic from social media!
And not only has their website experienced exponential growth in traffic from search and social, this particular law firm has generated more inbound leads and inquiries over the past 30 days than the previous 6 months combined.
Once their blog came to life with new articles centered around accidents and injuries from Milwaukee, they started to attract people from Milwaukee that were interested in this type of news.
And since the news articles were published directly on the law firm’s blog, every visitor who is interested in these news stories are now coming law firm’s website to read the stories.
This created a consistent branded presence for the law firm, that ultimately results in the law firm capturing 100% of the branded equity and exposure from every visitor.
Beating out your local newspaper with news articles on your business blog
Contrast this strategy with running an ad in your local newspaper.
If you were to pay for an ad with your local newspaper or news agency, you would get a small square ad on their local news website.
But your ad would not be the only one on their website.
You would more than likely share the pageviews (equity) with many other advertisers.
However, when you produce news articles on your own blog, which lives within your own website, your business eliminates 100% of the competition.
Meaning, there are no competing ads to steal brand equity away from your business.
By producing news articles within your own blog, you capture 100% of the brand equity from every visitor to your website.
Now, instead of running a small ad for your business on someone else’s website, your website and your business becomes the ad.
Exponential growth from news published on your business website
Everything I’m talking about here regarding the benefits of leveraging news articles to drive traffic and exposure to your business, is compounded exponentially over time.
Using at our law firm client in Milwaukee as an example, if you look at the top 10 news articles generating the most traffic, you would find several articles that were published over 2 months ago in this list.
This means, old articles (those published 2 months ago or later) are continuing to drive increased traffic to the law firm’s website.
In other words, there’s an inventory of articles that continue to drive increased traffic over time.
And the more new articles we add to the law firm’s blog, the more their inventory of articles available in search and social media grows.
When you add the steady flow of news articles that are capturing immediate traffic, to the growing levels of traffic from previous articles, you experience an exponential growth in traffic to your website.
And again, since these news articles are published directly on your website (via your business blog), your website is the recipient of 100% of the traffic and branded exposure.
I like to use the analogy of interest on money.
The more money you invest over time that grows at a certain percentage rate of interest, the more the total value of your investment grows exponentially.
And this is exactly what happens when you publish a steady flow of news articles on your business website over time.
Old articles continue to drive increased traffic, your total inventory of articles grows proportionate to the number of articles you publish, and your website experiences an exponential growth of traffic to your website.
Leveraging news content for lead generation
Depending on the type of business you run, you’ll want to provide a way to engage the visitors to your website.
This ‘engagement of visitors’ to your website will, likewise, take many different forms… again, depending on the type of business, products, and services you offer.
But regardless of your type of business, every visitor to your website represents the top of your sales funnel.
And this gets to the point / topic of lead generation.
Leveraging news for lead generation
Since you are producing news content around a particular geographic area or demographic topic, you are already attracting an audience of visitors that meet a core criteria to your business.
The audience you are attracting are already living in your metro area (locally targeted news content) or interested in your category of business (VoIP, Risk Management, Financial Services, etc…).
As such, you need to tailor a simple, yet compelling offer within your website that entices visitors to take that one extra step of entering their email address in exchange for your a free give away.
The free give away can be anything from a free checklist, an ebook, a free consultation, or some other valuable resource.
But the key idea here is the giveaway has to be valuable to your visitor.
Again, using our personal injury law firm client in Milwaukee as the example, they give away free ebooks to educate their audience on the personal injury laws in the State of Wisconsin.
And the free ebooks they giveaway are simple (non-lawyer’ee) types of ebooks that the average user can read and comprehend.
Most importantly, the ebooks are offered at the bottom of every single blog post, along with being offered directly in the sidebar of their website.
The law firm offers a lot of different entry points to access the free ebooks, and this is the point.
They want to make it as easy as possible for their visitors to access the free resource.
Taking it one step further, we’ve integrated their free ebooks in a way that also makes it easy to enter your email and request a copy.
HubSpot – The Leader in Marketing Automation & Inbound Marketing
There’s certainly a lot of different methods to making this happen, but our prefered choice is to HubSpot.
HubSpot makes it super easy to integrate lead generation anywhere on your website or blog, and the backend lead scoring and analytics helps the business to qualify leads and convert more sales.
But the point here is, making it super easy for visitors to identify and access your free giveaway.
And as visitors to your website request your free giveaway, your business is, in essence, generating new leads for your business.
This is the idea I mentioned initially with your website, and leveraging of news articles, as the fuel that powers the top of your sales funnel.
Leveraging news articles for lead generation and sales
So here’s a summary breakdown of the process, just to make it super clear:
- Write news articles on your blog to increase traffic from a highly targeted audience.
- Integrate lead generation elements into your website.
- Make it prominent, and easy, for visitors to take advantage of your free offers.
- Convert visitors to your website into new leads.
- Use marketing automation (aka HubSpot) to qualify your leads and convert more sales.
- wash and repeat!
We all want more traffic and exposure to our business website, right?
But just publishing a website and letting it sit dormant will not produce the results your business is looking for. In fact, if you publish a new website and do nothing thereafter, you’ll experience a declining level of traffic and exposure.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you publish a steady flow of high quality articles on a business blog, then your website will attract an increasing amount of traffic over time.
Taking this one step further, if you leverage news articles to target a specific geographic area or demographic audience, the growth in traffic will come from those who are already interested in and engaged with the category of products and services you offer.
This ultimately results in high quality leads, which eventually will translate into increased sales from higher quality customers.
It’s a work in progress, much like the investing analogy I used above, but equally produces exponential growth in traffic, leads, and sales for your business.