How to Build a Real-Time Content Strategy

How to Build a Real-Time Content Strategy

Lauren Teague, Strategist at Convince & Convert, joins the Content Experience Show to discuss strategies for engaging through real-time content.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Planning for Real-Time Content

With the growing power and availability of analytics in content marketing, words like “data” and “strategy” are staples in the vocabulary of any marketer. After all, the more you plan before a campaign, the more chances you have of coming out successfully on the other side. The question Lauren Teague of Convince & Convert has committed herself to answering is, “How does strategy fit into real-time content?

When many hear the term “real-time content,” they may connect it to terms like “winging it” or “improvising.” Some fake the live experience, planning out generic content months in advance to roll out during an event. Whether you’re organizing a product launch, a conference, or any other type of live event, you can blend a well-planned strategy with an authentic live experience.

Lauren Teague defines this as being R.E.A.L. which stands for rapid, engaging, aim, and live. In real-time content, you have to be flexible and able to jump on topics rapidly—and of course, your content must engage your customers. As with all content, you should have a goal—this is your aim. Lastly, “live” reminds us to be truly in the moment.

By incorporating this way of thinking into your real-time content strategy, you can start to build truly valuable content in the moment that can “make your fans better fans,” as Lauren likes to say!

In This Episode

  • Why social marketing for sports requires a much more nimble approach than traditional marketing.
  • How Lauren and her team strategize real-time content.
  • How to use real-time content to become part of the customer experience.
  • Strategies for preparing for real-time content without being manufactured.

Quotes From This Episode

“A content person in sports has a much different challenge than a traditional content marketer. The sport sells itself, but you’re actually selling the experience.” — @LaurenTee

Your content has to be engaging, but also you have to be committed to engaging with the audience. Click To Tweet

“You have to know to be active and available all the way through on both ends of the conversation.” — @LaurenTee


Content Experience Lightning Round

Movies or TV?


Football or basketball?


Favorite TV show of all time?

Late Night with Stephen Colbert.

Sweet or savory?

Sweet all day long!

Favorite ice cream?

Beaver Tracks.

Favorite holiday?

My birthday!

Favorite superpower?


Last Halloween costume?

Matching Incredibles costumes with the family.

