Real-time content marketing on Facebook

On March 30, whether you like it or not, Facebook will transition all brand pages to its Timeline format, which offers marketers more visually exciting ways to share their content. A new white paper published by my colleagues in the iCrossing Live Media Studio, The CMO’s Guide to the New Facebook, should help you capitalize on the new Facebook. iCrossing asserts that Facebook Timeline for brands is far more than a tweak to the world’s largest social network; rather, marketers need to understand that Facebook is compelling brands to think like publishers with editorial and content strategies that span paid, earned, and owned media.

The CMO’s Guide to the New Facebook suggests that being engaging is important – and an obvious appeal of the new visually compelling Timeline layout — but even more important is publishing engaging content that you can use as an advertising asset under the new Facebook.

For instance, as the paper reports, “Timeline now has a ‘Build Audience’ tab on the Admin Panel, which allows for the quick creation of a non-premium ad unit. Taking into consideration the greater emphasis the platform now places on paid media, audience managers can quickly create Sponsored Stories based on content that is highly-engaging at that moment. Brands now have a greater opportunity to leverage earned and bought media in real-time.”

The publication of the paper is, in itself, a tribute to Facebook’s massive reach. I don’t think of Facebook as a social network anymore. I think of Facebook as an advertising and marketing platform where people socialize. What are you doing to adapt to Facebook, the marketing machine?

Real-time marketing requires real talent

My employer iCrossing has been collecting digital executives. Thought leader Roger Wood joined the company’s digital media practice in May. Former Jupiter Research analyst Gary Stein joined the strategy team in June. And, as announced today, former NBC Universal executive Tarah Feinberg has been appointed head of the Live Media Studio. So what do all these hires add up to?

Real-time marketing.

Real-time marketing is all about sharing content that engages people instantly. As I recently discussed with PSFK, brands ranging from Facebook to Toyota are practicing real-time marketing because they can become more nimble and relevant to their customers – a good example being Toyota’s use of a live-streamed event to promote the Prius.

As a senior executive at a Fortune 500 firm recently told me, “I became a believer in real-time marketing because I got tired of spending months formulating ideas for brand campaigns only to see that consumers had changed by the time I had launched the campaign.”

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Content + community + analytics = real-time marketing

On the iCrossing Content Lab blog I’ve been talking about how content marketing is a CMO-level priority, as have many other bloggers. But being a priority is one thing; how do senior marketers make content marketing a reality? To address that issue, today my employer iCrossing launched the Live Media Studio, which is the interactive ad industry’s first-ever resource dedicated to real-time marketing.

Based in New York, the studio uses analytics-based insights about digital consumers to develop branded content and engage communities for clients in real time.

In the studio, iCrossing plans and manages the daily editorial production and publication of branded content (such as videos, infographics, articles, blog posts, and tweets) to engage communities. The studio relies on a team of audience researchers, Emmy award-winning content producers, and WOMMA-trained audience managers experienced in real-time content creation.

iCrossing researchers use analytics-based approaches to understand the interests and behaviors of our clients’ communities. Their insights inform the content we develop and community management approaches we undertake.

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