We have seen it all, from live streams to the 24 hour stories. The social media features today have been geared towards real time content. Real time content refers to content that
Today we shall discuss the buzz behind it. Why is real time content so popular? What can be expected moving forward? This article will focus on the importance of real time content and what we can learn about our consumers from it.
Introduction to real time content
Real time content involves “Creating and integrating branded content relevant to the audience with a trending world event.” There are several aspects to it. Firstly, as its name suggests it involves the creation of content that is up to date. Secondly, it involves disseminating the up to date content to your audience in real time.
Real time content and social media
This article focuses on real time content in the context of social media, or influencer marketing more specifically.
Before the creation of social media, the dissemination of information was largely confined to traditional media sources. However, the creation of social media has changed the way communications work.
We no longer have to wait for media agencies to fact check information before reporting them, events are reported online as they are happening through social media. In fact, Forbes has reported that “50 percent of Internet users surveyed said that they hear about the latest news via social media before ever hearing about it on a news station.”
This is the nature of social media. The content sharing features have allowed real time communication. There is a “continuous dialogues of content, sharing and remixing through YouTube videos, memes, Facebook posts, commenting, tweeting”.
However, it seems like social media is not stopping at posting and commenting in real time. Social media sites are introducing more features to allow their platforms to be increasingly involved in real content.
For instance, we have Facebook and Instagram who have introduced their own live streams. A feature that uploads videos on social media as you are filming it. Other features include the story function. Which Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat has. This function is a 24 hour feature.
From notifications that inform users the minute content is uploaded, to features that allow live broadcasts of current events, social media is indeed well catered to real time content
Benefits of real time content
Now that we see have seen the relation of real time content to social media, we shall move on to why you should use real time content in your marketing strategy.
Real time content benefit: #1. Increased interest by creating a sense of urgency
Do you know that 76% of marketers reported that real-time marketing increased audience engagement? This is not surprisingly. After all, humans are more likely to be interested in the latest news.
Real time content involves the uploading of content as things are happening. It is about being current, trendy and in the moment. It creates a sense of urgency, to keep up to date.
Therefore, this makes real time content suitable for marketers. For instance, when you live stream a sale that is currently happening you are not only telling your audience about the sale. You are also creating a sense of urgency through the live streams when you film how crowded or how fast stocks are currently depleting.
To add on, features like stories and live streams only allow content to be seen for a period of time. Therefore, this creates a sense of urgency, to look at the content before it is being removed from social media.
Real time content benefit: #2. Builds relationships between your brand and your audience
Secondly, you can use real time content to connect with your audience. Real time content is not only about uploading content as things are happening. It also includes allowing consumers to reply in real time as content is uploading. For instance, through the comment sections in our live streams and videos. In short, real-time content also involves real time interaction.
This real interaction allows for a more personal experience for your online audience. For instance, when your questions are immediately answered in a live stream, there is a sense of immediacy.
Real time content benefit: #3. Fresh content
Thirdly, you can use real-time content to diversify your social media marketing strategy. Instead of limiting your brand to the normal postings (posting on feed etc), different types of content can attract a wider range of audiences.
Take fashion brands as an example. Fashion brands would often document their new arrivals by posting pictures on Instagram. However, postings alone might not be enough to attract consumers to purchase.
Questions like the exact sizing, cutting, and material of the pieces have to be inferred by consumers through the pictures posted. Therefore, many fashion brands choose to use live streams to directly answer questions consumers might have. (by reading comments left on live stream).
This new way of interaction not only fulfils the needs of consumers but also keeps the content interesting for them.
Real time content is more than just uploading content as quickly as possible. It is about you delivering the content your audience wants at this point in time. If done well, real time content can be engaging and establish your brand as an industry leader. Therefore, do consider how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy today!
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