Realtime Marketing: How To Plan For The Moment

This is a guest post by Matthew Yeoman of the Social Media Marketing blog.
Photo credit: Gerd Altmann realtime marketing works, it’s because you have something much bigger than you doing your marketing for you. It’s simple: if many people are already interested in a particular event, and you create a realtime marketing campaign that is centered around that event, the public awareness associated with the event benefits your marketing efforts.

This concept plays off an idea presented by Stephen McIntyre, the Managing Director of Twitter Europe, at the Dublin Web Summit last year. His quote, borrowed from Rory Sutherland, was about social media marketing in general, but applies directly to realtime marketing: “Brands don’t have target markets, they have target moments.”

How Does the “Moment” Do Your Realtime Marketing For You?

People use social media to post something random about their lives – which you can’t plan for. But they also use social media to check up on key events, and to share content related to these events – this you can easily plan for. Those who take the time to plan for key moments will have text, video, images, and GIFs that speak to these moments. When the time is right, they are shared on social media and the moment does the marketing for them.

If you want to see success from your realtime marketing campaigns, with minimal effort, this is what you will want to do. Here’s a Gif that captures this concept in a silly way:

The example above was for a big marketing moment that you should still have fresh on your mind, the FIFA World Cup. It shaped up to be the largest sporting event on social media ever. A number of brands that created World Cup content for this key moment had the hype around the tournament doing their marketing for them as people were interested in the sporting spectacle already – these brands just had content ready for it. The Realtime Report has already covered a number of World Cup marketing examples; and here’s my personal favorite:

But what if your product or service doesn’t fit into a sporting event? Let’s look at examples of other ways you can let the moment do the marketing for your brand.

What moments can you plan ahead for?

Realtime campaigns and viral marketing are all about eliciting strong reactions from large events by using brief messages. Social media users are starved for the latest gossip, and new ways to share their interests with people. The content that you provide needs to speak to this. Here are some examples of how you can let an event do your marketing for you by tying in with a moment:

  • A museum can create an original ad campaign in preparation for the Game of Thrones season finale. Highlight the best of your historical collection and how it ties in with the violent drama.
  • If there’s a celebrity wedding taking place, an event management company could join the conversation on relevant hashtags on Twitter. A well prepared event management team will get a few photos ready ahead of time for the day of the wedding and tweet them out in congratulations. Those may be the easiest retweets you ever get.
  • Controversial trials are a great time for those in the law industry to work up an analysis of the legal precedent and send it out over social media channels. People want to be better informed about the issues, so this can also go a long way towards further establishing you as an authority in your field.
  • On a more local scale: a flower company could deliver some flowers to a local politician upon their most recent win and document what happened with a video. A music store can have an employee taking photos at local concerts. Putting these moments on Instagram, Twitter, and Vine with connected hashtags will get you local mentions and retweets.

Once you have tried one of these tactics, it is time to sit down and look at your analytics and see how well they performed. Most realtime marketing moments occur over and over again – celebrities will continue to get married, controversial trials will happen, exciting TV shows have a finale every year. Your analytics will show you what your audience is responding to, and you can be better prepared for the next time one of these moments comes around.

What is the danger of not preparing for viral marketing moments?

Many businesses that are new to social media use them as reactive, rather than proactive, marketing opportunities. They login once they see something going on, have their 140 character say, or post something inconsequential to their Facebook, and all too often they’re ignored. Think about your Twitter feed right now. It likely contains maybe the last hour’s worth of tweets unless you start scrolling down. With Twitter users only paying attention to the last hour of their tweets, do you have time to see a real time marketing moment, create content worth sharing, and get it in time? Likely not – the moment will pass you by and you’ll be just another ignored piece of content from what social media now considers “old news” – a time frame that could be as short as an hour!


About the Author:

Matthew YeomanMatthew Yeoman is the blogger/writer/creator over on the Social Media Marketing blog. You can find him there every Friday with the latest news on Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Google, and Vimeo marketing developments, and find useful tips on how to use these social platforms.