Rated X Send your web content to a mobile phone with feedm8

Posted by tom klein September 25, 2007 at 2:30 am

Want to give your customers something interesting to read on long elevator rides when they don’t want to look at their shoes and want to feel important?

You can easily make your company’s blog available on most any phone, using Feedm8. Let’s use a slightly demented but occasionally interesting digital marketing site we know of as an example. Enter your blog/site in this signup form, make the ceremonial offering of your email address, and then you’re presented with options to promote the cell phone friendly version of your site.

As we described in Kiss the Problem, when you give users code for putting content into a site, it’s more likely to get use. In this example, by simply copying and pasting the HTML this service provides, you can create a handy service and make sure your content gets read.

Your customers or prospects who come to your site can see a simple link, maybe one that says Read on Mobile. Alternatively, you can just put in a nice button (try it!) :

Now, when they’re looking for something interesting to read, your customers will find your site on their phone in an easy to read format. Don’t they deserve a mobile version from you?

This service is made possible by the letters R, S, and S. This simple syndication makes it easy to take content from a website and do just about anything with it. And, pay close attention. The reason this is all free for you? Yes - it’s advertising. This service adds an ad wherever they put your feed. Look closely one more time at what shows up on your reader’s phone.

While this service doesn’t divulge much in the way of traffic numbers, this is no doubt going to be a popular way to take all of that effort that went into creating web based content and move it to the next frontier. It might be a good idea to go ahead and start advertising.


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  Weird words that mean a lot Reach classified verticals with Oodle

Posted by tom klein September 14, 2007 at 2:30 am

It’s easy to think that everyone uses or buys the market leader – Google for search, eBay for auctions, Craigslist for classifieds. Well, they don’t. These companies are leaders and have big shares, but you’re leaving dollars on the table or losing out if you don’t go that extra mile to capture all of the category leaders.

Take Oodle for example. It’s a different option for classifieds. It primarily carries classifieds from many, many other sites, usually category specific. For example, if you’re looking to buy a new puppy, there are several pet specific classified sites, such as Petfinder or Pluba. If you just look on Craigslist, you just won’t find the pets listed on these sites.

So, if you’re looking to sell something, the lesson is to create a classified in several places and to ensure that it’s listed on aggregators like Oodle. Alternatively, if you’re buying, make a visit to Oodle, if you don’t find what you’re looking for on Craigslist.

Oodle repackages and aggregates classified listings from around the web to make them easily searched by category, attributes, and location. They act as something of a search engine for classifieds. Interestingly, they used to aggregate Craigslist content, but are no longer allowed to do so.

One of the powers of aggregation of content is that you can then repurpose it across the web, just as Google syndicates its search ads. When you visit the classifieds section of many local sites, ticket sellers, real estate firms, and newspapers, you’ll often find Oodle content.


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  Buy it now Turn a display ad into a purchase with Tailgate

Posted by tom klein September 11, 2007 at 2:30 am

Many new salespeople have to learn a simple rule. Ask for the business. In the same way, so many display ads perform poorly because they’re unclear, they’re either intrusive or fade into the background like wallpaper. Most of all, they don’t really ask for the business. Not anymore.

Just take a quick look at Tailgate, an e-commerce system that fits an entire transaction right in a display ad. It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen. Yep, it’s a display ad. But, click on it and you can add an item to a shopping cart. Then enter your credit card number and close the deal (see this example).

Why make someone click over to a site when they can do a transaction right where they are. Time starvation knows no bounds. Don’t you think asking for the business more often will lead to . . . more business?

This novel display ad technology is made possible by Flash or Ajax technology. More importantly, this system doesn’t actually execute the transaction, but integrates with your existing e-commerce systems, ensuring a secure and accurate transaction.

The lesson here? You can syndicate any portion of your existing site to any place on the web. You’re not restricted to traditional notions of advertising. As with all advertising, focus on highlighting how you’re different in a compelling way.


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About face Connect with Facebook users by creating a widget

Posted by tom klein August 13, 2007 at 2:30 am

Social networking sites continue to increase in popularity. Across the board, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and many others continue to add users. So, with so many consumers congregating together, how do you put your brand front and center?

Any brand can reach Facebook’s 30+ million users by creating an inexpensive, shareable application, informally referred to as a Facebook widget. Facebook, one of the leading social networking sites, has turned its site into an “open” platform, making it easy for any brand to create and launch an application. Red Bull has created a branded version of rock-scissors-paper, called “Roshambull,” as a way to advertise its energy drinks. Facebook users agree to add the application, then they are welcomed and shown the rules, and finally, they can challenge a friend (and even bet available credits).

The key here is to create an application that users want to share. It might be a game, but could also be sharing preferences in music, or just about anything. Are you looking for a way to break through the clutter? This could be your chance.

Even more interesting to marketers, your applications on Facebook can give you detailed information about your (Facebook) users, including where they are, what their interests might be, and how they connect with their friends.

There may be no better place to reach Gen Y than on sites like Facebook or MySpace. It’s still early enough for participating brands to benefit from a positive halo just for developing and launching a new application.



  Survey says Get a quick customer read with Vizu

Posted by tom klein July 20, 2007 at 2:30 am

It’s just not possible to research everything before you put it in front of your customers. When it comes to getting a quick reaction to something, there’s usually not many options between formal data gathering and “mother-in-law” research (just asking colleagues, family, or friends).

Consider Vizu as a new option for getting a quick read on just about any topic. It’s a research service that can syndicate a simple poll to over a 1000 different websites. In addition, the system automatically runs a series of demographic questions to gain insight into the audience of each participating site. So, when they present the results of your poll, they can also provide some demographic info as well. As you’ll see in these poll samples, you can also integrate graphics into your poll. This might be handy when it comes to evaluating any visual item (see these Vizu case studies).

Prices start at $99 for a standard poll that delivers 100 responses within 6 to 24 hours. While it’s not the kind of tool that should drive strategic decisions, it can give you some new data to draw upon when you’re really just looking to fine tune a tactic.

What’s appealing about this service is the ability to put your polling question on the sites of others. In this way, you or your brand can stay "blind" but you can gather some topline or directional perspective. Another piece of potential insight? What users of which sites find your poll interesting enough to complete?

Get creative when it comes to creating a one question poll like this.  Remember that no one reads (or wants to read) much of anything.  Use easy to understand images or icons to get your idea across quickly.


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