Real-time marketing doesn’t require fancy technology or complex automation. With the right timing, you can use even the most basic tools, like social media, to maximize your connection with your target audience. The goal with real-time marketing is to be able to take advantage of events important to your business at their peak moment. In this post, we’ll go over 8 ways in which real-time marketing benefits your business.
The first benefit of real-time marketing is that it helps businesses to meet the expectations of its customers. With the speed and mobility of data today, we have grown accustomed to having information immediately available to us, as soon as we want or need it, if not before. Immediacy is no longer an added perk that makes us happy. It’s an expectation that, when not met, makes us unhappy.
Injecting a sense of urgency into your marketing offers and sales promotions—such as with a limited number of coupons, a deadline for a promo code, or a one-day sale—can incentivize people to engage with your business. There are many ways to use real-time marketing to facilitate this sense of urgency. For example, you could post pictures live from an event to get people to come before it ends; or if you had a finite sale, you could provide updates every hour via social media on how many hours, free offerings, or coupons are left. Real-time marketing benefits your business by encouraging people to act quickly.
A third way that real-time marketing benefits your business is by allowing you to connect to more members of your target audience. For example, if you are running an in-store promotion, you will only attract existing customers or people passing by. However if you post pictures of happy customers as the promotion is happening, or post reminders or updates on Twitter, you can reach more people who are interested in your offers—better yet, more people who will actually come into your store. Real-time marketing benefits your business by expanding your reach past physical and geographical limitations.
Marketing your business isn’t always about reaching more people or new people. It’s also important to nurture existing customers and connections. For example, if you might host an event for current or loyal customers, or for your local community. If you promote the event while it’s happening, you are likely to get more people to come to the event. Real-time marketing benefits your business by getting more people in your existing network to attend events.
Real-time marketing also enables your event to have an impact on people who are unable to attend. By posting pictures or live streams of the event such as through Instagram or Snapchat Stories, people can still feel like they are a part of it and stay connected to your business. The more connected people feel to your business, the more trust you will earn from them and the more likely they are to engage with it.
Real-time saves time. As a small business owner, you have so much to do that it can be hard to find time to write a blog post or come up with ideas for content. Yet a continuous online presence and consistent engagement on social media are crucial to generating interest, as well as to obtaining and maintaining customers.
Real-time marketing benefits your business by supplying you with quick, easy, and effective content. A photo posted to your Instagram business account during an event may be more effective than a blog post recapping it, and may get more people to attend. A Facebook post with a link to a coupon might reach more people than an email with a promotional code. With such efficient ways of engaging with your target audience, you have more time to get back to the other responsibilities of running your business.
While it is important to show your expertise through longer forms of content like blog posts and whitepapers, your target audience isn’t always in the mindset to sit and read for several minutes. In addition, sometimes shorter bits of content are more memorable. So even if you do have time to write longer content, it’s important to diversify with small and medium-sized content as well.
The point of real-time marketing is to inform and engage your audience while your activity is happening. As a result, you don’t have the time to perfect a post or describe something in detail, so you end up with bite-sized pieces of content. They may not be the most informative, but they are easier for your target audience to digest and remember. They may not be perfected to exactly the way you want them, but what you lack in perfection gets compensated for by immediacy and frequency.
Marketing your business is about appealing to the wants and needs of your target audience. This requires you to stay on top of those wants and needs, which are constantly changing.
Fortunately, real-time marketing can keep up. Live streams and social media conversations are examples of real-time marketing activities that can provide you with immediate insight into your audience. Through questions and comments, you can learn about what your target audience is looking for at the moment they are looking for it. You might make adjustments in the middle of a live stream or webinar, based on comments you are receiving; or use the feedback to improve your next initiative.
Real-time marketing can increase quantities of engagement with your target audience, such as the number of people you reach or the number of times you interact. However, this is not at the expense of quality. Real-time marketing, especially through social media and mobile channels, is a way of reaching people interested in your business, whenever and wherever they are. In addition, it also allows you to open up a dialogue with people in the moment that they are most engaged with your business, and therefore most likely to become a customer.
Real-time marketing is effective because it allows you to connect with people in your target audience at critical moments. Try it at your next event or promotion!