See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Anna Hrach: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Content Experience Show podcast. My name is Anna Hrach from Convince and Convert. Ordinarily I would be joined by the always amazing Randy Frisch from Uberflip but he is off jet setting around the US right now. Don't worry, because we still have an amazing episode for you today. We are joined today by Lauren Teague from Convince and Convert. One of the reasons I was so excited to bring Lauren on is because, well, first she's absolutely brilliant and you're going to hear this firsthand from the episode today. She really spends a lot of time talking about creating real-time, on-the-fly content. You see, her entire background is actually in sports marketing and sports social media, which is where having time to sit down and actually curate that excellent content, that excellent share-worthy and valuable content, time is a rarity. It's something that they just cannot afford. She walks you through her entire framework for how to create real-time content on the fly. It's really something that all digital marketers should have in their back pocket, for when you need to create really great content and you are crunched for time. Whether it's event-based social media, event-based digital marketing, or you're just filling out your content calendar right now, you are going to want this framework. Without further ado, let's go ahead and bring Lauren in and hear what she has to say. Hey, Lauren. Lauren Teague: Hi, Anna. Anna Hrach: How are you? Lauren Teague: I am so happy to be on ConEx with you. Anna Hrach: I am really happy to have you here. I really, really am. This is overdue, because I'm so excited for all of the amazing knowledge you're going to drop on everybody today. I think you particularly have an amazing background. Before we get too far into that, I know you, let's let everybody else get to know you. Tell everybody a little bit about yourself. Lauren Teague: My name is Lauren Teague, and I am a strategist at Convince and Convert. That's my day job. I also moonlight in teaching people how to use social media and content. Really I just want to help people create better relationships with their audiences through content. I'm actually a comms person, not a marketing person. That's been true my whole career. I started in PR. I was in sports. I built and led the social media programs for the PGA Tour for seven seasons. Then I transitioned into this strategy role with Convince and Convert. Working with some of the world's most interesting brands has been a fascinating learning experience for me, and I actually do now say sometimes, I admit that I am a marketer at heart. Anna Hrach: You finally embraced the marketer label. Lauren Teague: I have been converted. I have been convinced and converted ... Anna Hrach: And converted. Lauren Teague: ... over the past four years. Anna Hrach: That joke, yes, in case people were wondering, we do make that joke internally. What I think is actually hilarious too though is that you and I were so close to each other but never knew each other until we really started working at Convince and Convert. We went to Northern Arizona University together. Lauren Teague: We're both Lumberjacks, and not just Lumberjacks, but school of journalism and communications Lumberjacks. Anna Hrach: The same college within the same university of no more than 20,000 people. Lauren Teague: Here's the difference, Anna, and when you were in college you were all advertising and content and journalism. When I was in college, I was all the broadcasting and PR side, so we literally never truly intersected. Isn't that funny that just to be right there? Then even I know when you started your career, mine was in a similar trajectory, and then it took us years to finally come together. Anna Hrach: You had a way cooler trajectory, because you got an amazing opportunity when you were in school, which basically led to your entire career. Lauren Teague: Which one are you referring to? Anna Hrach: Your sports background. Lauren Teague: The sports thing. Well, I always knew- Anna Hrach: You got the dream of a lifetime that people wish for. Lauren Teague: I always knew I wanted to be in sports, but I didn't realize that you can do any job in sports. You can do content. You can do taxes, and you can still work for a sports organization. I think that's one thing I didn't realize and people still might not realize that whatever your dream job is, you can still follow your passion and what you're good at and carve a niche for yourself in that dream organization, or that dream job. Everybody needs janitors, and marketers, and content people, and sales people, and the whole gamut. I did work in sports at NAU and for the athletics department in our on-campus news station. That parlayed into an internship with the Trail Blazers which was all in communications. Really opened my eyes to PR. I diverted out the first job out of college. I went away from sports into a startup media brand, but ended up figuring out what social media was as it was emerging in 2007. Jay beat me to Twitter, but I was shortly after. When one of my favorite organizations, the PGA Tour put out a call for a social media person, I just knew that was my dream job. I had been doing social just long enough professionally, like building out the plans for social networks and developing communities for teachers and students and things, and also having the experience of using Facebook in college and building a Myspace page. Hey, Myspace taught us all HTML. Anna Hrach: Oh Myspace. Lauren Teague: Did it not? Anna Hrach: Fair. Fair. It also