Thursday, December 20, 2007

Marketing with Widgets

It’s raining widgets! But we knew that already. They have taken over Facebook, are being adopted by Facebook’s competitors, and now media companies are catching on and starting to use them as ads known as Google Gadgets. A few months ago I posted some ideas and examples and even in just a few months the widgets have advanced and are being used in even more creative ways so I'd like to add to that original list with by expanding on the idea of a microsite widget.

Like the Google Gadget examples this type of implementation can go a long way beyond just advertising. I see this particularly useful for large websites where you can cross promote sections of your website. For example you can create a microsite of your products area and place it on the solutions area of your site. A product widget may include product shots, product datasheets, customer testimonial videos and news or reviews about the product. Mash it! You can also mashup the idea of a widget with an online game and include a game in the widget. This enhances the experience of your user who will not have to toggle back and forth between different sections of your site while at the same time making your site more interactive. Partner or office locators are other examples where this would be valuable.

Assuming you include an embed code in your creation, you can then leverage this same widget in your Social Media Release. Publishers and bloggers are then equipped with an easy way to enhance their story with an interactive widget. Partners and resellers who also promote your products can easily use the embed code to include the widget on your site.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can you track it? Yes, it is hosted on your site so you can track impressions, interactions and embeds.
  • Can you update it? Again since it's hosted on your site when you update the content it is broadcasted to all of the sites that have picked up the widget.
  • Is it proven? No, it's new - there is little data to say the people prefer widget over traditional approaches but there's certainly a lot of buzz around widgets and there are always bigger returns for first movers. Go out on a limb in 2008 and see what happens!

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