4 Tips to Maximize the Potential of Widgets
Web marketing used to be about driving traffic to your site, but the fragmented digital landscape and the explosion of portable content and social media have added a powerful twist: Now you can drive your site (or pieces of it) to the traffic.
With the launch of applications on Facebook and the rise of other personalization environments like iGoogle, consumers now can handpick the content they want to receive and have it brought to them dynamically, rather than having to seek it out. Thus, widgets have captured the attention of marketers and consumers alike for their power to deliver, literally. These mini, portable, embeddable pieces of content can be seen on desktops, social networking pages, blogs and even mobile phones. Small yet impactful, widgets can accommodate much of the same functionality as full Web sites.
To maximize a widget's potential, marketers can keep a few simple guidelines in mind:
1. Not all widgets are created equal
The first step, which is crucial to the widget planning process, is to understand the various types of widgets.
- Web widgets live throughout various Web pages, such as blogs, start pages and social networks. Many are entertainment-focused, featuring new movies or music artists.
- Desktop widgets live on users' computer desktops and tend to be the most successful if they are utility-focused (e.g., clocks, calculators, weather updates).
- Applications are built for specific platforms, such as Facebook. These tend to provide high levels of customization and often link back to branded microsites or other landing pages.
There are also multiple business models for widgets as marketing vehicles—you can either build your own or partner with an existing widget (and potentially existing audience). The right fit for your brand depends on the target audience and strategic objectives.
2. Set clear objectives and metrics
Widgets can be of service to a broad variety of marketing objectives and offer a wide array of data. Be crystal clear on goals before deciding what kind of widget and business model approach to take. Those strategic goals and objectives help narrow focus to metrics that matter.