Brent Barnhart
October 24, 2019

What is “Always-On” Marketing (and what are the benefits?)

Businesses are making an effort to be "always on". In our latest guide, we break down the concept of always-on marketing and what it means for social media.

Pop quiz! Is your business available 24/7?
If you’re like most business owners these days, you probably feel like you’re always on the clock.
Texts. Emails. Invoices. The list goes on and on.
But what about your marketing?
Sure, scheduled posts and campaigns can do some of the heavy lifting for us.
But here’s some food for thought: 51% of consumers believe that businesses should be able to address customers at all times.
As a result, marketers should consider how they can make a conscious effort to ensure their marketing is always on the minds of their target audience.
Enter the era of “always-on” marketing.

What is “Always-On” Marketing, Anyway?

To kick things off, let’s come up with an “always-on” marketing definition we can work with.
Always-on marketing represents a marketing strategy centered around consistent audience engagement and messaging that signals your availability. By always be “on,” your customers are encouraged and able to have their needs met at any given moment.
Although always-on marketing is a hot talking point right now, the concept itself isn’t exactly breaking news.
After all, businesses have been empowered to sell to customers 24/7 since the dawn of modern ecommerce platforms. Tools like email and social media have likewise helped immensely in addressing customer concerns, especially in real-time.
“Always-on” marketing is about engaging your audience. Sure, your business can accept messages, bookings and orders around-the-clock, but ask yourself: what are you doing to actively reach new customers right now?

Examples of “Always-On” Marketing in Action

What does this type of marketing look like, though?
Perhaps the most obvious instances of always-on marketing are live chat and chatbots.
The ability to answer questions and address concerns in real-time is a smart move for the sake of customer retention and scoring more sales.
The recent boom of chat platforms is rather telling, too. In fact, a staggering 92% of consumers note that they’re most satisfied with chatbots versus any other form of business communication.
A subtle yet significant example of always-on marketing is providing customers with on-demand resources.
For example, Xero has a repository of educational videos and webinars coupled with their upcoming events on-site. No matter what situation a customer might be in, they have an in-depth “how-to” to address their needs at any time.
And of course, community management is another popular form of always-on marketing. Brands today are empowered to swiftly respond to customers via social media and engage in real-time.

Why Does “Always-On” Marketing Matter So Much?

Good question!
The short answer? Customer behavior and expectations are evolving. Below is a quick breakdown of why many businesses are making an effort to always be “on.”
Customers expect more out of brands and businesses. According to data compiled by Hubspot, customers overwhelmingly expect a response from businesses on social media within hours. The ability for customers to connect directly with businesses via social media means that brands are expected to step up their community management.
Not all of your customers are on the same schedule. This is especially important for ecommerce businesses and brands with global audiences. Restricting your marketing solely to “normal” business hours means that you’re potentially missing out on opportunities to win new business.
“Always-on” builds better customer relationships. Fact: improving customer experience has emerged as the top priority among businesses today. “Always-on” marketing goes hand in hand with relationship-building and creating stronger bonds with customers.

Who is “Always-On” Marketing Meant For?

At a glance, always-on marketing might seem like it’s reserved for companies who can afford a massive tech stack or tons of customer service reps.
The reality, though? Always-on marketing doesn’t have a defined budget.
Consider that much of always-on marketing is a branding exercise. Brands of all shapes and sizes can craft engaging content and ads around-the-clock, granted they understand how.
And hey, that leads us to our next point...

What Does an “Always-On” Marketing Mean for Social Media?

We’re glad you asked!
Social media is arguably the best place to start with always-on marketing.
How, though?
For starters, make interactive content a cornerstone of your overall social strategy.
Think about it like this: what can you publish that encourages your followers to do something.
Click. Watch. Tap. Swipe.
Posting interactive content makes your social presence less passive, and therefore always-on.
For example, Twitter polls or Instagram Story polls not only encourage interactions from your followers but also anticipation as they await the results.
Meanwhile, Stories themselves are a shining example of always-on marketing. This is especially true not only because they’re inherently interactive, but also that they allow your business to “skip the line” in your followers’ feeds.
Meanwhile, video content provides your followers with entertainment value whether they’re watching one hour or one week after it’s been posted.
Heck, simply asking your followers a question is fair game. Doing so signals that you’re consistently gathering audience feedback and want to have conversations with your followers. In other words, your social presence feels much less “set and forget.”
Running frequent social media contests is likewise a brilliant way to encourage your followers to always want to see “what’s next.” What giveaway is around the corner? Who won the last one? Such questions ultimately keep your followers on their toes.
Posts like this one from Benefit Australia also encourage followers to share their user-generated content, yet another form of always-on marketing in and of itself.
And of course, the ability to have your social ads “always-on” is also possible via Facebook ad scheduling. In short, you can set up your ads to be served around-the-clock or when your audience is most likely to be active.

Should My Business Always Be “On?”

It depends!
Greater community engagement and more accessibility to your customers is a good idea regardless of what you’re selling.
That said, there’s definitely a level of commitment involved.
If you’re interested in “always-on” marketing and want to figure out how to better serve your audience, we actually have our own framework to make it happen.
This includes content creation, paid media, community management and reporting.
Feel free to get in touch with Hello Social today to learn more!

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