How to Use Live Blogging In Your Content Strategy — and increase engagement!
When news is breaking, we don’t wait for the six o’clock news or a blog recap to get the scoop.
We want to be part of the action as it happens (and maybe even give our own two cents too). This is why so many businesses have been interested in knowing how to use live blogging in a Content Marketing strategy.
According to official data from the Census in the US, around two-thirds of the US population access the internet on smartphones. This means that we don’t even have to be sitting in front of our laptops to access breaking news.
We are carrying it with us everywhere we go. In this on-the-go environment, live blogging has become an important medium for keeping viewers up-to-date and in-the-know.
In the following lines, we will show you how to incorporate live blogs into your strategy, via the following topics:
- What is live blogging?
- What are the benefits of live blogging?
- How to use live blogging in Content Marketing?
- How is live blogging different from Twitter?
Shall we? So let’s go!
What is live blogging?
Live blogging is both a tool and an approach that will help your company generate more engagement with your buyer persona.
In a nutshell, we can define it as content production as an event unfolds, simultaneously. It helps people who aren’t present at an event to attend remotely.
Elections, breaking news events, protests, high-profile court cases, award ceremonies, red carpets, sports events, developing weather reports, anticipated TV premieres, Q&As, conferences, product launches: the list of live blogging opportunities is almost endless. Basically, as long as there’s an audience, there’s an opportunity to live blog.
In all of these cases, live blogging channels mutual interest in a topic and brings it all together into a curated feed that publishes commentary from experts and/or audience members, creating a real-time content experience.
It’s all about generating a high-quality content experience that is difficult to replicate by scrolling through your Facebook news feed or reading the headlines.
What separates live blogging from the rest of the pack is its ability to put into context any topic generating considerable public attention. Live blogs bring together text, pictures, videos, and expert commentators who can shed light on a topic or event.
What are the benefits of live blogging?
Live blogging also gives us a glimpse into formerly exclusive spaces. They can give us a peek backstage at the Grammy’s, or insight into a courtroom during a high-profile case.
Not only does this channel give us access to previously forbidden spaces, but it also generates discussion.
Live blogs encourage us to participate by retweeting, asking questions, or commenting on events as they develop. When done right, live blogging is the holy grail of engaging content.
There are many amazing ways to leverage this tool’s power and good ways of using live blogging in Content Marketing.
Below we showcase some examples of brands and media outlets that are engaging audiences and taking an innovative approach to the live blog format.
How to use live blogging in Content Marketing?
The live blogging strategy has been used for some time, mainly by media channels offering real-time coverage about a certain topic.
In early June 2020, The New York Times set up a live blogging page to release updates about the George Floyd protests all over the country.
However, more recently, companies from different markets started to see the potential in live blogging and incorporated it into their content strategy.
We are going to present some examples in the following topics!
Add your own commentary to a conference: CNET
The live blog is a great stream of colorful commentary from CNET’s own Max Taves and James Martin.
The duo did a great job of re-creating the event, working in a few Siri jokes, publishing photos, and providing an excellent summary of the panelists’ discussion.
Shed light on dense subject matter: The Street
Over at TheStreet, a news website dedicated to coverage of the markets, Adam Feuerstein live blogged a topic many would otherwise overlook: Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) review of a potentially life-changing drug for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The live blog takes a while to gather steam, but once in the zone, Feuerstein is a wealth of specialized information, answering viewers’ questions and using rich media to provide the audience with nuggets of information and context.
The live blog format is a nice touch because it enables Feuerstein to poll viewers and respond directly to comments from viewers.
Cover a high-profile event: The Grammy’s
During the week leading up to the 58th Grammy Awards, The Grammy’s team created a media-rich pinboard to generate interest in one of music’s biggest nights. The effect is an up-to-date and engaging content experience.
The pinboard showcases text, photos, and videos that shed light on performing artists or bands, nominees, backstage shenanigans, pre-show rehearsals, red carpet style, and notable moments from past award ceremonies.
Geek out with your favorite TV show: Game of Thrones Live Blog
Spoiler alert — do not click through to this live blog unless you’re caught up on “Game of Thrones” through Season 6.
Here, Donna Dickens live blogs as she watches each episode of the popular HBO show, providing a sounding board for fans and building a community through shared experience.
According to Accenture, 87% of consumers use a second screen device while watching TV.
This live blog captures those second-screen users and creates a secondary venue for engagement throughout the show.
You won’t find many photos or videos here, just timestamped text that also allows fans to relive the show the next day and laugh, cry or cringe.
Create a timeline: Reuters
In an original spin on the live blog, Reuters regularly uses the format to create timelines. Their coverage of 2016 election coverage, GM’s faulty ignition switch, legal challenges for LGBT rights, Alphabet’s most advanced technology, and Trump Impeachment Vote gives readers chronological context and perspective on current events.
Capture the human spirit: Run Blog Run
In honor of the 120th Boston Marathon, Run Blog Run published a live blog featuring photos, quotes, and news updates.
The live blog featured people who participated in the festivities (like John Kerry announcing the start of the wheelchair division), social media posts honoring the Boston Marathon bombing victims in 2013, and route information.
It’s a moving live blog that celebrates the event’s passion and the athleticism of the participants.
Provide exclusive access: Al Jazeera
When it comes to breaking news, Al Jazeera uses live blogs to keep their viewers in-the-know.
They took their audience inside the talks between officials in Syria and key stakeholders discussing the country’s ongoing conflict and residents in crisis.
Live blogs provide exclusive content from behind closed doors and allow curators to put the event in context through photos, quotes, and news updates related to the talks.
This content and intimate format combination make the live blog an excellent format for news organizations.
How’s live blogging different from Twitter?
A question that is very frequent among people who aren’t familiar with the live blogging strategy is how it is different from Twitter or posting multiple Instagram Stories about a specific event.
The action itself can be very similar. On the other hand, strategically speaking, it is completely different.
When you post on a platform like Twitter or Instagram, you are always subject to the platform’s Terms and Conditions and its algorithm.
As a consequence, your content may not reach your entire audience. Or you may be limited to the formats the platform supports — and lose the opportunity to do something that is impactful and coherent to your brand.
This is why it is always preferable and recommended to integrate the live blogging tool to your website or platform.
This way, you will have full control of your content and will directly communicate with your audience.
Constance is the path not only to engagement but also to building a strong brand community.
If you got to this point reading this article and already know how to use live blogging in Content Marketing, odds are you are curious actually to start using it.
So, you are going to like our article about the best live blogging tools!