The ultimate guide to live blogging in 2020
In a world where information travels faster each day, live blogging is a great way to generate real-time content while also managing social interactions and engagement as they happen.
But what is this strategy exactly? How to live blog, and what benefits can it bring to your Digital Marketing strategy?
In this post, we want to guide you through all you need to start: from concept to practice!
In this text, you will learn:
- What is live blogging
- What are the benefits of this strategy
- Where live blogging can be used
- How to live blog
- 4 live blogging platforms
What is live blogging
Since the beginning of broadcasting technologies (starting with radio), live coverage has been a constant in our lives.
Even today, news channels on television have special, dedicated structures to be on air whenever and for as long as necessary to follow real-time events.
But what these traditional outlets never had were the tools for engagement that the Internet brought us in the last few decades.
The social and interactive nature of online discussions, along with simpler and more effective tools, gave anyone the power to cover something happening right now — anywhere, any time.
Live blogging is a modern way to provide real-time updates on a subject or event using text, images, video, and audio.
Its core is a single page or article that is updated automatically with the upload of new content, without the need to refresh.
It is a continuous, dynamic timeline.
It is like a Twitter feed but exclusive to your brand, your audience, and the interactions between them.
What are the benefits of this strategy
Live blogging has never been as popular as it is today. The kind of coverage destined for big events from giant broadcast outlets is now a democratic tool that can be used for any kind of update that interests and engages customers.
The main difference between then and now is why people live blog. At first, it was basically informative.
Today, a lot of companies are investing in this strategy not only to bring news to their audience but also as a mean to achieve some important goals.
Let’s see how it can help your company!
Associating your brand with a buzz
There are events, special dates, and news that naturally attract attention.
Let’s give the most obvious example in the US: the Superbowl.
It’s that kind of time when a lot of people are talking, consuming, searching for information on the same topic.
So, when you cover them, you can insert your brand in a context associated with the zeitgeist.
That is why (and we will talk more about it soon) what you choose to live blog will impact on engagement and lead generation.
It needs to make sense — to the company and the public.
There is no stronger way to engage people than letting them be part of a special moment. And that is exactly what live blogging does.
Think about how limited a TV-covered event is in that aspect.
Hosts will sometimes read comments. Some Twitter posts will show on the screen. And that’s it.
A great live blogging tool will keep a direct connection between a company and its audience. Interactions can be done via likes, sharing, but especially comments and discussions.
All aspects, from updating content to answering questions, are centralized in a single solution.
So you can not only get into the hype but also make valuable connections with your audience.
Using the opportunity to attract new leads
Live blogging should always be planned with the main goal in mind. Covering events or news is not an end but a means.
All the engagement you receive when live streaming can be directed into generating leads.
Insertions such as ads, links to other content, QR Codes, and CTAs will take advantage of a moment when a lot of people are paying attention.
Interest, context, and value is the formula you need to make a customer take the next step in their journey closer to you.
Where live blogging can be used
How and when a marketing team will live blog depends a lot on business models, target audiences, and the brand persona.
As we said, it has to be relevant to the company and customers alike.
So we will show you the most interesting opportunities to live blogs and promote your brand.
Take a look at them!
Announcements and special events
Live blogging at these moments can bring some of that engagement to your brand.
We can use technology companies as an example. A business based on an app as a service can live blog the reveal of a new iPhone.
You will take part at this moment with people wanting to know the future of smartphones while attaching the novelty to the features its solution offers.
So you can find similar announcements, seminars, expos, and fests inserted in the same universe as your company and use it to leverage your brand.
Some events aren’t programmed, like announcements, but they also impact your audience’s lives in profound ways.
So it is important to have the setup ready whenever you have the opportunity to live blog and engage when something is happening.
If the business is related to entertainment, for example, you will want to go live as soon as a big movie shows its first trailer or a new single is released.
Bad news is also an opportunity when your team is committed to helping clarify, educate, and calm down their audience.
The important thing is always to adjust the tone to the context and know when it’s time to advertise or just socialize.
Live blogging isn’t only a great strategy for covering external events. How about using it as another channel for your company’s own news?
Let’s imagine you are ready to launch a new product or service. It will be shown on a stream or stage with an audience.
Most of the time, these are fast, concise talks, showing technical and practical benefits of what you have to offer — usually, a one-way presentation.
