This is the first blog post in a series about real-time digital marketing. This post will cover what real-time digital marketing is and how companies can utilise it followed by 3 further posts in the coming weeks on some of the best platforms for real-time marketing; Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook Live.
It’s 2016 and we are now, more than ever, living in a digital age. All things digital are constantly evolving and this is where real-time digital marketing comes in. Real-time digital marketing creates a way for businesses to engage with customers with minimal delay and provide appropriate and specific content. There are loads of ways to get involved with real-time digital marketing using platforms from Facebook and Twitter to the more recent Periscope and Snapchat. The beauty of these platforms is that the customer wants to be there and is engaging with their friends, family, colleagues and also expect to be able to engage with brands.
With the wealth of information now available at the click of a button or a swipe of the smartphone, customers now have the ability to be more selective than ever in terms of what they engage with. In response to this, companies are utilising the latest technologies to serve up Ads and content based on their customers interests and online behaviour. In addition to this bespoke online experience, customers now expect to be able to interact with companies in real time. For example, if a customer has a question to ask us, we are much more likely to see that question asked via social media than ever before. There is also a rise in brands showing off their personalities and behind the scenes type content through various social media platforms, specifically live video platforms such as Facebook Live and Periscope.
For the first time ever, smartphone usage has taken over laptop usage in terms of the device that consumers use most often, and 72% of consumers are using their smartphones for communication activities, including social media. Today our customers are on the move constantly and being able to interact with and engage with them wherever they are is where real-time digital marketing excels. At the moment, it’s all about video. The reach of video is greater than ever and we can instantly broadcast to our audience using Facebook Live or Periscope or create short snippets of videos to be viewed in sequence using Snapchat. Periscope and Snapchat are both mobile native, and Facebook Live only allows for broadcasting from mobile devices, meaning businesses can create content wherever they find themselves, on-the-go.
If you’re going to be a player in the real-time game you have to bring something to the table. Think about your customers and what they’re looking for and engaging with. Focus on what content you can provide, and on which platforms and play to your strengths. For example, at RAW Digital we would use Facebook Live to broadcast Q&A sessions or short social media talks where we can interact with our customers directly and offer some useful content. When using Snapchat at RAW Digital, we would provide our customers with a behind the scenes look into the company and what we get up to, as well as showing off the personality of our company.
What are your competitors doing to engage with real-time marketing and how can you compete? It’s not about copying someone else’s tactics, but observe what kind of content is seeing the most engagement and seek out ways you can get involved, so that you can bring something new to the conversation, where your customers will find you.
The digital marketing world is constantly changing, so staying on top of trends will allow you to keep up with what your customers expect. New apps can take time to figure out, so make the most of them by using them to interact with friends or colleagues first to get to grips with the app before using it for business. Seeking out some tips on utilising them for business can help you with the transition from personal use to business use.
As with any form of Social Media or Digital Marketing, it is not about being everywhere and using every platform, but more about focusing on a few platforms where your customers are and your content will work. Having a select few platforms that you can utilise well is better than being on every social media platform and not keeping on top of them all. Do some research into new apps and technologies so that you can choose which platforms will work best for you and your customers.
All in all, real-time digital marketing sparks engaging conversations, builds on relationships and encourages extended levels of brand loyalty. Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog posts in this series for a greater insight into the real-time digital marketing platforms Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook Live.