By Jacqueline Zenn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Live-blogging has huge potential. It’s a novel and extremely engaging way for brands (and individual bloggers) to deliver interesting content that readers value.
Companies hosting events want to make the most of them – and that includes sharing the experience online. Live-blogging offers an opportunity to position your company as an engaging thought-leader. It’s also an opportunity to be seen as a first mover in digital channels that thrive on speed and flexibility. It can result in some earned media coverage, thanks to your generosity of access, and lightning-quick wit. Which we’re sure you can hire out for, if you don’t have that kind of firepower lying around.
There are great tools out there that make live-blogging easy to set up. Software platforms like CoverItLive and ScribbleLive allow for an online experience that replicates the interactive experience of a panel Q&A or roundtable discussion. Blogging CMS systems like Wordpress often include plug-ins that allow for speedy blogging during an event. And there’s also the simple option of using a custom hashtag for visibility on Twitter.
There are a variety of methods you can use to publicize your live blog: post about the event on social media accounts in the weeks leading up to it, come up with a custom Twitter hashtag, or even offer up some unique rewards or opportunities for users who participate.
Live-blogging can take place over the course of a short, one-time-only event, or it can be an essential part of a larger happening. One great example on the grander scale is Chicago Ideas Week. The seven-day event was designed to bring together the best and brightest minds from around the world. On Twitter, a simple search for the #CIW11 hashtag resulted in scores of tweets about the grey-matter-packed discussions occurring simultaneously all over town. A closer look at the conversations revealed a growing trend: brands actively joining individuals, talking about the events as they happen.
Brands that live-tweet their own events, such as Macy’s, are becoming part of a major trend in the digital world. Short-term events, like the Macy’s live-stream of Taylor Swift’s in-store concert, are a fantastic opportunity to connect with a broader audience. While viewers may not be able to visit Macy’s in New York City, they can take part in the experience online. In September, Burberry was one of the first brands to tweet otherwise clandestine behind-the-scenes photos of their London Fashion Week show to followers – a way for the giddy general public to access this exclusive event, which resulted in plenty of positive earned media.
Recognizing the considerable marketing potential of live-tweeting events, brand managers can often be tempted to jump in without considering a few essentials: tactics, strategy, and logistics. Consider the following factors to successfully harness the brand-building power of live-blogging, become a thought-leader, and generate lots of earned media love:
Jacqueline Zenn is a social media strategist at SociaLogic, a social media marketing agency in Chicago. She can be reached at email@example.com.