In the last 10 years, content strategies have taken the marketing world by storm—dispelling the notion that the only way for brands to gain audiences’ trust and to entertain, educate, and invite them into their worlds was through ads. Now, creating free content is not merely a marketing tactic, it’s a necessity for brands to successfully drive awareness, engagement, and loyalty.

Today, content marketers are again raising the bar with real-time marketing: interactions with core audiences that happen in the moment. These dynamic interactions are based on real-time data that has been been previously compiled to reach online, mobile, social, and video audiences.

This trend towards the "here and now" is in response to consumers' increasing demand for immediate fulfillment— real-time feedback and responses to their real-time needs. It’s no surprise that this year, 59 percent of marketers planned to increase their real-time marketing budgets to supplement their tightly-controlled marketing plans. So, what can brand marketers do to capitalize on real-time data in their real-time campaign approach?

1.         Use advanced video to drive real-time actions.

Advanced video is increasingly becoming a go-to content marketing tactic. It can now be used to drive engagement with interactive and personalized strategies in addition to encompassing sight, sound, and motion, the three main sensory drivers for awareness.

Some brands are beginning to accomplish this with programmatic creative video which uses real-time content swaps based on specific customer segments— such as location, weather-targeting, or previous searches/purchases.

An electronics brand looking to drive sales of a specific camera, for instance, might include an interactive product gallery in its advanced video marketing to showcase multiple items for a user’s search history—rather than displaying items that they have no need for. In this case, the product could also be shown to the viewer with an exclusive promotion for that video that encourages on-the-spot buying.

2.         Get social and timely.

"If it's not on social media, it basically didn't happen." At least that's the assumption that brands such as Mondelez's Oreo and Dr. Pepper make based on the fact that consumers use social media to track hashtags, post photos, offer updates, and otherwise report on live events as they happen. As a result, they're tying their creating real-time social media campaigns to coincide with popular real-life events.

And with advanced video now a reality to drive better conversations across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, brands can use powerful, engaging content across these channels to drive more followers, shares and viral activity.

3.         Combine video and social for real-time engagement and cross-channel success.

Encouraging participation directly through social or video channels may increase engagement but it risks distracting viewers from other content. Brands can help avoid this issue by incorporating social feeds directly into interactive, branded videos. For example, a CPG brand could encourage audiences to share their favorite recipe ideas on Twitter. It would then instantly display users' recipes right in the videos through an in-unit Twitter feed, letting audiences contribute to the real-time conversation without leaving their video experience.

While leaving a portion of planning to chance may seem scary for buttoned-up marketers, keeping campaigns nimble and open to this type of real-time optimization reflects the nuances of real-life conversations in which ideas are presented, reacted to, and refined as the two participants get to better know and understand each other.

For more information and examples of interactive and personalized video, download our Marketer’s Guide to Advanced Video.

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