How to Master Real-Time Engagement
Concentrating on real-time marketing is a great start to guiding your overall marketing strategy. Start by creating and refining content based on the types of conversations and events that enhance your brand. It's not simply about current events, but rather a way to enter into a relevant and timely conversation or a moment that is authentic and relevant with your audience.
If you're a small business competing to gain the attention of customers, real-time marketing is a very valuable tool. You definitely want to target audiences based on interests (and when relevant, location) and trending conversations, but don't aim to latch to a fleeting trend, only to look silly afterwards. It should be about responding to what your current and future customers want, not what the event du jour is. This is your chance to develop long-term relationships. In other words, not only do you want to gain attention of your audience, but you have to find a way to maintain their attention. That's at the heart of true real-time content marketing.
Ok, so now that you have a pretty good sense of why you need real-time marketing in your life, let's get onto how you can take advantage of it all.
Creating the Real-Time Experience
As much as the word 'nimble' is overused, it really tugs at the core of what you want to do. To get content marketing right, you need to meet the fast pace of conversations going online today. Here's a general overview of what you need to do to get started:
-Anticipate Content: Constantly watch what your customers say. Look at customer queries, your social media channels and website to see what their most pressing issues are. There are so many monitoring services to choose from, just pick one that your team knows how to use well. When you notice something that really matters to your customers, jump into these conversations when it happens. Another way to anticipate content is to mark on your calendar dates for any event that is truly relevant to your brand or industry (include national and international events). Use these dates a springboard for content you and your team can get ready.
-Get Content Ready: To be ready to engage in real-time, you need to have content at your fingertips so you can engage quickly with what is relevant. Not only that, but you need to be able to create content such as tweets and blog posts quickly. Plan now and have the right processes in place so you can create these types of content. Don't skimp on this either. Get yourself a team to monitor and join in on conversations.
-Keep Your Messages Relevant: There is nothing more annoying than a company that looks like it's trying to cash in on the news du jour. Make sure that your content is relevant and stays true to your services and products. On that note, make sure that your real-time content marketing is only just part of your efforts. Instead of bombarding people with sales pitches, focus on engaging audiences with entertaining and informative content.
-Figure Out Where Your Peeps Hang Out: Where do your customers go? Even doing a simple search can help you figure out social media channels or forums where your target audience congregates.
-Do Your Research: Even the best laid plans might have to change last minute due to updates in the media or other circumstances. Even if you schedule any type of content, be ready to respond to real-time. This means you need to find a balance between pre-scheduling content, and responding and creating content right when you need it.
Real-time content engagement truly is a wonderful opportunity to broadcast your brand and its significance to potential customers. However, you need to be careful that you aren't trying too hard to spread your message everywhere, as it'll just backfire on you. No matter what, make sure all content aligns with your brand is part of your overall marketing tactics. With all that being said, if you don't keep your community in mind, then you might as well kiss your business goodbye.
How will you start your real-time content marketing efforts?
Follow Bernadette Coleman on Twitter