Building the Framework for Real-Time Marketing
A strong social media and content strategy should have a foundation of evergreen content created ahead of time – especially gated, high-value content to drive lead generation. But you also need to be flexible to account for current events, news and other changes that may come your way. You need a strategy for real-time marketing.
A lot of times, we’re working with brands that have a lot of corporate red tape and legal approvals to go through before content is allowed to be published. This can make the idea of producing real-time content scary, or seemingly impossible.
When we work with brands to develop their social media and content strategy, it isn’t about coming up with each blog post, tweet or Facebook update. It’s about establishing a strategy that can drive future content decisions.
The backbone of a social media and content strategy is establishing the Brand Voice. It’s often an extension of the company’s brand narrative, clarifying and reassurance statements. Simon Sinek famously said, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” The Brand Voice is a reflection of that thinking.
After we’ve established a voice, we come up with a list of Brand Attributes. These are keywords and phrases that the audience would ideally use to describe the brand. It isn’t about describing your product or service – cloud-based, cost effective, intuitive, strategic – but describing the brand as if it were a person. Examples include knowledgable, ambitious, confident, personable or helpful.
We’ve mentioned the importance of establishing Content Categories before. To continually support your brand, identify a few key topics of interest that will drive the content you create and share on your blog, website and social media accounts. Content Categories should include product or company announcements, and extensions of the brand like industry news or lifestyle stories.
A quick example of why these three components are key – we had a client come to us once with an idea for an event that would use funny memes on Twitter. It was a solid idea, one that could very well get a lot of RTs and shares. But we realized that “funny” could turn into “sarcastic” very easily, and that was not in line with the Brand Voice and Attributes we had established.
Ideas like that are going to pop up throughout the year, and having those three components in place – brand voice, attributes, and content categories – are going to act as a guideline for the brand’s real-time marketing efforts. It makes deciding between impromptu ideas and executions manageable.