‘Live blogging’ can add to the techniques that your business uses to communicate breaking news to target audiences.
Live blogging (sometimes known as ‘live text’) is a rolling feed of textual reporting on a specific event. It is most commonly used to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of news, sporting and entertainment events.
A live blog is usually a single blog post presented as a series of micro-updates, with each update time-stamped and presented with others in a chronological sequence. The most recent update generally appears at the top of the live blog, with the oldest at the bottom.
You have no doubt experienced a live blog if ever you’ve followed the live text commentary of a sporting event (such as a football match) or an awards ceremony (such as the Academy Awards).
According to Aleks Vickovich, wealth and legal managing editor at Momentum Media, his firm first used live blogging for the media title ifa (Independent Financial Adviser) during the first two weeks of the financial services royal commission hearings in April 2018.
He said that audience engagement results were impressive.
“What’s interesting is that we achieved a 200 per cent increase in new traffic to ifa, which has an extremely niche audience of hard core fans. Very few fresh readers would normally come to that site,” Mr Vickovich said.
“The live blog opened it up to a new readership. We had something like 60,000 unique visits in the two-week period, which is about twice what we usually get in a month.
“This is partly attributable to the content itself – the royal commission is interesting and is something that directly affects our readership. At the same time, having done some analysis now, we’re pretty sure that the medium of live blogging can be given significant credit. It’s something readers really want.”
If your business hosts events of any kind, or even attends events regularly, live blogging may be a useful addition to your content marketing program.
It’s a manageable, affordable alternative to live video streaming.
If you already have an open line of communication with a community of prospective customers within your industry, your live blog can provide remote event access to those who cannot attend in person.
There are, of course, risks associated with live blogging. However, if handled professionally, they are risks that can serve to increase audience engagement and trust in your business.
“A live blog involves information distribution and analysis on the fly,” Mr Vickovich said.
“There’s a real risk that comes with that because, if you’re going to live-blog, then you have to be willing to get things wrong in real time and correct the mistakes in real time.
“We did that at the royal commission hearings. We would write something, move on, and another one of us would fact-check shortly afterward. We’d then have to write something like ‘Earlier we said X, it’s actually Y’. You’re correcting in real time, which is a really transparent way of doing things.”
Another positive aspect of live blogging is that it integrates well with social media engagement.
“At the royal commission hearings, three of us were live-blogging,” said Mr Vickovich.
“We took it in shifts of about two hours each and one of us was live-tweeting throughout – essentially taking the live blog content and putting it out on Twitter.
“Twitter responses would then come back from readers, and we would pull them into the live blog as well.
“There’s a symbiotic relationship between the blog and social media, which you don’t get as much with traditional media articles. Live blogging also appears to give readers additional incentive to engage in the ‘Comments’ section. It’s very interactive.”
To succeed at live blogging, it’s useful to remember a few basic principles.
First, know that live blogging (and content marketing in general) is a trust-building exercise. So, make sure that any information you include is accurate and even-handed. If you exaggerate or twist facts to support your sales message, you will be found out, and it will undermine your brand.
Second, make sure the content of your live blog is useful and relevant to your target audience needs. If it isn’t, people will stop reading beyond the first paragraph you write.
Third, try to make sure that your live blog is unique. If your target audience can access the same information about the event in real time from other sources, their incentive to visit your live blog is significantly diminished.
Once you’ve covered these points, give live blogging a try and see if it has a positive effect on traffic and engagement.
Do you want to find out more about live blogging? Contact Momentum Connect to see how we can help.
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