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USA Today tests Yo for midterm election results

NEW YORK ? A USA Today executive at the Mobile Women to Watch 2015 Summit said that the media company used mobile chat application Yo to deliver election updates yesterday.

During the ?How Mobile is Driving Newsroom Change and Innovation? session, the executive discussed the news provider?s mobile marketing strategy in regards to the delivery and presentation of content. Given Yo?s core audience tends to be a younger demographic, USA Today tested this platform to educate Yo users about the election and make the content more digestible.

?I and the entire editorial team at USA Today are passionate about storytelling,? said Patty Michalski, managing editor of digital, mobile and social at USA Today, New York. ?Storytelling and the sharing of information is integral to the way we engage, how we?re writing, and the very core of the point of access for our content.

?Elections have been at the forefront of our minds most recently, and while we?re very focused on data, we?ve seen a huge shift in content consumption regarding mobile,? she said. ?Right now, 65 percent of our readers are obtaining content on their phones.

?Compared to 2008, those numbers looked very differently then. The question we always ask ourselves is, ?How can we look at the entire mobile landscape and continue engagement on multiple platforms??? 

Mobile Women to Watch 2015 Summit is a Mobile Marketer presentation.

Change of plans
Ms. Michalski has been with USA Today for 13 years and has seen astronomical changes in the journalism industry, as well as how it has been affected by the catapult toward mobile innovation.

Therefore, push notifications have become a vital aspect of USA Today?s marketing strategy. The team shares a lot of data that shows insight to which alerts users opt-in and the open rates of alerts sent.

In October, the team saw huge success in their push efforts, and realized that once news occurs, the demand for news rises. Push serves as the best way to alert users of breaking news coverage.

Push, among other tactics, leads to reengagement. USA Today?s Five Things to Know tool drives habit and engagement, Ms. Michalski said. 

Users are checking their USA Today app upon first waking up in the mornings, placing a convenient opportunity for the Five Things to Know tool, as users use it as a reference for the most important topics of the day. 

An active participant on social, USA Today believes it to be a powerful influencer and the new form of search. While the majority of social media activity is done via the mobile channel, the news provider strategies its delivery of content using the phrase ?Mobile Or It Didn?t Happen,? knowing that its approach toward mobile and social is vital to the brand.

By teaming with Yo for its election coverage, USA Today aims its content at a younger audience and points users toward digestible content. The news provider is also using its account on Yo to deliver its Five Things to Know content.

USA Today?s presence on Yo, a rather new player in the app world, shows its desire to continue innovation and be as present on as many platforms as possible. Extending its reach on numerous chat apps allows USA Today to rope in users on its more constant channels, such as its app or mobile Web site.

Channeling mobile
USA Today has been teaming up with Twitter to develop a USA Today/Twitter Political Issue Index containing important information and issues for voters for the midterm elections.

The politically-themed tweets were visualized interactively in real-time, and showcased the most relevant terms from tweets concerning political-only topics. The daily compilation was sorted by demographics, including gender, age and geography, and was displayed in a reader-friendly manner to allow for quick skimming (see story).

USA Today also recently re-launched its gaming platform in an effort to drive more mobile engagement and offer a centralized experience for its advertisers.

The platform, launched in part with gaming developer Arkadium in September, will multiply USA Today?s gaming presence by 11 times by offering a larger variety of games. The implementation will be sure to give advertisers more wiggle room in developing and executing their ad content (see story).

?News has become an incredibly crowded landscape,? Ms. Michalski said. ?We know that we can?t just launch an app and expect users to come back.

?We editorial executives ask ourselves, ?Do our products do what we need them to do?? Creating our core platform on mobile is one part of the process, but we also have to tell our stories differently.?

Final Take
Patty Michalski, managing editor of digital, mobile and social at USA Today, New York