The Social Value of Planned vs. Real-time Content

The evolution of social media has brought us two types of content: planned, curated content, and in the moment, real-time content. One is not necessarily better than the other, but both are equally important to integrate into your content marketing strategy. Here, we will sort out the difference between these valuable types of content and show you how crucial they are to your brand.

What is real-time content?

Real-time content is different from planned content in that it features on-site, in the moment, or live happenings that showcase your brand’s personality. This content is typically found through live videos, stories, and on-site (non-professional) photos and videos. Some examples of real-time content are creating a Facebook Live video to highlight a brand wide event or showcasing behind the scenes footage on your Facebook or Instagram story.

What is planned content?

Planned content indirectly meets marketing goals while offering social, consumable content. To qualify for planned content, posts are typically evergreen with content that is not time sensitive. For example, if a marketing goal is “increase sign-ups for exercise class,” the post may tout the benefits of exercising and direct the user to a blog post or website.

Why use real-time content?

The simple answer to this question is that real-time content skyrockets your customer engagement. According to recent studies, audiences spend three times as much time engaging with live video over video that is prerecorded. Customers want to know the faces and personalities behind the brand. The easiest way to engage in a purposeful, high value conversation with them is through reaching out via real-time content.

Why use planned content?

Planned content is essential to meeting marketing goals. This type of content is the meat and potatoes of your social media strategy. Planned posts offer value to customers and can be repurposed at a later date. For planned content, professional, branded, and even themed images and video are essential for a successful marketing strategy.

How do I integrate real-time content into my marketing strategy?

Facebook posts generally have a lifespan of about 6 hours, Twitter has an 18-minute window of opportunity, and Instagram has a solid 48 hours to make an impact. Because of these fleeting time frames, you’ll need a strategy that consists of both real-time and planned content. Real-time content is your moment to show off the personality of your brand, your employees, and your place of business. This is not the time to be boring.

Despite its rapid nature, real-time content still needs to have a plan. Integrate real-time posts into your content calendar on a regular basis. Showcase events, behind the scenes moments during the day, and employees on the job. Give your audience unique, interesting and compelling content that they won’t get elsewhere. Just remember, real-time content should be fun and informative to keep audiences coming back for more. 

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