The definition of “real-time marketing” has changed over the years, as brands experiment with new methods of reaching their audience. Some marketers point to jumping on current trends and events, with the infamous Oscar Selfie being the prime example. Others see real-time marketing as “dynamic personalized content across channels,” with brands providing content tailored to their audience on the fly. And still others describe it as the right message delivered at the right time on the right platform, regardless of how “real-time” the content actually is.
Whatever your definition of real-time marketing, there is no doubt that it is a valuable tool for reaching your audience with content that matters to them. Here are five reasons why you should include real-time marketing in your mix:
- To form customer relationships
Your audience is smart. And busy. And looking for value in the brands they engage with.
To truly form positive relationships with your customers, you cannot simply blast out generic brand messages across a number of platforms. You have to personalize these messages to align with their needs, sending them at the right time and on the right channels.
By delivering personalized messages to your customers, you can delight and inspire them. A message that speaks to who they are, where they are in the buyer’s journey and what they want will move them to take action and develop a deeper relationship with your brand.
- To promote events
Events, by their nature, are real-time. They have a set start and end time – they happen “right now,” whenever now may be.
This makes real-time marketing a highly effective tool for promoting events. You can encourage pre-event chatter on Twitter, using hashtags and photos to engage your audience. During an event, attendees and organizers can take to social media to document the highlights, such as keynote addresses and breakout sessions. Participants can speak directly to one another in real time, without having to be in the same room.
As an event host, your brand can guide the conversations in real-time, improving brand recognition among attendees and increasing exposure to others who are listening in on the online discussions.
- To increase social media engagement and reach
If you think of real-time marketing as a method of jumping on trends and current events, it can be particularly useful as a means of increasing a brand’s engagement and reach on social media.
Large, global events like the Olympics or the Oscars have been brand favorites, with many creating memes, doing impromptu photo ops or hosting celebrity Q&As in real-time.
But more niche trends, such as breaking industry news or a newly released statistic can also be leveraged to increase reach and engagement. By becoming part of the conversation in real-time, you can reach a highly targeted audience that is eager to engage with quality content.
- To identify new customers and audience segments
Your audience is always shifting. The exact members will change from day-to-day, as some make purchases, prioritize different needs or learn new information.
The best brand strategies will incorporate real-time marketing to identify new customers and audience segments, in order to continue to grow. Leveraging social data in real-time, your brand can discover audience segments that highly motivated to make a purchase, or new customers that have just begun to express a desire for your product sand tailor content to them.
- To identify brand advocates and influencers
Like identifying audience segments, real-time marketing can be used to identify specific customers that are primed to become influencers or brand advocates. These are the individual voices amongst your audience that have the potential to sway the opinions of a large number of others.
Explore data in real-time to determine who is engaging with your content the most, or who has the largest, most engaged followings. Then, engage directly with these individuals with personalized content, with the long-term goal of developing a positive relationship.
Real-time marketing may mean different things to different marketers, but one thing is certain: it works. From developing stronger relationships with customers to identifying new audience segments, there are a whole host of reasons why your brand will benefit from incorporating real-time into your marketing strategy.