Real-time content marketing—the ability to monitor, manage and guide your marketing activities as they occur—requires serious vigilance, perseverance and responsiveness, as we learned in last-month's blog post. After all, quickly developing motivating and proactive content in response to real-time activities involving your brand that can occur anytime 24/7 is not an easy endeavor.
In today’s über-competitive markets, however, it’s critical to seize every possible opportunity to get the upper hand on competitors or mitigate damage to your brand’s reputation. Fortunately there are a variety of real-time tools that make it much easier for digital marketers to measure brand sentiment and monitor activity to determine who and what is being said so they can respond swiftly.
These tools fall into two categories: onsite (those interactions that take place within your own web site) and offsite (activities that take place on social sites, such as Twitter and Facebook). Let’s take a look at some of the tools marketers can add to their arsenal to sharpen their ability to respond in today’s 24/7 digital marketplace.
For Onsite Monitoring
Google Analytics is already widely used for onsite analytic reporting and gives you a sense of who is viewing your site.
Woopra, Chartbeat and Clicky all represent a newer breed of onsite real-time monitoring tools that give users the ability to view real-time interactions with their site and report how many visitors are on a site at any one time and what specific pages they are viewing.
If you are running multiple campaigns on different sites, use Pingdom to tell you when your web site is down in real-time and get an analysis of what went wrong.
New Breed of Real-time Tools Help Steer Real-time Content
There’s a new crop of real-time analytic tools that add context to the raw site stats, helping marketers formulate appropriate content in response.
- Mixpanel offers users real-time, segmentation, funnel and retention analysis by tracking how users interact with web and mobile apps in real time.
- GoSquared creates two web apps, LiveStatus and Trends, that provide real-time views of top content, top referrers, top searches and social media influence.
- GoSquared and Lexity also offer customer-centric views of your site. Both can report on a single visitor in real-time as they arrive, what site they came from, what specific pages were viewed, and if an order was placed or not.
- InboundWriter is like an online spy that monitors your target audience’s interests and online conversations, and then provides guidance on how to create content they will find interesting. It even goes a step farther and guides users on how to customize content for various mediums, such as Twitter, Facebook or blogs.
Tools get Social
SocialMention is a stream aggregation tool that monitors more than 100 social media sites and creates one searchable stream that gives marketers an overall glimpse at what’s being said about their brand anywhere on the web.
Other social monitoring tools include Radian6, BuddyMedia, BuzzMetrics and ScoutLabs. All of these help marketers monitor, measure and report on social media activity involving specific brands or keywords.
Once you’ve solved the “who” portion of the riddle, it’s time to find out how influential these people are in the social media universe. Tools such as Klout and Peerindex monitor social streams then rank people on their influence on specific topics.
What Does it All Mean?
Thanks to these amazing new tools, you’ve compiled copious amounts of data regarding whom, when and why people are visiting your site. Now what? Big Data is getting a lot of media buzz these days. It’s important because it enables companies to make sense of all the data they have been collecting, and it’s now feasible, thanks the low cost of servers and CPUs.
That’s cool, but what does that mean to you as a marketer? Well, there are now real-time data warehouses, called Data Management Platforms (DMP), which store and link up all that data based on cookie data or other unique keys and then provide you with an interface for asking questions based on your data.
Data can be imported into these DMPs from your site, offline campaigns, partners with whom you share data, as well as third-party vendors, such as BlueKai, Neustar, Bizo, and Excelate. Once compiled and computed, the DMP magically (not really) spits out data you can analyze, aggregate, slice, dice and report on and, most importantly, make actionable.
The resulting information enables you to identify in real-time what demographic an individual visitor to your site belongs to (age, sex, marital status, lifestyle, etc.) and create content—again, in real-time—to appeal to that specific visitor. Sounds cool, huh? These DMP tools enable marketers to go from a passive role to one of action by taking social data you’re already collecting, combine it with your offline data and combine it all into a plan of attack. Now.
Barb Schmitz is professional writer with over 20 years of experience writing for B2B and B2C publications and web sites. She served as an editor on Computer-Aided Engineering magazine for over 10 years before starting her own PR/freelance writing business in 2000. Her expertise includes interviewing, researching and writing whitepapers, blogs, e-books, case studies, and feature articles.
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