by: Victoria Fields, Copywriter for Momentum Telecom, a cloud-based communications provider
Content marketing today is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. Relevant ideas must be developed in minutes, rather than days or weeks, and messaging has to center around real-time events or feedback from customers around events that happen.
By now, most marketers have heard about recent feats in the new trend of real-time marketing like Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Super Bowl image, a tweet at the Oreo team sent out during this year’s Super Bowl power outage that earned more than 16,000 retweets and was covered in countless news stories and marketing blogs.
Most small businesses that aren’t working with a big agency or have a large marketing team at their disposal may feel left in the dark when it comes to real-time marketing. It can be hard to stay on top of trends and have the resources to create relevant messaging quickly with just a few marketers on your team.
In reality, you don’t need the resources of a giant consumer brand like Oreo to become a successful real-time marketer. What you do need is to change the way you think about your marketing strategy.
Here are 5 reasons that real-time marketing can be utilized by businesses of any size:
1. The Tools Don’t Need to Be Expensive. They Just Need to Be Used in the Right Way. In general, small businesses don’t have the resources to hire a large team or purchase expensive software to track and manage relevant brand conversations on social media. But the tools you can use for real-time marketing don’t have to be sophisticated; you just need to use what’s available appropriately. Use Twitter to search for mentions of your brand, set up notifications and create a list of key influencers, customers or prospects that follow you and then retweet and engage in other ways.
2. No One Has Real-Time Marketing Completely Figured Out. You Just Need to Get Going. Don’t be overly concerned about making a misstep or two when you’re getting used to producing content and engaging with customers so quickly. Develop a business culture that encourages speed over sloth, and be open and transparent about what you’re doing and why. Your competitors are already on social media and getting immersed in real-time marketing; you need to be doing the same.
3. Real-Time Isn’t Only About Speed. It’s Also about Listening. Real-time doesn’t only mean instant. You still need to remember that you’re engaging in a conversation by responding to things your customers are saying or inserting yourself into events that matter to your customers. Traditional marketing was about taking at your customers. Now you need to be sharing an experience with them and listening to what they have to say. That’s something any SMB can do, regardless of size.
4. Develop a Personality Online. It’s Easy to Humanize Your Brand that Way. In a world where social media is increasingly important, we judge the brands we interact with and purchase from by their personality online. We would all rather patronize a business that is friendly and knows our name, right? No matter what industry you’re in, customers want a brand to acknowledge them. Here’s a rule of thumb: If a human being wouldn’t say what you’re posting, neither should you when you’re posting on behalf of your brand.
5. People Love to Share Their Opinions. Give Them a Way to Engage. Most people tell a friend about a great experience with a business (or a terrible one). If you have happy customers, you want to make it easy for them to share their feedback. Facebook Pages and Communities can be a great place to start, but even Twitter chats with hashtags can be helpful for giving customers an outlet to share about your brand. If a customer has had a bad experience, you want to be able to address it directly, and it’s important that they have a transparent way to give feedback as well.