taught me that auto playing music and animated GIFs were the Devil. Lauren Teague: Look, 10 years later animated GIFs ... Anna Hrach: That's true. Well, now they're ... Lauren Teague: ... back in style. Anna Hrach: ... funny because they're for reactions. The thing that I love is you went down the sports trajectory, and this amazing path and you got this dream job that everybody covets. On my side when I was doing content for my clients, I had the luxury of sitting down and creating the content calendar for the next three months, and brainstorming ideas, and making sure that all of these executions were flawless and beautiful. Not so with sports. That is in a second it could change, literally. Your whole content plan is gone. Lauren Teague: If you're banking on somebody winning a tournament, for example, in golf, and someone else decides to shoot five under in three holes which has happened, maybe four under in three holes, boom, new champion. Any assets, any copy, any things that you had ready to go, gone. Same thing with football. Sports is so unpredictable and that's why we love it. That's why we're engaged with it. Honestly a content person in sports has a much different challenge than a traditional content marketer. The sport sells itself. What are you really selling in the moment of that? There's a lot more moments that you have to cover and capture and be the second screen experience for, but what are you selling? You're actually selling the experience rather than the product or the service. To start my career and my content, that I think is super-unique and then being able to bring some of that experience and producing real-time content, and thinking through things very nimbly, having to be flexible, but putting processes in place to make sure that no matter who wins, no matter what the outcome is we understand that here are the steps for the content that follow. Now, in reflection, there's a lot that B2B and traditional content marketing can learn from the wild, wild west of sports and media and entertainment. There's a ton that sports and media and entertainment need to learn. Campaign and true content marketing and audience development, and customer journey, and these things that we coach at C&C and we've got to bring that into sports, because some people have 16 games a year, or they've got so much dead time. They're not thinking about what they can sell, what experiences they can give, and what stories they can tell outside of that sports arena. Anna Hrach: I totally agree. I think there's something to be said about sitting down and having that perfectly curated content, and having all of those plans in place. When that goes haywire, that could go haywire a lot and in an instant. I don't think traditional marketers or even B2B or B2C content marketers have that necessarily in their tool belt. I'd love for you to give some tips and tricks and advice on this. Before you do, let's take a quick break to hear from our sponsors. Everybody, when we come back, we are going to dive in with Lauren on how she creates real-time content and how you can too. Jay Baer: Hi friends. This is Jay Baer from Convince and Convert reminding you that this show, the ConEx Show podcast is brought to you by Uberflip, the number one content experience platform. Do you ever wonder how content experience affects your marketing results? Well, you can find out in the first ever content experience report, where Uberflip uncovers eight data science backed insights to boost your content engagement, and your conversions. It's a killer report, and you do not want to miss it. Get your free copy right now at That's The show is also brought to you by our team at Convince and Convert Consulting. If you've got a terrific content marketing program but you want to take it to the very next level, we can help. Convince and Convert works with the world's most iconic brands to increase the effectiveness of their content marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, and word of mouth marketing. Find us at Anna Hrach: Hey, everybody. Welcome back. We are here with Lauren Teague, the fabulous Lauren Teague, and we are talking about real-time content and how really marketers need to adopt a lot of these best practices and some of the tactics and strategies that sports marketers use, because things could change in an instant and it's really important to be flexible with how we create that content. Lauren, you started to dive into real-time content, which is something that you speak about on stage. I know you have a couple of talks coming up. We'll make sure to let people know where before we sign off. How do you define real-time content and what's a way that everyday marketers like myself can start to adopt some of these practices? Lauren Teague: The first thing I do is actually introduce what real-time means to me. I have the acronym REAL, so R is for rapid, because real-time content inherently is so fast. You have to be moving as fast as the news feed. If you're producing on Twitter, the news-feed moves really fast. You have to be rapid, which means you have to be ready to go. You have to have templates built, things preset. Even as simple as putting in the notes app on your phone or on your desktop all the titles, all the places, all the keywords, all the hashtags that you need to put into your content in real-time. The second is engaging. Your content has to be engaging, but also you have to be committed to engage with the audience. We're not using real-time content to promote, promote, promote. You're really using real-time content to engage and tell a story and be part of the experience. You have to know to be active and