The social era is constantly changing the way we communicate. Today’s consumer is always-on, and brands need to rise above the noise to create impactful, real-time engagement. Brands will participate in the conversation, but how, where and with whom they communicate will be the point of differentiation. Ultimately, this will determine which brands survive in the engagement arena. By further understanding audience personas and how they relate to the brand narrative, brands can deliver the right content, to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. Brands that devote time and effort to the iteration of content will create the most compelling stories.
We can distill real-time engagement down to a few simple rules. Our Five Rules of Real-Time Engagement harnesses the power of the social era and allows brands to control their own message and narrative.
1. The Fundamentals of Storytelling
Despite the speed of social and real-time engagement, the core elements of storytelling have not changed. Like any narrative, live storytelling begins with an initial activity and flurry of information, followed by a valley where insights and perspectives are gathered. It is in these valleys where we see audience engagement in the form of social commenting, insights and opinions – and a collaborative narrative begins to emerge.
2. Technology is an Enabler
Technology has armed everyone with a platform for storytelling, enabling everyone to provide a value-added perspective to a narrative. As a result, audiences consume, engage, and participate with content at the speed of social. To meet the demands of an increasingly impatient audience, brands and media need to be always-on.
3. Content is Currency
The way consumers communicate is changing the way we go to market and how fast we go to market. Quality, value-adding content allows us to rise above that noise; rich content encourages audience engagement. Furthermore, it is vital we keep in mind the persona of our audience. How, where and why do they consume content? What do they find valuable, and what do they most want to engage with? Directing your content to your audience’s persona will lead you to true engagement, allowing consumers to spend more time on your site further building credibility; credible content creates the opportunity to syndicate and monetize content.
4. Community: An Immersive Experience
Quality content producers are orchestrators. They provide audiences a platform to engage, and lead and guide them through the narrative as they immerse themselves into the conversation. A participative audience is more engaged and interested, and more valuable to you and to spreading your story.
5. Rinse, Refresh, Repeat
As you create and curate a brand narrative make sure to analyze, recalibrate and create a continuous cycle of valuable, craveable content based on the needs of your audience. As you build one content initiative on top of the other, content marketing strategies will take shape and come to life.
Communications will continue to change and progress, forcing brands to find controllable, engaging ways to interact with audiences in real-time. By taking advantage of new forms of creation, collaboration and syndication, a brand can become a trusted authoritative voice within its community and engage audiences with the right content, in the right place, at the right time.