What is live blogging?
Live blogging allows one or more users to provide real time coverage and updates of a particular event or topic. A live blog is a single article that is consistently updated by users with the most recent updates appearing in real time, allowing readers to see live updates without refreshing the page.
One of the common goals with live blogging is to engage with readers. People who follow a live blog are commonly updating the stream with their own comments or responding to other updates posted by others, typically journalists who are on the ground covering the event.
However, as marketing strategist Jay Baer asserts, engagement is a means to an end. Engagement builds relationships and informs your target audience about the benefits of your business, products, or services. An engaged audience is more likely to click through to those offers and convert into a customer.
Why live blog?
Live blogging allows brands to interact with followers in real time and establish authority as thought leaders in their industry. Content published on a live blogging stream is original and comes in multiple forms — videos, tweets, photos, and other assets embedded from social media. This format allows brands to establish their presence in an increasingly “always on” environment.
When your brand is “always on”, followers instinctively realize there is more information to learn by checking back with your live blog. Your audience naturally associates your brand with relevancy and context as a reliable source of information. Other content marketers will also begin linking to your site for the added value of associating their work with your brand, which is a huge SEO benefit for both sides of that relationship.
How to live blog successfully
The content itself needs to provide value to the target audience. Value is defined as providing answers to questions that subconsciously course through reader minds.
What to look for in a live blogging tool
Live blogging platforms vary depending on the provider but these high-level features stand out as critical requirements. The live blog must be platform agnostic, which means versatility and capable of running smoothly on multiple platforms (online, smartphone, tablet, etc).
Is the live blog secure and can the stream be managed by the original publisher? Will the blog be customized to suit your brand identity and will the stream be fully integrated onto your main website?
Can the platform be used with an existing CMS, digital or mobile platform? And finally, is it easy for users to share updates from the stream across social media?
Find a platform that addresses each of these concerns and you’ve got a tool you can trust.