Insight from Adam Boyden, President of Conduit, a provider of website syndication solutions for businesses of all sizes.
There was a time when email was an essential part of any organization’s marketing mix in an effort to reach its customers. Nowadays, with the flood of emails coming into our inboxes, it’s getting harder to rise above all the noise to effectively reach an audience, thus rendering email less effective.
You may have heard the terms “add-ons”, “plug-ins” and “browser extensions” here and there, but what are they and, more importantly, why should you care? Well, simply stated, they are small technology applications that can add new functionality to the browser that make using the Internet more convenient. They also provide companies with the opportunity to promote their brand, content and products right into the browser windows of customers.
Feeling a bit intimidated by technology? Not sure where to begin? You will see that it’s really quite simple to get started. But first, you should begin at the end and consider the outcomes and then determine how you are going to get there.
Step One: What do you want your customers to do?
The first step in determining the appropriate add-on, plug-in or browser extension for your business is to ask yourself what action you want your customers to take. For example, do you want them to come to your website, buy your product, or participate in an online discussion?
Travelocity did just that by first identifying the need to improve engagement and keep travelers coming back more often. By creating a community toolbar that sits in the browser, Travelocity is giving travelers the tools they need to book flights, hotels, and vacations without having to go to the Travelocity site. This new offering has opened up a new direct selling channel for Travelocity without waiting for users to visit their site.
Step Two: Attract customers and keep them coming back
Next, you will want to determine what software or content you could offer users to entice them to visit your site and be motivated to make a purchase.
To attract its customers, Babystrology created and added a Baby Countdown Pregnancy Ticker to its Widgetbox platform. To the expectant parents, the Baby Countdown Pregnancy Ticker is addictive while also serving as a constant reminder of the brand. The parents can see how many days until their new arrival while also being presented with special offers and information on new products – all while linking customers and users to the Babystrology online store.
Step Three: Determine how your content is best deployed via an add-on
Ask yourself, could your content be delivered in a way that is more interesting, convenient or fun for my users? For example, as a game, a news feed, or as a content distribution tool? It all depends on the intended audience. If your audience is kids, a game might be the best way to reach that audience. If it is working adults, perhaps a productivity tool might be better.
ShareThis is a content syndication tool that any publisher can place on their site to give readers a quick and easy way to share information through social media sites and blogs. Companies use ShareThis to syndicate information about new products, specials and events. The great thing about this nifty little gadget is that if the information is interesting enough, fans will share it with others. This takes care of the distribution of content with no further effort required by these companies.
Once you determine your desired outcome, it’s easy to create the add-on, plug-in or browser extension that will deliver meaningful results. When applied strategically, browser applications can be used to drive e-commerce sales, increase user engagement and site traffic and extend your brand beyond your website. The right browser extensions have the power to give your brand flight – great news for all marketers competing for attention online.