If you haven’t already read our previous article about Gen Z vs Millennials click here.
It may seem like a far fetched idea that someone would spend hours watching a live-stream of another person playing games or talking about their beauty regime. In 2019, it’s even possible for you to have a personal conversation with your favourite celebrity on social media.
This is possible and is considered a norm now due to the increased popularity and usage of live-streams, or content that are highly interactive, personal and of course in real-time, characteristics of what the industry terms as real-time media (RTM).
RTM is a format where events are portrayed at the same rate at which the parties involved are experiencing them, such as live-streams. From a brand perspective, it is using current trends, events or news to generate content that their consumers were already looking to find out more about. In a nutshell, RTM done right is guaranteed to reap fruitful engagements.
The beauty of RTM is the ability to create a community for consumers to share moments together regardless of who, where and how old they are. If we were to delve deeper into why it works, it is due to consumers forming a parasocial relationship (PSR) through parasocial interaction.
For example, YouTubers who vlog daily and are transparent about their lives can cause their fans to form a PSR with the YouTuber. Once the fans feel like they are family, there will be an increase in engagement between the two parties.
RTM comes with a lot of strategizing of content, luck and brands willing to take the risk for increased engagement. In this day and age, this is exactly what Gen Zs are looking for: Creators who are bold, authentic and sincere. If you’re wondering how you can level up your RTM to help boost your engagements and connect with the trendy, well-connected Gen Zs, here are some tips to help.
Understanding Gen Zs
This is super important and more of a reminder than anything else. The last thing you want is to make an irrelevant reference and alienate your target audience, generate more negative PR than positive engagement. If you want to be relevant, the first thing to do is research. Some terms you can consider Googling are “Gen Z slangs”, “Gen Z media habits” or “Gen Z trends” – you will find that they are a generation unlike any other. This will ensure that you understand your audiences well and not unintentionally offend anyone. If you wanted to find out about Gen Z media trends, click here.
Time Is Crucial
Everything on social media happens in the blink of an eye. The faster you react, the bigger the advantage you have to create authentic and good content.
A way to do so is to follow closely to relevant and rising influencers that Gen Zs are loving at the moment to see what they are posting. It can be surprising how they can pick up on trends faster than mainstream media. Spending time on the explore feed is a great way to start. Media monitoring is a key skill here, it doesn’t hurt to be well prepared. One great example would be Oreo’s quick response to the Superbowl blackout.
In reference to parasocial relationships, it may be harder for consumers to connect personally to a brand compared to a personality. If you are already consistent throughout your marketing messaging, you’re on the right track!
A message that is related to a topic but doesn’t fit your brand image may be misunderstood and perceived as “try hard”. Make sure you focus on the quality of your content, as much as you focus on the time to deliver it. Using your brand’s image and messaging strategy as a template for RTM generation is definitely the way to do it. We all know how important our tone and language is when it comes to marketing, so it doesn’t hurt to always have a check.
Check out how Adidas made use of 2014 World Cup to deliver a successful RTM.
Don’t Just Appear And Disappear
The thing with RTM is that once you start, you have to be ready to continue the conversation. When a consumer commits to engaging with your brand, they expect you to reciprocate. Be prepared to like, share or reply to comments. Better yet, initiate more conversations around the topic. This way you can build a community for your consumers to feel like they can get to know your brand better and that they can communicate with you efficiently whenever they need your service or product.
The fun of RTM is being bold, stepping out of your comfort zone and letting your brand personality shine. In recent years, Wendy’s and other fast-food chains have managed to jump on the Twitter community bandwagon to communicate openly and as transparent as they can with their consumers. To any other consumer, their responses are wild, funny and offensive to their competitors but it’s all good humour to Gen Zs.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
As mentioned before, it’s important that you stay true to your brand image and personality. Especially with Gen Zs, it’s too easy to spot when a brand is trying too hard. Just go out there, create good content with your consumers’ interest in mind and you’ll do fine with the RTMs.
The key to real-time media is not to keep producing content at a faster rate but rather, to curate real and authentic stories that are relevant to consumers and encourage a community. What are your views on real-time media? Do you think it will work well in the long run? If you have a challenge for us to create this media with you, drop your contact below and our team will be in touch.