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Using Real-Time Content in Your Influencer Strategy

Wanna know the secret to holding your audience’s attention? Keeping your content relevant to your target audience and engaging for your target audience is the not-so-secret secret to holding your target audience’s attention.

by Lira Stone

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, brands would cease to exist. This points to the necessity of getting really good at starting those customer conversations and becoming experts at retention. Living and working in a digital landscape means marketers are trying to snake messages through a constant stream of other messages and digital distractions and somehow find their way through the ever-shifting doorway of shortened attention spans. 

So, you gotta up your game, my guy. That means finding new and innovative ways to connect with your customers.

Wanna know the secret to holding your audience’s attention? Keeping your content relevant to your target audience and engaging for your target audience is the not-so-secret secret to holding your target audience’s attention.

It’s not a secret. We all know this. But many marketers have a hard time nailing this concept because of the aforementioned challenge – attention is ALWAYS shifting. But real-time content – live conversations and engagement – that’s one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal as a marketer. 


What is Real-Time Content?

Real-time content is the creation and consumption of content in the perpetual now. It includes livestreamining, answering comments, Facebook arguments, Discord chatter, tweets (assuming you’re still doing that), live chat… any medium in which you can engage with or respond to content or an event in real time is real-time content.

Why Even Bother With Real-Time Content?

Using real-time content as part of your marketing strategy can be a powerful tool because it delivers a handful of powerful advantages. 

#1 Real-time content powers social listening

Social listening is a practices of closely observing social media and other media channels to see whether anyone is talking about a particular brand, product, or industry. It’s the proverbial “word on the street.” 

Social listening matters.  Being aware of these social conversations allows you to collect audience sentiment in real time, affording you an opportunity to respond, pivot, finesse the situation, or validate your position.

And this kind of data can (and should) be used to inform and improve your marketing strategy. 

#2 Real-time content can keep you relevant

Once upon a time, brands used to keep silent on social issues. Now, it just seems weird that brands wouldn’t respond, whether it’s celebrating #420 by encouraging lawmakers to take action to not just legalize cannabis, but also pardon those who have previously been convicted of marijuana-related offenses. 


Ben & Jerry's 420 tweet

Source: Twitter

Creating real-time content helps your team to create timely, relevant content that resonates with customers. Because you’re creating in response to real-world events as they happen.

#3 Real-time content makes you accessible

Years ago, consumers started dotting the social feeds of brands with concerns that would have previously been reserved for the customer service desk. That ability to interact with brands in real-time without being put on hold really changed things for a lot of consumers.

Enter Customer Service Social Media. It’s a whole thing, and it’s a critical part of building relationships and communities with customers online.

Let’s just be clear: There’s no such thing as “let’s settle this matter privately” unless big bucks – BIIIIG BUCKS – are involved. More often than not, customer complaints that are handled poorly or slowly will end up as negative reviews on review platforms or as smack-talk on social media. For brands, it’s in your best interest to implement a process for dealing with customer complaints in real time ON social media.

If that last paragraph didn’t “flat sell ya” as Zig Ziglar used to say, maybe this will:

  • Customers spend 20-40% percent more with companies that respond to customer service requests on social media (McKinsey)
  • companies that don’t respond to customers on social channels are losing customers year after year, with a 15 percent higher churn rate versus businesses that do respond. (McKinsey)
  •  50% of consumers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience, and 80% will switch to a competitor after more than one bad experience
  • 69% of customers have stopped doing business with a brand because of a negative customer service experience. 
  • 41% of Gen Z consumers would buy from a brand that delivered timely, responsive customer service over a competitor

videos get 1200% more shares

Creating Content in Real-Time with Live Video

Let’s take a pit stop at a favorite content medium – video. Videos on social media can be your straightest path to creating buzz for your brand. Forty percent of consumers say seeing a video of a product increases their chances of making via mobile. 

Videos generate 1200 percent more shares than texts and static images. When you think of live video, your mind may go to “going live” on Facebook or YouTube. You can add TikTok, LinkedIn, IG, and Pinterest to that list as well.

