Companies right from small startups to even big corporate houses are leveraging this emerging technology to effectively market their products and service offerings. Here are some ways in which you too can take advantage of Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 technology has meant a sudden flurry of interactive sites and richer content that primarily caters to the younger crowd. What this means is that when users participate more in social networking sites, it gives you an opportunity to reach out to such an audience in an interactive and interesting manner.
Today’s youngsters are more fickle minded and prefer such unconventional methods of advertising as opposed to the regular mailers and email marketing. While social media sites provide a good platform to advertise your products they can be a downer if you don’t make the extra effort to update the content. The idea is to keep the content dynamic and fresh.
With a little research you will easily find that the ubiquitous blogs are present everywhere. These can be good as ‘testing grounds’ where you want to observe customer reactions to a new product. So even before you launch the product you know what to change to make it more sellable.
However the drawback with blogs is that though the initial costs are less, maintenance becomes an issue. You need to regularly update the content and also make sure all information provided is accurate and bluff-free. Else you can damage your credibility for good.
Podcasts are audio clips which are downloadable and playable in MP3 formats. Since they are auditory they can grasp the user’s attention much more than textual information can. It also allows users to listen to your podcast without having to sit in front of the computer.
The idea is to talk about general informative content while subtly soft selling your products here and there. The drawback of podcasts is that there is no real way of measuring if the downloaded podcasts are actually listened to by customers!
These are great for marketing and publicizing the products and services of your company. You could use strategic keywords which will then direct users to your website with the relevant news clipping. News headlines and press releases are all over the Internet thus making it little difficult in terms of standing out from the competition.
However if you manage to hire a good quality copywriter then chances are your headlines will be more attention-grabbing and sound credible too.
These are all about reaching out to niche segments of your target audience. You basically use strategic ads which are relevant to what users are looking for on the Internet. So your advertisement could pop up in an article that a user is reading or in a web page. Many ads are so targeted that they even cater to geographical areas.
Fine tuning the ads in such a manner will ensure more clicks from interested customers. However the flipside is that once the ads start getting more number of clicks, you need to set a maximum cap on how much you can pay per click.
With Web 2.0 it is possible for you to measure results of your campaigns and ensure customers are doing what you intend on them doing. For example by examining your web server logs you can estimate how many customers are downloading a particular file, reading about it, from which sources have they visited your site as well as how many clicks they have made into your website.
By understanding such criteria you are in a much better position to make informed decisions regarding strategic business moves on your company. You can also find out what customers generally feel about your brand and the way they perceive it. Certain technology enables you to read other blogs to find out what is currently being said about your brand.
One of the best things about Web 2.0 is the platform it provides to encourage users to share their perceptions, feelings, upload videos and audio content etc. When users get a chance to express themselves it provides a dynamic mechanism to automatically reach out to them. You can subtly sell your products while providing some useful how to video clips that instruct users how to do something.
In addition you can also ‘pre-sell’ your products by way of interesting ‘teasers’ in your blog or having a contest in your social networking site. These are all ways to encourage users to participate in your brand and involve them in having a say in your product. By knowing how users are reacting to your product you can fine tune your internet marketing campaign and product features to launch a fool-proof product that appeals to all masses.
The good thing about blogs and social media networking sites is that they allow users to participate actively in your brand. However, even while you market your products through these mechanisms you need to be careful on the etiquettes you follow on such sites.
Since you are involving communities you need to be extra careful on aspects such as spam, wrong information, wrong tags etc. can do more damage than good. Also using fictitious anecdotes or quotes in order to publicize your products not only affect the community but also hurt your brand’s credibility in the long run.
One of the important things you need to ensure before you get users to sign up on your blog or social media site – is that you need to authenticate them. The very nature of Web 2.0 is all about encouraging people across the world to participate in your brand.
Chances are when you engage a host of users in your brand you are going to receive some amount of criticism and flak for your products. Not every user is going to appreciate your products. Some will say it’s bad outright. So you need to be prepared for such an eventuality. Also make sure not to ignore such criticism posts as engaging them positively can often dramatically change the situation for the better.
The whole purpose of Web 2.0 is to encourage interaction among users. Be warned that users are also very intuitive about the quality of ideas in a brand. If they spot something novel and interesting the idea is going to get passed around very quickly.
However, if you find that your ideas are just sitting there with no real takers you know you’re on the wrong track! The idea is to keep updating your blog etc. with fresh content that gets rotated on a regular basis. Otherwise users will not have anything to look forward to when they visit your site!
While you need to upload your blog and social media sites with fresh content regularly you need to do away with what is known as spinning. It’s basically recycling the same content over and over again using different tag lines, story headings etc. to just make the piece look different.
Users can easily spot such material and once they detect it on your site they will not come back to look at your site – ever. It is a direct turn off and can affect the credibility of your brand in a very adverse manner. Instead consider advertising via editorials. These lend far more credibility and reputation to your brand online.
If you are part of the Web 2.0 initiative because it is ‘cool’ then you are in for a shocking surprise. Web 2.0 is always a long term dedicated commitment which needs due time and attention. If you are in it just for the ‘cool quotient’ then you can be sure of a downfall very soon.
Instead you need to ascertain why you are using this technology. Ideally Web 2.0 should be part of your business initiative and part of the future business goals of the organization. It’s only when you work towards this end can you achieve success online.
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to get Web 2.0 consulting from the experts.