Join in the world’s conversations as they happen.
In the B2B marketing world, few strategies are as exciting or effective as real-time content. Real-time content is as close to an all-encompassing, immersive experience that us marketers can offer, and it gives us unique opportunities to connect with our target audience in a more personal way. Marketing a brand is about telling a story, and what better way to tell your story than by lifting the corporate veil and offering a real-time glimpse into the world of your brand?
Few mediums today have the viral potential that real-time content can provide. It’s easily shareable, gets lots of engagement since it’s tied to a specific moment in time, and is easier and less expensive to produce now more than ever. Sounds great, right? But before you go diving into the world of real-time content marketing here are some key aspects to keep in mind.
Defining Real-Time Content
Real-time content is content associated with and shared during real-time events. This content can be shared during a specific event like the Superbowl or the Academy Awards, on a holiday, while a news story is breaking, or in response to a real-time conversation happening on social media. Here’s a great example of what Nissan tweeted out after the royal baby announcement:
In a more recent example, What’s Trending created a video that imagines Elmo getting fired over PBS budget cuts:
Note that these companies were able to seamlessly join the events as they happened; they weren’t forced and were appropriate for the brand (Nissan didn’t get it on the PBS conversation because it wasn’t within their realm).
Is Real-time Content Risky for My Brand?
Like all live scenarios, there are inherent risks. Inappropriate live comments, the situation going awry during live videos, or “jumping the gun” on a post before all of the facts are known are all possibilities. Real-time content requires a spontaneity, authenticity and wit that some brands might not be willing to adopt–just don’t have in them. Planning a live video stream or another type of post that is tightly controlled and bereft of any of the above qualities can leave brands looking flat and out of touch. If you’re unwilling to really get real, it is best that you avoid implementing a real-time content marketing strategy.
But the payoff of a witty real-time post on social media can be big. Consider this:
- Real-time marketing increases purchase intent by 14%
- People are 22% more likely to consider a brand that makes use of real-time marketing
- 58% of marketers believe that real-time marketing drives revenue
- Real-time marketing increases interest in a brand by 18%
If these numbers are appealing (and they are!) read on to discover how to incorporate real-time marketing into your brand.
Creating Real-time Content
Crafting real-time content requires a diligent consumption of news, an understanding of trends and an ability to think on your feet. Here are how brands can take advantage of all the benefits real-time marketing has to offer:
Monitor What’s Trending
The easiest place to start is by staying on top of what’s trending on social media. Real-time content is all about capitalizing on the here and now by having the foresight to be creative at the right moment. Popular social media platforms make this easy by providing trending topics and hashtags:
You should be aware of what holidays or events are coming up and try to relate them to your brand in a unique way. Lowes pulled this off with style with this Independence Day Tweet:
— Lowe’s (@Lowes) July 3, 2013
Lowe’s was able to join in the conversation while also incorporating their brand identity.
Stay True to Your Brand
When crafting real-time content, avoid giving more power to the medium than to your brand. Don’t overreach: If a trending topic or event just isn’t a good fit for your brand, don’t create content just for the sake of creating content, as this could hurt your brand rather than help it. Make sure that your social media team–especially those tasked with real-time content–understand the core identity of your brand, what it stands for and who the target audience is. Having a grasp on the essence of a brand is important for real-time responses and staying authentic.
Less is More
Finally, remember that short and simple content is often shared the most. Long, lengthy articles are great at showing thought leadership and industry expertise, but they can take a long time to craft and usually require a chunk of time to read. You don’t want to miss out on the moment by taking too long to push content to your audience. Instead, rely on clever, short content like a video, GIF, image or brief infographic to get your content out as quickly as possible.
Creating a real-time content strategy is tough work, but it is certainly rewarding! If you’re ready to dive into creating a winning marketing strategy that will get results, Paragraphs is here for you and your brand.
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