Traditional advertising has taught us as marketers that content should be structured around a long-term campaign. “Got Milk,” “A Diamond is Forever,” “I’m Lovin’ it,” and “Insert Famous 20th Century Ad Campaign here,” were all meticulously planned marketing efforts designed to span different media over a long period of time to sell a product. But times have changed. The rise of social media and the desire for instant online gratification has put a damper on this kind of old-school advertising. Sure there’s still a time and place for long running ad campaigns, but when it comes to producing engaging content for social channels, the days of spending months or even weeks to produce content are gone. Why? Because people online are impatient.
To put it simply, your customers are no longer content to wait for content.
The time has come to say goodbye to the traditional campaign and hello to “Newsfeed Marketing.” Newsfeed marketing simply means creating “real-time” branded content and putting it out their in the various social newsfeeds of your customers. Marketers tend to do a lot of thinking and brainstorming about strategy and implementation techniques, but when it comes to creating relevant, shareable content online, sometimes the key is to do, not to think.Is it a beautiful fall day outside? Post a picture to Facebook of a park. Does your office have a case of the Mondays? Instagram an image of a coffee mug #caffeine #monday. Did the U.S government just shut down? Tweet a picture! Do you see what I mean?
Marketers have all the resources at their fingertips to jump on timely trends and keep up with the lightning fast pace of pop-culture. Posting images that relate to current events will drive fan engagement because you’re actually contributing to a greater conversation.
Here are 3 easy ways to jump-start your real-time branded content efforts:
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1. Watch for trending topics on Twitter to inspire branded content.
2. Make use of “front-page” news sites like Reddit and Imgur to keep updated about new stories and Memes.
3. Use an RSS reader like Feedly to keep an eye on news and trending stories.
We as marketers don’t even have to worry too much about creating “great” content because the very definition of what makes content “great” is constantly shifting in a newsfeed-driven world. Content that is culturally-relevant, real-time, and visual will rule. And usually, what works one day won’t work the next. The point is simple: try to do something every day that puts your brand out there. When you do so, your customers will begin to relate to your content and see your brand as human.
*Side Note: Of course you want to avoid things that are offensive or detrimental to the brand, but if you happen to post a content “flop,” chances are people won’t remember it the next day.
Real-time marketing will probably never totally replace traditional campaigns, but it’s becoming clear that it needs to be a bigger part of the marketing mix. Brands must realize that they always need to be “on” and in tune to what is happening in the world. Noticing how people are reacting to world news and pop-culture will help to inspire relevant content. The more you can get your content into people’s newsfeeds, the better the engagement. People like to share things that portray them in a positive light. Sharing a funny photo will make people look funny to their followers, sharing an inspirational quote will make them appear motivated or sensitive. The point is that your customers are already going to be sharing things they consider newsworthy and relevant; as marketers, it’s our job to contribute to those conversations already taking place online.