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
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
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.