So what you can do is to use live blogging as a hype machine. Start hours before the reveal itself to interact with the public, hint some surprises, do giveaways.
After the launch, the live coverage can go on a little more to give not only more information but also measure the response — that can be used to do some fine-tuning in the final product.
A live blog is also a great way to reach with your audience in a more meaningful, interactive, and organized structure.
Q&As allow them to get inside the company and be part of it — a good idea to improve brand loyalty.
You just have to be honest and open to criticism.
This kind of strategy is perfect for those times when nothing is especially happening. No news, no buzz.
You can use it to keep interest all year and create a habit in your persona. When the next event comes, they will always choose to follow it with you.
How to live blog
So, you understood the power of live blogging and even already identified some opportunities that are perfect for it.
But how can you prepare for it?
These following tips are essential for getting a great return from this strategy. Check it out.
Plan the steps before, during, and after live blogging
There are multiple ways to do a live blog, but none of them are really effective if you don’t plan ahead.
Yes, live blogging can and should have a script and a schedule.
It can be designed so you can insert content and ads, switch between exposition and interaction, and so on.
But you also need to have in mind what the company wants to achieve with it.
What are the next steps after the coverage is done?
It will even help to set some KPIs and measure them later to improve the strategy even further.
Choose the right events to live blog about
We already talked about it, but it is also a good thing to reinforce: only cover what matters.
Live blogging about something that doesn’t connect with your brand or your audience is just a waste of resources and time.
For pre-scheduled events, you can have a calendar to prepare for the most important ones each year.
For news, you should always think: does our company have anything to add to the matter?
Being relevant should be your main goal every time you go live.
Invest in good infrastructure
For any live coverage, infrastructure is crucial. Any downtime or delay in information can make your lead go to the outlet next door.
Sufficient infrastructure means a stable internet link, good cameras, and illumination for video, good microphones for audio, and even teleprompters.
If it is a text-only coverage, tools to quickly revise are important too so that you can write fast and accurately.
Never forget to interact
Interaction is always key to live blogging. It is at its heart, the means you need to attract new leads.
That is why specialized tools are so important: they help centralize and manage all kinds of interactions so you can respond to them quickly.
Again, you have to set a goal for this engagement. What do you want your leads to do after they followed your live feed? This answer will guide the way you approach and treat each one of them.
Pay attention to rhythm
The Internet is a fast medium, but being too fast all the time can tire your audience.
Live blogging should be led with a pleasant pace in mind as in a good song or a good movie.
That pace can be achieved with variations in content. A chunk of information followed by some questions being answered.
A moment to share images and videos, then a time to discuss them.
You can take inspiration from talk shows and live TV coverage, then translate it to your language.
It is time to be a show-runner!
4 live blogging platforms
With the right plan and the right strategy, any business can benefit from live blogging.
Now you just need the right tools. Let’s take a look at 4 notable platforms where you can cover events and use them to engage with your audience.
Twitter isn’t as advised to corporate live blogging as specialized tools, but it has everything needed to do simple coverage.
The nature of this social media is focused on fast and in-the-moment interaction.
A lot of marketing teams use it as a support for live blogging — an amplifying box and a channel to gather more engagement.
2. Live Blog
Live Blog is a specialized platform that allows you to plan and execute coverage for events, news, and announcements.
It has a focus on curating content, measurement of engagement, and monetizing strategies.
Its downside is a steep starting price, from 99 Euros a month.
A simpler solution is 24Liveblog. The platform is straightforward and can even be managed from the company’s app for smartphones.
It is a fully-featured publishing suite, but some more advanced engagement tools might be missed.
Rock Content’s Engage is a fully equipped live blogging platform, but it even goes beyond that.
It has ready-to-go setups for different kinds of coverage — from news to quizzes, and Q&As.
With a focus on content, it also has specialized tools to produce, engage with, and moderate comments.
It is also ready to amplify your reach and even monetize. All of that with native integration with channels like WordPress, Instagram, and YouTube.
Whatever events you decide to cover, or the plans and tools you choose for your strategy, live blogging is a great way to take part in notable moments and use the buzz to engage your audience while promoting your brand.
When it is tied with bigger, complete marketing strategies, it becomes a real asset to strengthen a company’s brand.
So why don’t you keep studying the subject? Take a look at this post showing how live blogging can be part of a successful content marketing plan!