In my experience, clients calling a social media agency like Ignite are trying to figure out how to get more traffic to their website. A laudable goal. So in instances where we talk about incorporating widgets into their strategy, we often get blank stares.
"First of all, who would want to download my widget? And second of all, if they did download my widget, then they wouldn't have to come to my website to get information from me. That defeats the point."
Or so says my hypothetical client. Now, I'm assuming you know what a widget is or you wouldn't be reading this. The point of this article is two-fold:
- Web widgets are growing in popularity and I have data to prove it; and
- Web widgets, used properly, can make a tremendous difference in driving traffic to a site.
Web Widgets Grow in Popularity
According to e-Marketer, U.S. firms spent $15 million creating, promoting and distributing these little beauties in 2007, but they're going to spend $40 million doing the same in 2008. Now that's a fraction of a fraction of the online advertising budget, but the growth is impressive, and the investment in a good widget is often much, much smaller than a good advertising budget.
That same e-Marketer reported that 58% of CMOs thought widgets would play a bigger role in their marketing outreach than mobile phone marketing, which has a very bright future.
This survey was taken at a particular conference, which leads me to believe that it might be, let's say, statistically challenged, but it's still a pretty surprising assertion.
So people are investing in them, but that doesn't prove anything. I mean, just look at all the money that people wasted on Second Life marketing. I believe, however, that the right widget deployed in the right way, can make all the difference.
Inc. magazine ran a cute article in the November issue about the power of widgets. Here are the examples they cite:
- Half of DailyPuppy.com's 30,000 unique visitors a month come from their widget.
- 95% of pregnancy site Babystrology.com come from their cool widget that shows the fetus growing a little each day.
- CarDomain.com saw an increase of 60,000 page views a day less than two weeks after posting their widget.
Like most any social media marketing technique, however, 10% of the magic is knowing how to do it (and companies like Sprout are making it easier and easier to do), 90% of the magic is in translating what you want to say into something that your prospects want to hear, see, do or learn more about.
If you can do that, using a widget as part of your social media marketing plan may make a lot of sense.
e Marketer, social media agency, social media marketing, web widgets, widget
Quick question: My favorite widget on my Mac is the basic simple calculator that pops up when I squeeze my side mouse buttons. My favorite PC desktop widget is Snitter. My favorite Facebook widget is who has the biggest brain, although I'll like it more when I can beat Gene. What one widget would you recommend for me?
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