TikTok added a “LIVE” feature that allows users to live stream and interact with their followers’ comments and questions in real time. 

Pinterest TV is popular among smaller, niche circles. But it’s the perfect storm because nearly 9 in 10 Pinners say they use Pinterest for purchase inspiration, and about 90 percent of people scrolling on Pinterest are looking for new brands to shop and new products to buy!)

Pinterest TV LOHN Official GalleryMore than a quarter of buyers between the ages of 13 and 27 say they want to be able to ask questions direct to product experts through social media.

Why Use Live Video?

And real-time content can help to expedite your customers’ journey on their path to purchase, or eliminate phases of buying cycle altogether as many consumers give way to impulse buying. That means that where there was once no potential sale, there is now a possibility of at least a one-time transaction.

When you go live, you give your viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand or product. This helps your brand by making it relatable to your target audience. A Meta survey of Gen Z consumers revealed that 29 percent feel more connected to brands that offer an inside looking into their business.

In 2019, there were 126.7 million live video viewers in the United States. By 2020, the number grew to more than 150 million. The audience for live video content is predicted to increase to 164.6 million viewers by 2024.  That’s a lot of viewers! 

So, what are people watching? A survey conducted in 2021 affirms that 37 percent of monthly live stream viewers in the United States watched breaking news streams. Ranked second with a 31 percent watch rate among U.S. live stream audiences is comedy-based content.

The Rebirth of the Public Broadcast

I remember public radio sounding pretty much like this as a kid. Except not hilarious. Weird pauses. Voices compressed into oblivion. And signals that could not survive a trip under the freeway overpass. Or across the street, in some cases. Back then, most of what I heard on live radio was really for Grandpa’s ears only. Like ballgames. And religious radio.

But today, there are 5 million podcasts on everything from Instagram news to kids’ stories. About 3 in every 5 Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast in the last month. It’s not Grandpa’s radio anymore.


Focus on real time content

Creating Content in Real-Time Via Live Audio

One of the good things that came from the lockdowns was the resurgence in the popularity of audio-only formats, and especially live audio.  Statista reports in 2020, digital audio advertising spending in the United States jumped to an unprecedented $3.09 billion, up from $2.73 billion in 2019. This is an astounding 13 percent increase in just a year. No doubt, much of this growth can be attributed to podcasts.

Why Use Live Audio?

Community! Like live video, live audio allows you to build relationships with your target audience and create timely, relevant content. 

In addition, live audio is perceived as more intimate than video because it doesn’t require viewers to use their visual senses. It also eliminates the need for speakers to get camera-ready. This fosters the creation of a more relaxed and authentic atmosphere and, ultimately, a more engaged audience. According to Pew Research, 68 percent of Americans ages 12 and older had listened to online audio in the past month when surveyed in 2021. And 62 percent had listened in the past week. 

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the live-streaming industry is expected to be valued at $184.3 billion by 2027. This could be because live content earns 27 percent more minutes of watch time per viewing, nearly 6 more minutes, at 24.41 minutes on average, for live video versus on-demand viewing options- which only get about 17 minutes. 

These figures multiplied among several million viewers offers a crystal clear explanation as to why this industry is snowballing.


3 Great Ways to Incorporate Real-Time Content Into Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Real-time marketing is a marketing strategy that thrives on current events or trending topics to produce relevant content that resonates with the audience. The goal of real-time marketing is to create content that is timely and interesting enough to encourage people to share. It appeals to the need of consumers to have immediate access to information that is relevant to their current interests.

Here are three ways you can use real-time content to connect with your target audience:

Go Live!

As we’ve discussed, one way to create real-time content is to go live on social media. There are an infinite number of ways you can use live video to connect with your target audience. You can give them a behind-the-scenes look at your business, host a Q&A session, or even offer exclusive discounts and promotions. Historically, consumers have been more likely to purchase a product after seeing it in a live video than any other type of content.

