3 Ways To Think Like a Journalist When Live Blogging

by | Mar 29, 2016 | Content Marketing, GrammarSpot | 0 comments

There’s a lot that marketers can learn from journalists, especially in an age where content marketing remains one of the most popular forms of building customer relationships, influencing the buyer’s journey and increasing brand awareness. One thing journalists have nailed ever since newspapers started understanding how to leverage digital platforms is live blogging. Here is one example. Live blogging, which doesn’t necessarily have to be on your blog, describes the act of sharing important information to an audience in real-time or close to real-time. Journalists use this technique to cover breaking stories and give readers to-the-minute updates, but you as a marketer can also make good use out of it by covering or piggybacking onto topics that are relevant to your audience.

If you’re thinking about live blogging, all you need is a social network account, a website to send interested readers to and a healthy dose of creativity. You can live blog using a WordPress plugin, but live tweeting (which is really a form of micro blogging) is another effective way of sharing real-time updates about a hot subject. Really you could use almost any platform that allows you to quickly publish information in a space where your audience will see it. Use the tips below to make your real-time blogging interesting and effective.

Be Accurate and (Relatively) Unbiased

Especially if you’re covering a live event like a conference, product launch or speech, blogging inaccurate information doesn’t do you any favors. Make sure to listen carefully and take detailed notes if you won’t be able to tweet, post or share information right away. Also, when journalists live blog events and breaking news, they stick to the facts. If you claim to be live blogging to entertain or share important information, your audience will be able to see anything that sounds the slightest bit promotional coming from a mile away. You can still be funny, insightful and express your brand’s personality while live blogging, but stay away from even heavily veiled sales pitches.

Think About Your Audience

If you don’t know what to live blog about, think from the perspective of your audience. If there’s a tradeshow, conference, product launch or other event coming up that they will want to know about but perhaps can’t attend, that’s what you should be live blogging. Even if people are at the event, they may prefer reading your live recap of it or having a source to reference later to experience parts of an event they missed. Don’t forget to use the event or conference hashtag if there is one to make sure more people see your posts. Also, publicize the live blog event beforehand to bring more awareness to it. If you’re fast enough, you can also live blog about breaking news that’s relevant to your area. Piggybacking onto trending topics can increase the popularity of your posts and bring more traffic to your website.

Don’t Get Scooped

To quote Will Ferrell’s Ricky Bobby character from Talladega Nights, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” This thought is always in the back of journalists’ minds, and it should be in yours as a live blogging marketer. While there still is a place for your real-time blogging even if you’re not the first person to break news, the faster you are, the more relevant your posts will be.

Want to make real-time blogging work? You’ll have to think like a journalist with the tips above. Once you have an idea what you want to blog about, get as much of your strategy planned out ahead of time so you can spend the majority of your time in the thick of it, live blogging, increasing web traffic and creating more buzz around your company.

Greg Secrist
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