Breaking News Can Drive Inbound Traffic, Optify Argues

Breaking news presents a unique inbound marketing opportunity for business-to-business marketers, even though most B2B marketers likely believe that is not the case, argues Optify. The typical objection is that “breaking news events” cannot be planned for, and hence are not easy to fit into a B2B content marketing program.

Though Optify cautions that the results of a recent study are “mostly anecdotal,” during studied “breaking news” events, about 70 percent of the search engine results page real estate above the fold was used for placed results rather than natural-organic results. That suggests a B2B events.

The extent and pace of changes to the natural-organic results seemed to be a function of the magnitude of the event; the bigger the event was (i.e. the Japan Tsunami case) the higher the rate and extent of changes to the organic results, Optify says.

There are about six steps B2B marketers can take, in advance of breaking news, to position for better search results when unexpected news events occur in an industry, or generally.

“We found that during breaking news events, the top of the SERP is actually not the natural-organic results but placed results (news, videos and images), so make sure you produce multi-format content to take advantage of this behavior,” Optify recommends.

Second, control and plan for your own company’s breaking news, Optify says.

Third, prepare for unexpected breaking news events within your industry. “Know the business lingo for your industry so that keyword research and content optimized for these terms can be prepared in advance,” Optify argues. Build a strong content team that can respond quickly to events in your industry based on the keyword strategy you’ve implemented.

Fourth, build your authority in advance, Optify says. “A lot of what will determine your inclusion on the SERP is how well search engines recognize you,” Optify says. That means paying attention to all the relevant search engine optimization practices, day in and day out.

Fifth, a B2B firm should build a social network and use it, since social signals play a role in organic ranking. In the case of breaking news events their role seems even bigger. “We believe that social signals such as shares, Likes, Tweets and +1’s determine what coverage will be surfaced at the top of the SERP during breaking news events,” Optify says.

Finally, Optify advises firms to release fresh content that is linked to your key page on a frequent basis.

Overall, Optify’s advice tends to suggest that if the day to day tasks are handled well, breaking news will “take care of itself,” one might argue.