Want to reach the investing public? The time-honored answer is to get influential news media to pick up a news story. There’s just one twist in what seems to be obvious advice: even the top names in news depend on casual users that come in through search and social media, according to a recent study by the Pew Research centre.
For the top 25 news sites, statistics from the Nielsen Company show that only 60 to 65 per cent of the traffic comes directly to them. More than a third of readers arrive from links on other sites, as the graphic below shows. Of those 25 top sites, four are pure news aggregators and three are hybrids that combine original reporting and news aggregation. So the traditional news outlets effectively have even less pull.
If you want to get the word out online, you have to do more than focus on top news sites. You should look at how people get to them:
Google alone is responsible for 30 per cent of the traffic that goes to the news sites. It’s the top referrer to 17 of the non-pure aggregators and the second highest one for the other four.
Facebook is rapidly becoming an important source of traffic to many of the news sites. For example, CNN online currently gets 7 per cent of its audience from Facebook links. The New York Times receives more than 6 per cent.
Remember the Drudge Report? The heyday of revelations about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky may be over, but the site still drives traffic. Last year, it sent the New York Post 19 per cent of that site’s traffic and referred 15 per cent of the Washington Post’s.
In other words, a growing number of readers don’t treat news sites as destinations where they might stumble across your story. They arrive because they heard about something that caught their interest. To effectively get news out, you need a valid referrer strategy that works news aggregation sites and social networks (which are still growing in their influence) to let many people know there’s something you’d like them to read.
[Article by Erik Sherman, IR magazine]
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