Every New Year brings new opportunities. For content creators, that means new media channels, tactics and stories to utilize. Before you can jump into what`s new you need to make sure you have some of 2015`s most impactful content marketing and digital communications strategies.

1. Apply a mobile-first approach to your communications strategy.

In April 2015, Google announced that it would favour sites that are mobile-responsive in its search rankings. Beyond mobile optimization, it is coming to a point where content that isn`t in an app might even get overlooked. In November, Google updated its search application on Android phones, to help users search and interact with content found only in apps. Mobile apps and smartphones provide more in-depth demographic and location data than traditional media or desktop computers. This gives brands with an app, or communicators who syndicate content through mobile applications, deeper insights into who is reading their content and more accurate targeting for specific audience demographics.

After making your website mobile responsive last year, now it’s time to extend that mobile-friendly approach to the rest of your communications. Look into content syndication options, like Taboola, that push to mobile users. This way you will learn how to engage with this audience before investing more heavily in the future.

2. Experiment with branded content.

If no one will write about your brand, 2016 is the year to tell the story yourself. Print media circulation is down and newspapers are shrinking their editorial teams.  By creating content so good that people subscribe to your YouTube channel, blog and share what they find there you can attract attention to your causes, campaign or client. WestJet has done this with great effect since 2013 with its Christmas Miracles campaign every December. The brand’s first video in has received more than 43 million YouTube views and the 2015 video, which WestJet published on December 15, already has more than 1.4 million views.

Canadians may represent a relatively small population group compared to many US States and even cities, but the quality of content required to grab our attention is as high as any market in the world. Invest in localized content to drive success this year

3. Hone your social media skills.

If you aren’t already using social media to find journalists, sources or influencers, this will be the year you need start. Last year Cision’s Social Journalism Study found that 57 per cent of journalists say that social media has improved their productivity. With Twitter lifting the character limit on direct messages and Canadian Anti-Spam Law impacting email outreach, marketers and PR professionals need to take advantage social media to reach journalists. There is even an internal Twitter project that recode.net is reporting that will lift all tweets beyond their character limit, it is the wild west out there!  Beyond simple outreach, it’s important to learn how to engage with influencers and journalists on social media without creating controversy, then advising our clients how to do the same. Remember during this past federal election, there were countless candidates who put their digital feet in their mouths? Even seasoned pros like Shawn Dern, Director of Communications for New Democratic Party  leader Tom Mulcair, called the Catholic Church misogynistic, homophobic and pedophilic in a single social media message.

Social media isn`t going anywhere –this year invest time in building your social media persona.

For more tips on pitching journalists, check out our tip sheet on social pitching.


Image – Creative Commons, user Lepota

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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