Another example of where brands can start is investor relations. If you're public, you're required to present your earnings results. These are perfect opportunities to use a medium such as this.
Next Q: How can brands in less-exciting industries create engaging real-time content? And how to they get this to audiences?
Michael: Every brand has an audience. Capture what's happening in whatever ecosystem you're in and bring it back on your site, share it with communities that are relevant to your industry. (He's using a boat manufacturer example here -- target boating blogs, or recreational sites.)
The audiences are out there, but you need to create content that is engaging to them.
Remember: the stories don't have to be about your brand. They can be about things that interest the audience that your brand is into. (Example: Boat manufacturer could produce content around the pleasure of boating.)
Next question: What are some of your favourite examples of brands using content to interact with their respective audiences in real time?
Q: What do these examples have in common?
Michael: all of these great examples have in common that they follow these five rules. They have a narrative and they're providing a conversation about something relevant at that time.
Question: Often, real-time is seen as adding another thing to someone's plate instead of further simplifying it. What do you say to that?
There are conversations going on around your brand. The idea is to capture that.
Next question from Miles: You talked about the peaks and the valleys in always-on content. That's really interesting to me. What types of content make for the most valuable valleys for an audience?
You can have any sort of conversation. The story and the types of content depend on what's most important to the brand.
This leads into our next question fairly well. Miles just asked a question that brought us back to media organizations for a second. The journalists who work for them and who use ScribbleLive every day to tell real-time stories obviously understand this idea of real time and always-on. But these organizations are also massive brands. How can they tell the overarching story of the brand as well?
Another thing media brands could do (though, Michael says, he isn't sure they'd be into this...) is let them branch out from their organization. News organizations could let their writers do what they love -- for example, someone going and covering a music festival. This music festival content could end up on their organization's site, or it could not. But at the end of the day, the writer would still be seen as a member of that brand's organization, thereby expanding their reach.
I think we're starting to wrap things up here. Miles just asked: Do you have any tips on promoting our first event and getting as much attention as possible?
Audiences have to know you're there to engage them not only as a selling exercise, but with content that is relevant to their daily content consumption exercises.
And the floor is open for Michael for some closing remarks.
You can talk about whether or not social media changed the way people consumed content, or you can argue--as Michael has-- that this is just the way people absorb information. They want to engage with content. When someone leaves a comment, and it ends up in the stream and gets answered, it's a much more compelling experience for someone.
Five years ago, news organizations didn't quite get this. But these days, you'd be hard-pressed to find a news organization that doesn't do some sort of live coverage.
And on the brand side, Michael says that over the next few years we're going to see this trend as well. Brands will be doing things that don't just sell, period. They'll have content divisions staffed with journalists who cover events not because it's going to sell a product, but because it's a great story that your brand's audience will enjoy.