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21st January 2006

RSS: the best technology for marketing after all

There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

And the figures on RSS usage are a case in point. Information Week reporter Mitch Wagner writes

KnowNow, a vendor of technology that uses RSS, says that many people use RSS and are unaware that they’re doing so. They took issue with a statistic I quoted from Forrester, which found in a September study that only 6% of Internet users are using RSS. KnowNow countered with a white paper from Yahoo that says 31% of Internet users are using RSS–they just don’t know it. They’re using personalized start pages, such as My Yahoo and My MSN. That’s pretty encouraging news to RSS advocates.

He makes a good point that this is consistent with how most web users feel about technologies that power the online actions they take every day. Ask most users about HTML or POP3 and they’ll stare at you blankly. But they use email avidly and browse the net and buy online all the time.

Several readers took me to task for not explaining what RSS is and how they could get started using it, writes Wagner.

Here is a great reference on RSS basics.

You can find a tutorial there to help you understand RSS.

You can find more good reference materials on RSS here – a whitepaper on the Business Case for RSS and a free RSS reader to get you started.

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18th January 2006

BBC shows how to promote RSS feeds

Both Rok and Scoble commented on the effectiveness of the BBC feeds.

“Their new site, thefeedfactory, goes to great lengths to make RSS friendly to their users and really help them get a great RSS experience,” writes Rok.

The Feed Me section is a good idea – but I’d like to see a customized feed made available, so I could add the content I want into one feed.

If you are not already using RSS on your site’s content, this RSS basics tutorial can give you some ideas on how to do it.

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11th January 2006

NewMastering is the RSS marketing opportunity in 2006

Back in March of 2004 Robin Good spoke about News Mastering.

Due to the overload of spam blogs – splogs – and the need for reliable and trusted news sources in the blogosphere, 2006 may just be the year News Mastering takes off in RSS marketing.

Several recent studies have pointed to the need for trusted news sources.

The 2006 Tech Predictions in Site Pro News today mentions the need for blogger credibility.

If you are looking for a way to brand your company online, RSS News Mastering could be the PR tool you need.

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9th January 2006

RSS marketing named as top trend for 2006

Internet marketing veteran Larry Chase of the Web Digest has RSS feeds as a marketing tool at #2 in his top trends for 2006.

“After 13 years in this Internet Marketing business, researching and writing about search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), ROI marketing, and sales lead generation, I’ve developed a good nose for what’s coming next,” Chase noted. “If you don’t develop this sense, you won’t be in this tumultuous business very long,” he wryly concluded.

Chase predicts that RSS marketing is good for

• Content Sampling
• Subscription Acquisition
• CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

“But, RSS will not prove to be a consistently useful advertising vehicle,” says Chase

Adding good content and syndicating it in an RSS feed is also a very useful tool for better search engine visibility and brand impact.

If you are working on your 2006 Internet marketing strategy, be sure to include RSS content feeds.

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7th January 2006

RSS in 2006

Why corporate and enterprise marketing folk need to pay attention to content feeds

The new year always brings a slew of tech predictions. Click Z asked a few thought leaders for their ideas and the one that caught my eye was from Dick Costolo, CEO of Feedburner.

“2006 will be the year that RSS subscription gets shoved “down the stack”. That is, more and more subscribers will not have to know that they are subscribing to something specific called an RSS feed. They’ll just say “I want to subscribe to this thing with one of the apps I normally use everyday” and it will just work. People who subscribe to feeds will no longer need to know to look for the little orange button and right click.”

Last year when the Ponemon Institute’s Trust and Credibility survey was released, they found that people want to be able to control the marketing messages they receive. I commented that RSS feeds fit all the criteria for increased trust and credibility as listed in this study.

Yahoo’s survey of RSS users found that a majority of users are already at the point where they don’t know they use RSS. They just want to subscribe to the content.

And that’s the best reason every company should add RSS to their website content.Make it available and make it as easy as possible to subscribe.

Offer them interesting content and let them choose what they receive in their feed. With a little thought and effort, your feeds can provide a TiVO experience for your users – it will allow them to control the messages and it will build trust and credibility.

More than 50 percent of web content is now consumer generated. The days of corporate and enterprise control of the message are long gone. Wakwe up and smell the feeds.

It’s time to give your audience content the way they want it – in a customizable content feed they can control.

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