The world is happening in real-time. Your business is happening in real-time. But for the most part, your marketing is premeditated.

In some ways it sort of has to be. That’s because in order to do any marketing at all, you must first predefine an objective, create a marketing initiative to achieve that objective– and then implement it.

The last part, the implementation, is perhaps the closest part in the cycle which can be considered real-time marketing, though it would never be accused of being spontaneous.

So let’s discuss some ways we can bring some timely, spontaneous (or almost) content into our marketing initiatives.

Spontaneous social media real-time content marketing

What sorts of content can we consider to be spontaneous? For starters, posting a pic or video on Instagram can be, particularly if you post pics of an event happening in real-time. However, that’s not really what we will be referring to.

The Oreo game changer

During Super Bowl XLVII’s, when there was a power outage for a half hour, Nabisco tweeted out a picture that forever changed how marketers and businesses viewed the capabilities of creating real-time social content.

Super Bowl XLVII tweet from Oreo posted during a power outage at the game

Imagine how nimble the marketing department for the brand must have been to be able to see the opportunity, create an effective concept and implement it within that small time frame.

The lesson we all learned as marketers is that we need to be the same.

Take advantage of the immediacy of social media trending, but be careful.

Social media content marketing is most effective when it’s current. Everything is in a constant state of change online and hot topics on Monday can very well be old hat by Friday. So if a brand is thinking about getting in on the fun with a particular event currently trending on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere, they need do so quickly.

The last thing you want have happen as a brand, is fall flat when trying to post real-time content.

If you wait too long to get content out, it may be already outdated. Then you run the risk of being perceived as uncool or of just joining the bandwagon, potentially damaging your brand credThe online community is fast and fickle like that.

Keeping communication open and in real-time is key.

“My dad’s got an awesome set of tools.” – Jeff Spicoli

If you’re part of a marketing department, how does your team communicate? If you’re running a business, how do you communicate with your marketing agency?

Taking advantage of real-time content marketing opportunities requires a good set of tools.

There are a bevy of valuable communication applications at varying price points that can be used to facilitate real-time communication/collaboration. Dropbox Business is just one of many great apps for getting teams into a real-time groove.

Once you have the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently, it’s now time to get your thinking in line.

How to discover and take advantage of hot topics to create real-time marketing opportunities.

Here is where social media becomes not not just the place for you to post your content, but an ally in helping to create it. Keeping abreast of what’s trending on social can provide, at any moment, something you can use to communicate with your audience in real-time.

Just don’t post a piece of real-time content marketing that’s not relevant to your brand just to get in on a hot topic. Keep it real and relevant.

View image on Twitter

Real-time marketing on social media requires being tech savvy, quick-witted and timely. In that respect, it can be as rewarding as it is challenging.

Brands that can create relevant, real-time social media content marketing that adds to the zeitgeist of the online community will be winners with their followers, garnering lots of good will as well as shares.

Do you have any good examples of effective, real-time marketing on social media you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you!