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25th September 2006

Use RSS to Syndicate Product Reviews

According to Ad Age Digital product reviews are the most common form of consumer-generated content – and the most influential. Peer to peeer reviews are the number one pre purchase influencer online.

Turning to other consumers “just like me” was highlighted in the Twinsumer Trend from Trendwatching.com. Looking for advice and referrals from peers has exploded from 20% to 68% in the last two years. (Edelman, January 2006). JupiterResearch reports that the number of online buyers who cite customer ratings and reviews as the most useful shopping site feature has more than doubled from 2005 to 2006. The study also found that ratings and reviews are nearly as valuable of a shopping resource as store web sites, search engines, and in-store visits. (JupiterResearch, August 2006)

“Product reviews written by real people are perhaps the most underappreciated slice of the consumer-generated-media universe, the explosion of which has captivated the advertising and media worlds. But as marketers fixate on getting their virals on YouTube and making friends on MySpace, these relatively unsexy product write-ups have quietly become the most common form of consumer content — Forrester puts it as the most-used form of peer-generated content — not to mention the one with the most direct impact on purchase decisions.” commented BazaarVoice, an Austin, TX company that tracks product reviews.

If you have product reviews on your site – and you should – take this to the next level and syndicate the content with an RSS feed.

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23rd September 2006

Video casting reaches millions

Marketing guru Seth Godin has seen the power of online video. In an interview with Tom Peters he said,

“I did an experiment with Google in February. I gave a speech there, and they said, “Can we put this on our video site?” I intentionally had changed and edited my speech, so I wouldn’t be giving up all my best slides. I said, “Sure.” It’s been downloaded, I think, more than half a million times. It spread far and wide.

What I discovered is that people who had never read my work and never would read my work, had watched the video. There’s something magical about video. It’s a drug that goes straight to some part of your brain that people cannot get enough of.”

Seth’s planning to add content to YouTube as soon as he figures out the technology.

“I think every marketer, every organization has to have at least one statement on YouTube. Because if someone looks for you on YouTube and doesn’t find you, you don’t get a chance to talk to them. That doesn’t mean you have to do one every week. It doesn’t mean it has to be brilliant, viral stuff. But I think if I owned the Nescafé brand, I’d want to put up a five minute interview with the CEO of Nescafé, just in case someone types “Nescafé” into YouTube.”

That’s smart thinking. MSN is launching Soapbox – and it remains to be seen how much market share they can wean away.

Video on mobile devices is also on the rise. According to Telephia, researcher to communications and new media markets, the mobile TV audience grew 45 percent to 3.7 million subscribers in Q2 2006. The third screen allows consumers to get news and information while on the go.

“Consumers want television at their fingertips… News and information is the killer app for mobile television,” said Telephia exec Tamara Gaffney.

So once you have the video material, add it to your website as a download, get it indexed in Google and Yahoo video search, put it on YouTube and then syndicate it in an RSS feed.

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8th September 2006

The big player

“Only after I had started researching and writing about RSS did it dawn on me that I had no idea just how Big a Player RSS is becoming and will become in the very near future. The impact will be felt in all areas of the web,” says Titus Hoskins in SitPro News today.”RSS is not only changing the rules, it is changing the whole ball game. RSS will play a bígger and bígger role in the success or failure of your website. Proceed without RSS at your own risk.”

Quite a dramatic statement. But one that thos e of us who have been RSS fans for some time can only agree with.

He makes the very pertinent point that RSS is fast becoming a ocnpetitive necessity: if you don’t offer RSS you will lose traffic to those who do.

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2nd September 2006

RSS Strategy

Author and marketing guru Seth Godin makes a good point about whyRSS is a necessary addition to your marketing strategy :

“…The local newspaper never had to worry about an attention lottery–everyone in town read the paper. Today, because it’s become molecuralized, our attention flits around, shuffled by one automated (or handbuilt) editor or another. The only win I see in the long run is for the winner of today’s attention lottery to earn a subscription (an RSS feed or an email sign up or a podcast subscription) that gives them a chance to be noticed tomorrow as well. Depending on the magic of shuffle for your success is too painful and too unpredictable.”

Alan Morrison , who covers technology and related industry trends as an analyst and editor for the Tech Center at PricewaterhouseCoopers , agrees and offers this advice:

…It would seem that what content providers–anyone who publishes, really–need is a Web 2.0 content strategy centered around encouraging subscription growth generally–including at a minimum RSS feeds, newsletter registrations and podcast subscriptions. It’s likely much content is escaping customers’ attention, more than what otherwise would be the case even, because the content’s not optimized for subscription.

Read his strategy outline.

Just with any other marketing activity – offline or online – you need an RSS strategy to be successful.

RSS strategy, rss feeds, content syndication

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2nd September 2006

RSS feeds are a new web medium

In a recent interview in Business 2.0, the CEO of FeedBurner, Dick Costello, said that like the Web 10 years ago, feeds have reached a tipping point.

“You can’t stop this train,” he told them. “Content is going to be syndicated and consumed all over the place. Your job is to figure out how to turn that into an opportunity.”

So where are the opportunities?

  • Adding RSS feeds to your news content allows you to deliver a constant stream of content to your subcribers
  • Syndicating your content makes it available to a much wider audience
  • you know you will reach the audience – RSS has 100% guaranteed delivery of the content
  • RSS is a brand-new medium, as distinct from the Web as the Web is from newspapers, radio, and TV, says Business 2.0. To take advantage of this new medium, you need to create and publish RSS feeds. Content syndication is what this new medium is all about.

    As Costello says, you can’t stop this train. Are you on board yet?

    content syndication, RSS feeds

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