The Web, Web 2.0 and Marketing
I’ve heard of a lot of traditional companies trying to make the leap into Web 2.0, often with the gracefulness of a rampaging elephant on ice-skates. The internet is quickly becoming the most relevant, and engaging ways to attract the people you want to your product. How can you make use of this “new medium” in a way that provides meaningful results and doesn’t alienate your audience?
Consider this, if you’re a restaurant you wouldn’t trust someone straight off the street to get behind that fryer during a 6 o’clock rush, you’d want to train them first. Likewise, just because you need a web presence doesn’t mean you’re equipped to address it. There are many ways a small business can leverage existing webpages to drive your business online such as amazon, weborder24, yelp etc. Not only can you then offer your product online but make use of companies who build in a Web 2.0 interaction.
Is your Business Web 2.0′able?
Honestly unless you have some witty campaign I doubt people are going to spend their days talking about your ultra soft double ply toilet paper.
Thinking about something a little more likely though say you have a business/stocks magazine that you’re moving online (actually analyzed this specific example for a friend). This company had about 150,000 visitors a day which is huge, but they felt that they needed to modernize and drive more engagement with their customer base. So my friend asked me what could they do to better monetize that using “Web 2.0 principles” all while trying to gain some independence from Google and AdSense.
I had a couple ideas around ways they could do it:
- Tying the price of advertising to the fluctuations in the stock market as most of the ads centered around investment opportunities, and volatility makes people more likely to be more open to these offers.
- Borrow a Reddit type of model which ties company ad placement to user engagement of the ad, and additionally allowing for interaction from the company placing the ad and the consumers clicking on it.
In the end though there was 1 important factor that was very alarming towards their chances of success: their audience. Their audience seemed to be completely apathetic to commenting on their stories, or having a deeper engagement. On their top stories it was a big deal if they had 10-15 comments. Which really makes you wonder if they could possibly get anything off the ground that relied on users.
It’s an Art
Every once in a while I see an ad that draws me in. Something that is humorous, doesn’t hide that it’s an ad, and really embraces it knowing that they have targeted the right person and you are interested in what they are selling.
One of the best examples I have ever seen of this came from a friend who works at Amazon, who found this ad placed on their Facebook page.
The best part about this ad, is how convincing it is. Hell, even I want to see him hired on over at Amazon. The ad directly speaks to his experience given the fact he managed to hit that target so well with my friend. At the same time it’s non-invasive and relies on self selection from the reader.
Having a website is one thing, but without a good grasp on what your offer is, and without the skills needed to comprehend and act upon Web 2.0 opportunities you’re better off just sticking to a straight SEO and AdWords strategy.