The real-time publishing model: the new threesome of content marketing
Trends

For the most part, schedules, Excel docs and detailed planning to launch content in six months’ time simply don’t work any more. You need to be braver, bolder and more agile, publishing content on a daily basis, reacting in real time to news events and responding quickly.

This is where the challenge for brands comes in. Not only do you have to say something genuinely useful, informative, inspiring or entertaining on a daily basis but, when it comes to guarding your brand’s core characteristics, you also need to consider a 140-character tweet in the same way as a multimillion dollar TV ad.

That means applying your unique spin, reflecting your brand’s distinctive tone of voice and only creating content if it chimes with your target audience and you have authority within that subject area. Every single day. With every single post, Instagram or tweet.

Let’s face it – it’s not easy to be useful, entertaining, inspiring and informative every day. And it’s even harder when you need to apply a comprehensive brand filter to ensure you stay true to your core brand values.

Model behaviour

To do this effectively, you need to create a detailed editorial model that will help you deliver on your brand promise, and you need to make sure the right skills, structures and processes are in place to make that model efficient. This is something we have put in place for AAMI and continue to evolve.

Before I discuss the detail of our real-time approach for AAMI, it’s important to note that the journey to get to this point was a fascinating evolution in itself. Our relationship started with a request to provide editorial content and conversation to go alongside customer service and campaign messages in existing social channels.

But changes to the Facebook algorithm and consumer appetite for content formats and channels meant an increased need for editorial messaging. And, so, the AAMI real-time model was born.

The strategy bit

Before we started publishing for AAMI, we spent six months working closely with them to create a publishing model that’s unique to them. As a sweeping overview, this involved us identifying AAMI’s brand pillars – the things that AAMI can credibly talk about. We then layered on their customers’ needs and the ways we could meet those.

From here, we looked at the six cases of real-time marketing and identified which ones were appropriate for the AAMI brand and which channels we’d operate in. This was based on data that pinpointed where our target market was mostly likely to be. We defined the ratio of content types to be applied to each channel. Formats were then considered and attributed to channels, depending on their power to engage on that channel and with AAMI’s target audience …

With this editorial model in place (a 120-page beast), we then created the team that would powerfully deliver on it …

Three is the magic number

The power couple of content marketing used to be the creative director and the editor. But with real-time publishing models, the relationship has evolved to become a happy threesome, with an analyst gracefully stepping into the mix.

For AAMI, the relationship between analyst, creative director and editor is incredibly important. But it’s the way our analyst and editor work so closely together on a minute-by-minute basis that’s of particular importance (it’s lucky they get on as they do).

Every morning our analyst pulls in insights from social analytics (what worked and what didn’t), social listening (what people are talking about) and trending topics, and then provides thought-starters to our editor.

She takes these stories and filters them against the editorial strategy, rationalising them back to content pillars/client objectives, considering editorial spins to make them uniquely AAMI and using instinct and iteration to identify which stories will generate value for both consumers and AAMI. She then delivers stories, approaches and projected formats to AAMI.

To capitalise on what’s going on in the wider world, brands have to be brave. If you wait weeks, the trend is over. AAMI absolutely gets this, so they feed back to us within the hour. It’s not just about them pushing a button and us pumping out content. It’s a relationship based on trust – trust that we’re applying the rigorous filters set out in our editorial publishing model …

The next step is for us to create the approved assets, refine the messages and deliver all approved content to AAMI for final approval the same day. Every single day.

So, is it working? The results are certainly positive, with a 53% increase in engagement with Facebook posts (likes, comments, shares, clicks), 191% increase in new page likes (fans) per week, and 2424 followers on Twitter in seven weeks, with about 345 new followers every week.

What’s next?

We’re constantly measuring and evaluating and then responding to what we discover, which means our approach to process, conversation and content creation is constantly changing. With this in mind, it’s difficult to predict where the next six months will take us, although there may be a bigger AAMI content destination in the pipeline. You’ll just have to watch this real-time space to find out…