Why Real-Time Marketing Has Become More Essential in The COVID Era

COVID-19 Coronavirus and Twitter Real-Time Data

It’s been confirmed that the United States’ annual Super Bowl needs upwards of 11 million kilowatt-hours of power to run the game start to finish. Snack brand Oreo had been waiting around two years for the moment when not all 11 million kilowatt-hours of power would successfully run and there’d be a blackout; just in time for the brand to execute their punchline.

Luckily for the cookie company, years ago at Super Bowl XLVII, there was finally a power malfunction resulting in a power outage at the stadium. Oreo clicked send on their prepared tweet and waited for the engagement.  

By the end of Sunday night, Oreo’s Twitter account accepted around 8,000 followers and was retweeted almost 15,000 times, their Instagram account went from having 2,200 followers to over 36,000, and received almost 20,000 likes on Facebook. Ultimately, Oreo’s strategy was a success and demonstrated a phenomenal approach to real-time marketing.      

Marketing During COVID-19     

There are a plethora of ways businesses can go about promoting and selling their products and services, one approach that should be considered is real-time marketing, specifically because it’s a clever method on how marketers should respond to Coronavirus. 

From the example above and presenting an in-depth explanation, real-time marketing is the act of a company responding quickly to a current event either through a statement, comment, or action with the purpose of gaining visibility, traffic, or sales. 

Reports have shown that real-time data is one of the top 3 methods marketers have said improved and added value to their strategies. Now with COVID-19 present in our lives for the foreseeable future, incorporating real-time marketing amidst the crisis into your business strategy can improve the relationship between your brand and followers, as well as grow your company’s reputation. 

Specifically, big companies have been reaping the benefits of real-time marketing mostly because of the large presence they already possess in the digital world. When a business like this puts out a message in reaction to a current event or crisis, its large audience has the capability to share the message with their own followers, overall helping these companies extend their reach even farther than it already has in an inherently organic manner. 

In response to this, small businesses should learn to latch onto these larger companies strategies, whether it be in the form of a comment on their posts or resharing their content as a way to attract the larger companies existing audience to your own platforms. 

Real-Time Marketing Tips   

It is generally easier for larger companies to create successful real-time marketing strategies to extend their reach with an already existing audience, while small businesses will need to take on different approaches to help promote themselves. Along with learning and following the approaches created by established businesses, below are a handful of tips to consider when crafting your own small business’s real-time marketing strategy: 

  1. Be On The Look Out – One minute an event could be trending and the next it’s already on a downward spiral. Your company will need to be on high alert if it wants to successfully execute real-time marketing. This can include setting up Google alerts or other news alert platforms on specific topics your business may want to cover. This will help your brand be the first informed on new situations and happenings. Another method would be following influencers or other companies in your field that would be covering the same topics as your own business. If you weren’t able to catch the latest news, it’s possible that someone you’re following will; and you’ll still have the chance to act quickly with your own marketing strategy.      
  2. Have Resources – Your company having resources prepared is smart when marketing during COVID-19. It can be quite difficult with consumer behavior constantly fluctuating in response to these issues, but having content ready to go will help accomplish your real-time marketing strategy, as Oreo illustrated earlier. 
  3. Engage – If your company decides to participate in real-time marketing, you should also be ready to engage with your audience who are likely to respond and react to your content. For example, if your business decides to create a post on how it’s handling the current pandemic and the safety precautions in place, you should also be prepared to answer consumer questions in relation to your statements as this will create trust between your brand and customers. 
  4. Get Creative – Despite COVID-19 impacting eCommerce when it first started, it has now become time for businesses to get creative and devise new strategies such as video content distribution to attract consumers. Companies now have the opportunity to show their personality and reach consumers on a deeper level. Whether it’s through a witty joke or empathizing with a crisis, creating a voice for your brand can connect yourself with your audience.  

Businesses need to take these tips into consideration when forming their own business strategies. They should also be aware of the challenges that come along with this method because real-time marketing during COVID-19 can be difficult to execute without quick reactions, available data, and proven knowledge on a topic. 

Consumers, as a result, have ended up losing trust and loyalty towards brands that have produced inaccurate content on serious matters. Your own brand needs to perform accurate research on top of quickly producing content if they want their strategy to be successful. 

Real-Time Data Is Essential

New statistics and information come out on a daily basis regarding COVID-19, constantly giving businesses the opportunity to utilize real-time marketing strategies. This is a crisis that companies should not be ignoring to help build relationships with their audience that can last long after the effects have subsided. In conclusion, real-time marketing done right can ultimately lead to great results during the situation at hand.