available on both ends of the conversation and all the way through. Sometimes that content is not what you have planned. It's retweeting or reposting something and put in your two cents, or given that replying with a GIF. Those things help make that engagement stand out, because at the end of the day if you're producing an Instagram story with 30 frames over the course of a day or an event, which is very easy to do if you're embedded like that. At the end of the day you go back and you've got no reaction, nobody sent you a message, nobody's clicked on your links or added, started to follow you. As a person who's doing that content and so invested in it, that falls flat on you. That's not a good feeling, so we want to make sure we're engaged on all ends of the conversation, and committed to that experience. That's RE. A is actually an aim, because as you know in content marketing, there's got to be some purpose. We got to have some sort of conversion. We got to have some goal set ups. That's your aim. In sports when I was doing PGA Tour social media, my aim was to make a fan a better fan. Anna, I know you're not a huge golf fan, but if I can get you to react to some of my tweets, that turn into following us on social media, that turn into introducing you to a player who then you follow and maybe you download the leaderboard, maybe you go to the website. Now you're being hit with more advertising. You're getting more educated on the product. Then when the Waste Management Phoenix Open comes and it's in your backyard, now you maybe have a tangible reason to say, "This guy that I've been kind of following because we went to the same high school," or whatever your connection is, "he's playing here. I'm going to go buy a ticket to the tournament. I'm going to buy some concessions. I'm going to take a friend. We're going to go sit on 17," whatever it is. That's the aim, make a fan a better fan. It's really easy to have aims that even aren't so quantifiable, but can qualify in some way. That's A. Then L, lastly is you really, truly have to be live. Now, I'm guilty of this and I know our clients we've worked with them on this too, but I've seen live content plans that are finalized weeks and months in advance of an event or an experience. They're like, "Hey, when the event goes live, on Twitter we're going to post these. Here's the photo from last year's stage. They're going to look the same, so we'll just use this photo," and dah dah dah. I'm like, listen, are we live or are we manufacturing live? We really have to be truly committed to the process of creating content in real-time. It doesn't mean don't be prepared. I have a talk and it's called Rehearse for Real-Time. It's all about the preparation, but we prepare so that when the moments hit, we can have our eyes up as content producers and creators, and we know what we're going after. We know that we're committed to an engaging experience, and that allows us to create the best kind of content that is truly actually live. REAL, rapid, engaging, aim, and live. Anna Hrach: Oh my God. I love it. Also, so unbelievably easy to understand too, especially the part about really being committed to going live. You're right. I've seen so many events-based content plans that are at 9:05 we're going to do this. Then at 9:10 we're going to do this. Then at 9:15 we're going to do this. It's like that's great, but, you're right, the whole reason to follow something live on social or follow a live tweet stream is because you're getting something. You're simulating that experience of being there, or you're getting something that you feel like you're missing out on and it's genuine. You actually just had an amazing example of how to put real-time content into practice. You posted on social about it, so some people might have seen about it, or seen it. Take us through how exactly you applied real-time to an actual event. Lauren Teague: Obviously, my history is in sports, and last month I was invited by the communications teams at college football playoff to join them this past weekend in San Jose, in the Bay Area for the national championship college football game. Which is great. I haven't actually covered football since college. Obviously I'm a sports fan, so I understand the teams, but truth be told I did not actually watch a ton of college football this season. If I had to go to a game, at least there were only two teams to worry about. I got invited to watch just how the content gets baked, which was a great refresher for me in understanding what the changes are, what the challenges are, because I haven't produced live sports content for a couple of years. The social team there was actually powered by college students who are working in different college athletics programs as undergrad assistants and what have you. They did a fabulous job producing content in a variety of different places. It didn't look too different from the things that we had put in place at the PGA Tour, but now you have so much more content distribution. You have so much more pressure, and there are things that now with my ... I've been doing this for now over 10 years, 10 to 12 years. I understand a little bit differently. When I was looking at holistically how the content was made, I was like, hey, there's a lot of things you do have to be planned out, but give yourself the flexibility. You do have to think about who your audience is and who you're talking to on different channels. We need different content for different channels. If you have a team, sure, that's easier to do in real-time, but if you don't then maybe you need to sunset a channel and point those fans to where you can give them