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Blogs, Podcasting, and RSS

  • Posted September 12, 2006
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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 retail online interaction then read this brief further.

Will these technologies impact you? To be honest, it’s too early to tell – but awareness drives innovation and maybe your team will develop an idea/application that truly changes a portion of your eCommerce business.

Here’s the rundown:

Blogs

What it is:

Probably the most well known of the three, blogs allow everyday people to quickly develop a website and distribute any type of content that they desire. Many web entrepreneurs use this functionality to develop online stores within niche markets, while using search popularity to beat out larger retailers on the specific terms within the market.

Where Blogs make make sense is within targeted online communities. Certain blog authors develop a large base of specific visitors, hence the site becomes a target market for viral marketing. By integrating your brand image within the site experience at that SPECIFIC blog, you as an online marketer are able to truly segment your marketing PRIOR to converting someone as a customer.

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 sales/promotions that you are providing.

Podcasting

What it is:

Pocasting should be just called mobile video broadcasting – Apple’s marketing/development team did a great job with branding their device to a type of emerging media! Similar to traditional radio and television, mobile video broadcasting delivers branded content in either a paid/free environment, on someone’s mobile MP3 player (Apple only does video currently, but that will change shortly). Retailers can use this communication channel to further connect to their customers with promotional events, while transmitting specialty programming to meet an interest need.

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 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 from your website and not from Apple’s iTunes platform.

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. It streams instateneously. Consumers can have news readers on their computers, either integrated into an emal client, or an aggregated web application such as News Gator, and are able to get information relating to their interests.

Already gaining steam in the travel industry and within comparison shopping engines, RSS seems to be a valuable way to push news, offers, and infomrmation 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:

Depends on the nature of your business. Do you consistently offer new prices? Do you get new pieces 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.

Craig Smith

Trinity Insight LLC

http://www.trinityinsight.com

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  • Posted On September 12, 2006
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