Real-time content—it’s all the rage. For brands, creating content that is timely, prominent and relevant can potentially yield higher engagement, more positive sentiment and help spur organic community growth.

At Edelman, we call this process the Creative Newsroom. While you likely know why we create real-time content, perhaps it’s time to explore the “how?”

1. Research

It’s important to identify not only trends, but topics and themes that are relevant with your online communities. A social audit of your brand channels can help provide further insights and discover a way to insert a brand into trending conversations, helping to connect with fans in a believable way. Make sure to focus on topics and people that relate with the brand’s particular audience. In the below diagram, this is represents the “ideal content” intersection.

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2. Concept

Your community manager will need to work with the newsroom and creative teams to brainstorm concepts. Got a tighter budget? Brainstorm with your account team and whip up a tweet or a quick image in PowerPoint. Whether it’s witty tweets or a full-blown illustration, regardless of budget, it’s important to develop a timeline for all teams in order to capitalize on the trend. Create shareable content, featuring poster-worthy creative and social-savvy copy. Fans are too smart to share branded content. They don’t want to advertise on your behalf. A simple, small logo or familiar brand template paired with a mention or link back to the original post will ensure brand exposure, but still make it shareable.

3. Publish

Get the sign-off from clients and internal teams, aligning with the community management team to post content to the appropriate channels. This is crucial to make sure all teams are prepared to manage the conversation, especially when the topics are outside of your regular routine.

4. Amplify

Monitor closely and consider paid media support to help extend its reach. If possible, work with partners and influencers to cross-promote with other channels.

5. Measure

Do the math and see how it performed against other posts. Is there a possibility to build upon the buzz? Is this a process you can repeat? If it’s not a big hit, maybe consider a different approach. While we can’t put an exact number value on a graphic, it’s hard to argue the success of a tweet with higher-than-average positive engagement. When we marry trending topics, audience interests and brand properties we create our ideal content – while building a positive rapport with an audience who trusts us and is willing to listen, making future marketing and messaging that much more noteworthy.

What’s you method for trend spotting? How do you engage in real-time content?

Image credit: wwarby

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