Value of "Widgetizing" Content
Widgets are the bluest of blue oceans. Why these powerful marketing tools aren't everywhere is strange and discussed in this deck.
Content widgets are different than functional widgets such as calendars or other apps. Both use the same principles of a distributed network kept up-to-date by a central source, but content widgets do for content what widgetizing a program does for code. This slide outlines the journey to widgetization covered in this Haiku Deck.
Transient or Auxiliary Application.
Widgets reside on a web page but call information from another source. One of the very cool advantages to an embedded widget is the widget's creators control what content is displayed. This means content widgets are alive and always happening NOW.
Reside HERE (on web page) Get Info From THERE.
Widgets are small spaces on OPW (Other People's Websites) you've earned by creating content they want to embed. "They" in this context can be bloggers, social mediaites, smart phone and pad owners.
Widgets create a new marketing channel.
Done right a distributed widget network becomes a new marketing channel. Unlike many other channels your distributed widget marketing channel is * 100% in your control (no ISP to blacklist you). * A powerful source of instant feedback. * Very low cost, high return much like email. Should say much like email marketing used to be before ubiquity, spamming and mobile began shrinking open rates to a crawl.
Widgets produce traffic benefits for hub.
What can be more targeted than traffic from websites with your widgets embedded in them? A: Nothing. The challenge is not getting so greedy you miss the reason people embed widgets, reasons like: * They feel connected to you, your company, products or brands and want. * People want to let others know they are associated with you. * You provide a valuable source of arresting content. * Your widgets are consistent with the way those embedding think about THEIR content. * Its easy and rewarding to embed your widgets.
Widgets create a distributed content network.
Imagine the value of having your content instantly updated on a million websites, blogs and social media pages. There is no Internet Service Provider between you and your network eliminating the worry of being "black listed", something that happens with email marketing, and your distributed network ASKED for your content. If there is a cheaper way than widgetizing your content to build awareness, a new source of converting traffic and fast feedback I don't know what it is.
Widgets keep a content network up to date.
Widgets are ALIVE. When you change something it is instantly changed across the entire distributed content network.
Widgets create current conversations.
Own the conversation, own the traffic and widgets are a great way to "own" a conversation since your curation is reinforced across a broad network with each node increasing your "legitimacy" as curator of a particular conversation. I love Quora's embed options as they provide a way to master a conversation. Read more about Quora's widgets here: http://blog.quora.com/Introducing-Embedded-Quotes
Widgets provide value for those who embed.
This is the KEY to embeds. There are at least two kinds of embeds: * Embeds of content supportive of what a blogger or website is discussing on a particular page now. * Embeds of content as an active source of curation and new related content. Slideshare tends to get embeds from the first group - people who want to support what they are working on now. If my Storytelling Is The New SEO Slideshare doesn't update that's probably okay since the 58 embeds were using my slides to make a point: http://www.slideshare.net/martinmartysmith/storytelling-new-seo If I had a ScentTrail Marketing widget and it stayed static that would be a problem since those who've embedded a Twitter or blog role widget expect NEW content to stream to them. They are using my content creation as a soure of new content for themselves and I'm glad to help since I receive awareness and a valuable source of new traffic.
8,000 views of 17,000+ Storytelling New SEO from embeds.
The 58 embeds of Storytelling Is The New SEO have generated 8,551 views (and counting) of the 17,549 total views. Storytelling Is The New SEO isn't OVER or DONE, chances are good it will get hundreds more views by being included here: http://www.slideshare.net/martinmartysmith/storytelling-new-seo
Slideshare is probably the king of widgetization and that may be why Slideshare's SEO is so valuable, immediate and long lasting. I know Matt Cutts said use no follow links and that is true for little guys like us, but BIG GUYS like Slideshare know inside baseball secrets that produce POWER inside Google's content network. BTW, Storytelling Is The New SEO hab been #1 on that term for years (as judged by Mike's Keyword checker a tool capable of seeing inside Google's float to absolute listing position). http://www.slideshare.net/martinmartysmith/storytelling-new-seo #1 in Google for "storytelling is the new seo" for years.
Not all content is equally "widgetizable". Think back to the two kinds of embeds: * People looking to support a post today. * People looking for a source of current, cool and free content going forward. and you can see the kinds of content that make for great "widgetization".
Constantly updating relevance key to great widgets.
Don't try to create widgets that are all things to all people. Find a niche, narrow it and then own it. Examples: * Daily or even hourly SEO tips. * Inspirational quotes. * Arresting visuals. * Sports. * Mashable & highly specialized. * Quick design tips. * Evergreen ideas like storytelling is new seo. The more current and/or trend surfing your content the greater the embeds. Embeds have to be earned over and over. People can remove a widget as easily as add one, so monitor your embeds as a content marketing Key Performance Indicator.
Widgets must load FAST & play well with others.
Speed has many dimensions when widgetizing content. Programming must NOT slow the overall page. Adding your widget should be as close to neutral on page performance as possible (and publish that data too so people will know you are monitoring your widget's impact on their performance). Speed also means creating widget content that looks and feels FAST, FUN and EASY (to use, anser or share).
Some may embed your "sale" widget if you are creative and cool like Woot.com, but most embeds want something ABOUT THEM in YOUR widget. This is why we love UGC (User Generated Content) as a source of widget content. When your daily SEO tip comes from visitor suggestions you make THEM the hero of your widget and one mention keeps your widget embedded on their site for a long time. That last bullet is very important. Embedding is NOT EASY and it should be. Make sure your embed process is clear, no more than three steps and easy. Include a video showing how to embed, the benefits of embedding and information about performance (you are NOT slowing or crashing their pages and you use no follow links to you aren't stealing their juice).
No Follow Links.
Widgets were a sneaky way to gain SEO benefits before Panda/Penguin because widgets were firing juice BACK to the source (mostly unknown to people who embedded the widget). Matt Cutts, Google's spam master, suggests no follow links and I agree. After Panda and Penguin trying to game SEO value is stupid. Here is a link to the Matt Cutts video on using no follow links on widgets and infographics: http://youtu.be/PvR_8aGEc98
Developing a distributed content network via widgets is right up there with email, crowdfunding and other low costs, high return "blue oceans" that few Internet marketers are fully exploiting now. Like all "low cost, high reward" Internet marketing activities that statement will not be true for much longer. Expect "widgetization" to pick up in 2014.
Thought I would speculate about WHY widgetization hasn't already taken off, but, if you are a true Internet marketer, you don't care. Why is always moot. IS on the other hand can be very important to web marketing success. Widgets are about to explode. Do you want to be on this side of the Rubicon or the other?
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