a really good experience. Say, if you're not using Facebook through a game, but you're killing it on Instagram stories, well, just tell everybody that and point them there. Sports Twitter is a great place to live, because sports Twitter is really, truly the second screen experience. That was a really cool place to see how a content team that was quite large did content from the game, and not just from the game but all the events around the game. We get so focused on what goes on air at 5:00 and it goes off air at 9:00. No, there's so much stuff happening behind the scenes that even as I was walking out of the stadium after the game, one of the things that I passed were the tables of food lined up for the players and the coaches post-game. I just grabbed a snap because outside the Clemson locker room was huge, huge catering bags of Chick-fil-A and outside the Alabama locker room huge tables of Chipotle. I was like, "How fascinating? Who would know that?" You're there. You can grab it, and you might not post it right away. You can go back and look at here's what all our content is, and what's the best story to tell from this place. Not being so proactive but actually giving yourself a chance to edit, I think, is also a really key thing, and something that I was really reminded of this past weekend at college football playoff. Anna Hrach: Nice. Lauren, I love it. This is honestly I love the framework. It's an amazing framework. I highly encourage everyone to steal it, because I'm going to steal it. This is fantastic. Seriously, thank you so much for being on. I know we are just about out of time. You're actually talking more about how to plan for real-time coming up. You have a couple of conferences. Where can people actually go see you and dive more into this? Lauren Teague: Sports industry friends, I will be at the National Sports Forum on a panel with [inaudible 00:19:10]. That's in February in Las Vegas, but that's an industry event. More broadly I am going to go to South by Southwest. I'm actually doing a mentor session on March 10th in Austin. If you are at South by, and you have a badge, sign up for my mentor session, because I've got 90 minutes of getting to just break it down with people, which I'm so excited about because it's one of my favorite things to do. I'm also going to be on some of the Digital Summit stages across the year doing either full-day workshops on social media, or also talking about real-time on stage during their events. You can follow me on Twitter @LaurenTee, T-E-E, like golf, or at, and I'll have more information on those. Anna Hrach: Nice. Awesome. Everybody, seriously, go follow Lauren. Go see her speak. She is amazing, and I'm not just saying that. She is seriously one of the best speakers I have ever seen. Lauren Teague: Because we work together, Anna. Anna Hrach: It totally is. It's totally a shameless plug for you because you're awesome. Lauren, now that we got to know the professional side of you and you've dropped all this amazing knowledge on us, we are going to get to know more about the personal side of you. True to form, I am going to throw some lightning round questions at you that you have not had time to prepare. We're going to test the real-time content on your personal life. Everybody hang in there and we are going to chat with Lauren right after this. Lauren, now that we are back, let's go through some lightning round questions. Are you ready? Lauren Teague: I'm ready. Anna Hrach: All you have to do is just say whatever comes to your mind first. Ready? Movies or TV. Lauren Teague: TV. Anna Hrach: Football or basketball. Lauren Teague: Golf. Anna Hrach: Favorite TV show of all time. Lauren Teague: I don't have one. Late Night With Stephen Colbert. Anna Hrach: Sweet or savory. Lauren Teague: Sweet all day long. Anna Hrach: Favorite ice cream flavor. Lauren Teague: Beaver Tracks, which is a very special version you can get here in Oregon. Anna Hrach: Nice. I need to get that. Pineapple on pizza, yes or no. Lauren Teague: Absolutely and I talk about that in a new talk I do. Anna Hrach: I didn't even know that. Lauren Teague: Starts Twitter wars. Anna Hrach: So does the Oxford comma, so Oxford comma yea or nay? Lauren Teague: Nay because I always forget to put it in. Anna Hrach: I love you. Favorite holiday. Lauren Teague: My birthday. Does that count? Anna Hrach: Yeah. Invisibility or super strength. Lauren Teague: Apparition. Anna Hrach: Last Halloween costume. Lauren Teague: Our whole family had costumes to be The Incredibles, because there are five of us including a little baby boy. Not all five of us ever got into The Incredibles costumes at the same time. Anna Hrach: Nice. Lauren Teague: No pictures exist of all of us [inaudible 00:21:44]. Anna Hrach: As to be expected in a family full of young kids. Awesome. Lauren, thank you so much. Great job with the lightning round questions. I love how you just bucked the system and created your own answers at some points. Thank you so much for being on. It was so great to have you. Lauren Teague: Thank you Anna. I'm happy to join, and now I can check off. This is my second C&C podcast appearance ever. I'm making the rounds. Thanks so much. Anna Hrach: Nice. Thank you. All right, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today. Do us a favor, go ahead and when you listen to this leave us a comment and tell us what hot topics you'd love to hear more of. Tell us what you thought, because we really want to hear from you. Leave us a review everywhere you listen to this podcast. Thank you so much again for tuning in, and we will talk to you next week.  
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