Real-time marketing is being used by more and more businesses as a way to engage with markets and leverage current events, turning them into marketing opportunities. If the whole point of real-time marketing is that it is spontaneous and dependent on what is happening in the moment, how can you plan for it? How can you successfully use real-time marketing in your business?
Understanding Real-Time Marketing
In essence, real-time marketing consists of tactics that are employed in response to a current event. Sometimes these tactics are aimed at a large audience; think billboards, press releases or social media posts. Other times the tactics are aimed at individuals in the form of customer support or social media comments and responses.
Because social media allows for timely responses and lets companies get a message out to a huge audience in very little time, social media is a popular channel for real-time marketing.
An excellent example of this type of marketing is an image Oreo tweeted during the U.S. Super Bowl. The much-anticipated game was being watched and followed by 108 million people when the power in the stadium went out. The game was delayed for 34 minutes, and Oreo jumped on the opportunity with the following tweet:Oreo’s well-known Super Bowl tweet.
While this response was spontaneous and wasn’t completely planned, it’s clear that Oreo was prepared to launch a real-time marketing tactic through social media.
How to Implement Real-Time Marketing
You can’t always plan real-time marketing in advance, but you can take steps that will make it possible for your brand to use these tactics when the right time presents itself.
Identify the Best Channels
As with many other marketing strategies, you need to identify which channels will be the best for this type of marketing. Social media is commonly used for real time marketing, but you can also use your blog or even more traditional channels like billboards or press releases. When you have identified the channels you want to use, listen to the conversation or news that is being talked about on that channel so you can identify real-time marketing opportunities.
Be Aware of Opportunities
Being aware of real-time marketing opportunities may be one of the biggest preparations you can make. Know when an event is likely to pave the way to launch one of your tactics and then be ready to act. For example, big events or industry developments can provide opportunities for your business to react with a marketing message. One way to find these opportunities is to follow blogs, news sites and to use Google alerts.Image courtesy of the waving cat/Flickr.
Have a Marketing Team at the Ready
Just like Oreo did with the Super Bowl, you can have a marketing team ready during previously identified real-time marketing opportunities. During large events, new product launches, or holidays, this team can be ready to deploy a message through the channels you have chosen. Your marketing team can also constantly listen to your channels to watch for and respond to these opportunities.
Engage with Individuals in Public Forums
Real-time marketing doesn’t have to be targeted at huge audience. In fact, some very valuable marketing opportunities happen between a business and an individual. However, in order to use these interactions as marketing opportunities, they must take place in a public forum like social media sites or on your website or blog. Some easy ways to implement this type of marketing include responding to your customers’ questions, responding to comments and thanking people for mentioning your brand on social media.
Real-time marketing can be a fresh way to reach your audience and when done correctly, it can resonate with a group of people. Your business can plan for these tactics by identifying channels, becoming aware of opportunities, having a marketing team at the ready and engaging with individuals in a public forum.