One of the most fascinating and useful features of online marketing and the technology is the ability to market to individuals “on the fly” with real-time marketing messages – being able to send messages to each individual customer that’s relevant to their needs and interests right then.
One way to engage in real-time marketing, of course, is to use social media to listen to what is important right now to your target audience. Are they watching a specific TV programme? Are they involved in a specific sport or news item of the week or day? If so, you can then guide your marketing efforts toward their interests.
Set up alerts on Google Alerts, Twitter and other social media to find out when your brand, your competition’s brand, or items related to your brand are mentioned. You can devise marketing based on these mentions to offer the products and services that your audience wants right now.
UNDERSTAND YOUR INDUSTRY
No matter what you are involved in, there is an entire industry surrounding what it is you do. You should be monitoring the news in your industry to find out what the trends are happening now and in the future. You can devise marketing materials based on these trends and get ahead of the buzz with the right marketing materials that appear fresh and timely.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
As with any type of marketing its imperative that you understand your audience. They are the key to what types of products and services you’ll offer, as well as how you’ll frame the marketing that you do to attract buyers for your products and services.
It seems strange that you can prepare for ‘real-time’ marketing, but you can. Get the technology in place such as remarketing programs, events that you know are happening, such as Mother’s Day, the Winter Olympics, or exhibitions or other events that you know are important to your audience. Be prepared to monitor the buzz around an event and react to it. If you have a calendar of events and holidays that your audience may be interested in, you can be ready.
GET THE TECHNOLOGY
Figure out what technology you need in place to participate in real-time marketing. Remarketing technology, email marketing technology, pop-up ads, and social media apps can all work together to help you engage in real-time marketing on the fly. If you’re ready, with just a few clicks you can change an old pop-up or post something that mentions the happenings of the day.
CREATE THE MATERIAL
Get your marketing tools ready to take advantage of events. Use email campaigns, blogging, events, tweeting, eBooks, PR, white papers, banner ads, apps, Google AdWords, social media listening, search engine optimisation and more to be ready for the events in which you can capitalise on current events.
RENEWED CUSTOMER SERVICE
One often overlooked way to practice real-time marketing is with customer service. Whether it’s answering a question on Facebook, Twitter, or within your ticketing service, you have a huge opportunity to engage users in a profitable way when it comes to customer service and real-time marketing. You can empower your customer service team (or you if it’s just you!) to offer specialised deals to individuals if an issue arises. You can also use these examples for content ideas to help answer questions in advance to newer customers.
Using social media to catch what the buzz is about your business is a great example of real-time marketing at work. You see the questions and what the audience is talking about on message boards and social media updates, and then use them to add to your FAQs or to create a special offer that your audience cannot resist. All of these efforts add to your bottom line and make your company that much more in demand.
When you look at these examples it’s likely you already do some real-time marketing without realising it. But, if you do more real-time marketing, you’ll increase lead acquisition, get higher conversions, and ultimately make more sales as you will be at the cutting edge of truly understanding your audience at a whole new level.
Facebook updated its branded content policies to prohibit publishers and content producers on Facebook and Instagram from accepting payment to post media they didn’t create, weren’t involved in creating, or that doesn’t feature the brand or creator. The new policy also prohibits them from placing ads in video, audio, or visual content and stipulates that all branded content may only be posted using the branded content tool and must feature the necessary disclosures per its advertising policies. Facebook provides branded content and visual examples related to these new policies in its Help Center.
Facebook Messenger is testing the ability to add an emoji to a profile photo in Messenger to let your friends know what you’re doing or feeling at the moment. TechCrunch confirms that this new feature is called Your Emoji and will be visible on profile pictures in the Activity tab for up to 24 hours. If the test proves popular, it could potentially expand to the inbox and message threads.
Facebook appears to have rolled out a new Playlist feature for showcasing and organizing your saved videos. Facebook hasn’t officially released any details about this possible new tool.
Instagram has started testing a version of Facebook’s shoppable Collection ads within its main feed. Like on Facebook, these ad units seamlessly blend videos and product catalogues where consumers can swipe to view individual products and complete purchases without leaving the app. Instagram is currently testing this new ad format with a “limited number of advertisers” including fashion and beauty brands Birchbox and Revolve, but plans to offer it to more advertisers in the coming months.
Instagram confirmed it’s testing an option that allows users to share public feed posts to their own followers through Stories. TechCrunch reports that this new feature is currently being tested with “a small percentage of users.”
snap Inc.’s Q4 2017 Earnings Report revealed that Snapchat has managed to gain 8.9 million daily active users during the most recent quarter, bringing its total to 187 million. While the platform still lags behind Instagram’s and Facebook’s daily active user totals, this leap marks the company’s most significant growth since 2016. The results show that Snapchat’s renewed strength came in large part from the developing world, which added 3 million daily users and doubled its average revenue per user.
In late November, Snapchat announced a huge overhaul to the app that will organize content “around your relationships and personalized just for you.” Although the early rollout of the redesign has been met with some negative reactions from its first users in the UK, Australia, and Canada, the company stated in its 4Q 2017 Earnings Report that it expects it will “take time for [its] community to get used to the changes but overall, [they] are pleased with the initial results and will be making the redesign available to our entire community in Q1 2018.”
Snapchat opened its Lens Studio “to allow anyone to make their own event-specific face Lenses.” Users can choose from up to 150 premade templates available at launch or upload a face image to build their custom lens. From there, they can add text to finalize their lens. The Next Web reports that this feature is available on desktop and through the iOS app for U.S. users. Versions for Android and the rest of the world will be “soon to follow.”
Twitter released its Q4 and fiscal year 2017 results and reported its first quarterly profits as a public company. Twitter also reported that its daily active users grew by 12% year-over-year for a fifth straight quarterly increase.
On a call with investors, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated that the recent expansion to a 280-character limit “hasn’t actually changed the length of messages people are sending out – but it has led to more engagement.” While users now have the room to send longer tweets, the average tweet size has remained the same. However, there are more retweets and more mentions, higher follower rates, and less abandonment of tweets.