Yahoo announced today that it is creating a new platform for people to publish their creative content exclusively on its sites – the Contributor Network. The company believes exclusive news articles will attract more people to Yahoo’s web properties, enabling it to offer relevant content to myriad consumers – and marketers planning content strategies should take note.

The Contributor Network is an expansion of the company’s Associated Content acquisition, supporting consumer-generated content in addition to in-house articles. Officials believe it will give Yahoo leverage as a media destination. „Bringing this authentic perspective to Yahoo’s most popular sites will deepen our engagement with the millions of people who visit us every day,“ says Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz.

The diverse ideas of more than 400,000 contributors will result in content that stays ahead of the trends, catching the clicks of searchers looking for both niche information and mainstream news.

Businesses may not have the resources of Yahoo to generate custom articles that cater to such a wide array of online consumers, but the marketing lesson behind this development is that unique content is key to attracting relevant web visitors. Plus, frequently updated industry-specific stories may help businesses gain loyal advocates.

According to a recent CNN POWNAR study covered by Brafton, 65 percent of social news sharing involves ongoing stories. Nearly one-third of consumers who receive news via social media favor brands affiliated with news content.