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|Blogs, Podcasting and RSS | eCommerce Impact
Blogs, Podcasting, and RSS Overview You probably have heard all
these terms an awful lot lately. You wonder about what these
technologies do? What value to they provide? If you aren't up to
speed on these new applications and how they are impacting
online interactions then read this brief further. Will these
technologies impact you? To be honest, it's too early to tell -
but awareness will drive innovation and maybe your team will
develop an idea/application that utilizes these technologies to
enhance a portion of your eCommerce business.
Here's the rundown: Blogs What they are: Probably the most well
known of the three, blogs allow everyday people to quickly
develop a website presence and distribute any type of content
that they desire. Look at the metrics relating to blog
penetration. * 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the
internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. That
represents more than 8 million people. * 27% of internet users
say they read blogs. * Only 38% of all internet users know what
a blog is. The rest are not sure what the term "blog" means.
What a "blog" actually means is weblog. In basic terminology,
it's the ability for someone to update web content directly
though the Internet, using a web browser as the publishing
mechanism. This makes the creation of content easy and many
people are using blogs to establish authority sites within
unique business and hobby/interest niches. Where blogs impact
online retail most is within these targeted online communities.
Certain blog authors develop a large base of specific visitors,
hence the site becomes a potential target market for viral
marketing efforts. Many web entrepreneurs us this functionality
to develop affiliate hubs within niche markets, and use search
popularity to beat out larger retailers within corresponding
natural search results.
By integrating your brand image within the site experience at
that SPECIFIC blog, you as an online marketer are able to
segment your marketing PRIOR to converting someone as a
customer. It is a place to communicate with current and
potential customers about current offerings/promos while
boosting the credibility of the brand. Should you care: If you
have a very unique value proposition, or sell to a very specific
or high-value customer segment, blogs can be a great way to
increase overall brand awareness. You can better connect with
your customers and provide detail into the current happening
within the business (ex. Current sales on XBOX 360).
Potentially, one person within your organization should own the
monitoring of blogs within
your vertical and look to post new
content to meet the needs within the unique blog community.
Podcasting What it is: Pocasting should be just called mobile
video broadcasting. However, Apple's marketing/development team
did a great job with branding their device to a type of emerging
media - hence the term podcasting! Similar to traditional radio
and television, mobile video broadcasting delivers branded
content in either a paid/free environment, on someone's mobile
media player (Apple only does video currently, but that will
change shortly). Retailers can potentially use this
communication channel to deliver targeted content to their
customer base, while integrating advertising within the video
Should you care: Not really. Until video podcasting penetration
increases, it's still a limited channel for advertising. The
best application available right now would be an online audio
content segment that is digitally delivered to an opt-in list.
As technology advances, you can potentially do this from your
current opt-in page on your website and not from Apple's iTunes
RSS RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and is a method for
electronic content distribution. RSS is transmitted via the
internet, but what makes it unique is that no downloading
efforts are needed by the end receiver of the content. The
content streams instateneously within a webpage.
Advanced consumers have RSS news readers on their computers,
either integrated into an email client, or utilize an aggregated
web application such as News Gator. This essentially saves them
time in aggregating all new and updated content that meets their
interests. Already gaining steam in the travel industry and
within comparison shopping engines, RSS seems to be a valuable
way to push news and time sensitive offers to customers. Travel
companies are able to provide a streaming supply of last minute
airfare offers to their customer segments, without that customer
having to open an email or visit a webpage.
Should you care: It completely depends on the nature of your
business. Do you consistently offer new prices? Do you obtain
new products to your assortment consistently? Do you have a
customer base that is extremely loyal that you want to reach out
to with messaging? If so, RSS may another channel to help build
your brand. Call us today to learn more about these technologies
and the potential impact they can have in reaching your
customers with targeted messaging and fresh content.
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