Host a Podcast

You can also use real-time content to connect with your target audience by hosting a podcast. As this industry’s growth is projected to be off the charts in the next few years, now is the perfect time to get involved. You can use your podcast to share timely and relevant information with your target audience regularly. A few options are an audio tour of your product, an interview series with experts in your industry, or even a real-time soundscape. The options are endless!


Turn Moments into Conversations

Another way to use real-time content is to capture moments that you can share with your audience as they occur. This could be in the form of photos, videos, or even written content that is shared on social media in real-time. This gives your audience a front-row seat to your brand’s story as it unfolds. Allow these moments to become conversations by encouraging your audience to share their thoughts and opinions. This is a great way to get real-time feedback from your target audience.


Build A Community

Considering everything we think we know about young consumers at this point, it’s really no surprise that community is a crucial part of their identities. So, let’s talk about…

Vibe & Community

Gen Zers thrive on things like fandom and socializing. Mall trips? For socializing. Online shopping? Second to in-store shopping experiences that they can then document with their phones and share to social media. 

For younger consumers, community matters. Sixty-one percent of Gen Zers would describe themselves as huge fans of something or someone. And the msot popular activity for young consumers in the Metaverse isn’t shopping, it’s socializing and gaming with friends. 

For brands, livestreaming on platforms like Instagram and TikTok allow you to not just sell your thing, but also to make a personal connection with your audience. 

And because people want to see other real people living with and loving the same products they love you this is the perfect opportunity to partner with creators who have influence with your target audience, and who can tap into that Vibe & Community in creative ways. 

This will help you not only build a community but also show that you’re listening to and valuing the input of your customers. That’s a big one, because half of Gen Zers are more likely to buy from brands that demonstrate they really understand their customers’ wants and needs, according to SproutSocial.


Tips for Building a Strong Community

Establish content pillars

Be timely with your content, and use hashtags to join the conversation. But stay in your lane. Whatever that thing is (or the three or five things) that you talk about, show up with real-time content about that thing. 

Is tech your thing? There are daily developments in the tech world that you could talk about. Keep your conversation focused on tech, no matter what weirdness may be happening in Hollywood or with de-dollarization or with California’s floods. 

The key elements to creating any kind of community is to be authentic, offer a ridiculous amount of value, and make consuming content more enjoyable. 

Ride the social wave

Social platforms are the perfect place to do this. On Instagram, for instance, you can use Reels to not only show off your products but also get creative, have some fun, and show the real people behind your brand. 

Take advantage of real-time content to build deeper relationships with customers and followers, so you can turn them into lifelong fans. Think Pinterest TV. They do a great job of this. Watching Manny Guitierrez’s show is like hanging out with a friend who just happens to be a world-renowned makeup artist. 

That’s the way you want your target audience to feel after watching your real-time content.

The Takeaway

So… real-time content. Creating it, responding to it, and being on the lookout for it is a great way to build relationships with your target audience and create timely, relevant content. If you’re looking for a way to connect with your customers on a deeper level, consider incorporating real-time content into your social media strategy. When used properly, it builds rapport, trust, and brand loyalty.

Just a few quick things to remember…

– Use real-time content to show off your products in a creative way

– Join the conversation by using hashtags

– Be timely with your content

– Offer a ridiculous amount of value

– Make consuming content more enjoyable

If you’re looking for help creating real-time content that will build relationships with your target audience, book a strategy call with us. Helping brands create content that resonates with their audience and drives results is our jam. Click here to schedule a call.

👀 And There’s More Live & Community-Focused Content Where This Came From!

We pulled together a nice, tidy rabbit hole for you on related topics that will make you an expert at running influencer campaigns using real-time content. #yw

Digital marketing strategies fit together like puzzle pieces.

Your influencer campaign should be one of those pieces.

The Shelf is an influencer marketing agency that creates full-funnel influencer campaigns to help brands leverage touchpoints at every stage of the purchase process.

We partner brands with Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube storytellers for campaigns customized to boost the ROI of your overarching paid digital marketing strategy.

Not sure how to integrate influencers into your larger digital strategy? We have people who can walk you through that process... and give you some great ideas along the way. Click to schedule a strategy call.

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