Web Marketing 2.0
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The advent of Web 2.0 technologies has made the Internet an even more
valuable tool for businesses. With the increased interactivity of Web 2.0
applications, the web now acts as a broadcast vehicle for your brand and has
become a valuable channel for creating and managing customer relationships. New
Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, social networks, podcasts, RSS feeds,
and web APIs have transformed Internet marketing and usage.
Still, the Web 2.0 phenomenon is not as simple as it may seem. So what
exactly is Web 2.0 and why is it taking cyberspace by storm? There is no single
answer because Web 2.0 means different things to different people. For some, it
means the transition of websites from islands of information awash in a virtual
sea to valuable sources of connected content. For others, Web 2.0 is the
evolution of websites into computing platforms that serve up functional web
applications to end users.
But for most, Web 2.0 remains a social phenomenon that's transforming the
domain of cyberspace. Users are now generating web content on their own terms
and distributing it through multiple channels. Web content is being organized
and categorized more every day, and deep linking is networking this content. The
freedom to create, use, and share content is global, and virtual communication
is open and subject to no authority.
Web 2.0 has forced users all over the world to rethink the way they perceive
the Internet. Web 2.0 asks questions and demands responses, especially of
businesses. The development of Web 2.0 technologies has made the Internet a
priceless tool to broadcast branded messages to target audiences while creating
and managing customer relationships. In fact, these technologies have led many
in the industry to view "the market as a conversation."
So how are we as Internet marketers to utilize Web 2.0 technologies in our
campaigns, whether online or off? Much like the rest of the online space, there
is no simple answer to this question either. Of course, every campaign will have
a different answer depending on a variety of marketing principles.
Still, remember that within the domain of Web 2.0, no single factor is more
critical in planning and executing an online marketing initiative than taking a
user-centric approach. The user is the inherent focus of Web 2.0, so the best
thing you can do is start thinking more about your users. Then, act upon the
information you'll discover, implementing what you know works best for visitors
to your site.
We all know the technology that drives the web and enables online marketing
is constantly evolving; just look at how Web 2.0 has changed everything we
thought the Internet was or could be. Still, one principle that's central to Web
2.0 and will continue to be so in the future is user-centric design.
This focus on the needs of users brings us to the forefront of what many in
the industry have dubbed "Marketing 2.0," essentially the natural development of
Web 2.0 as it applies to the transformation of marketing on the Internet. Today,
consumers are researching and buying products online, and the speed of the
internet allows them to make split-second decisions based upon web content, not
on key messages or support points as is the case in traditional advertising.
Marketing 2.0 is based upon real content that's utilized to encourage
conversation and purchase decisions. Marketing 2.0 allows consumers to form
their own conclusions based upon the information present. Thus, content becomes
the most important aspect of Marketing 2.0. Connect through content.
Examples of this Marketing 2.0 emphasis on content and user-centricism
abound. Web 2.0 technologies have largely replaced traditional online marketing
channels. Blog posts evolved from press releases, just as email has from direct
mail. Users can now "pull" content of their choosing online, where in the past
advertising messages and related content were "pushed" upon the user whether
they were interested or not. Webinars and podcasts have made traditional
seminars accessible to all, and user generated content has taken precedence over
that generated by businesses. Social networking sites allow users with like
interest to connect and share relevant content with each other, giving rise to
Marketing 2.0 strategies like social media marketing.
Clearly the advent of Web 2.0 and consequently, Marketing 2.0, presents
several questions and implications for the process in which marketing is defined
and created in an online environment. As marketers, we must ask ourselves how
these changes affect our process and online strategy. How can we engage
customers through this channel, and how can we brand our products when we can't
control the content consumers use to make purchasing decisions?
In order for marketers to take advantage of Web 2.0 technologies, we need to
focus on CONTENT. Through content we engage the market, and create opportunities
to build trusting, valued relationships with customers while maintaining a
branded message. Remember that your content must be aligned online and offline
to maintain a similar user experience, look, and feel. Many companies have
incorporated content management systems into their web presence to allow for
instantaneous content generation and modification.
There is no debate that Web 2.0 has brought with it a fundamental shift in
user expectations. Traditional marketing messages don't matter anymore.
Marketing 2.0 is more about encouraging purchase decisions through content than
forcing them through traditional media.
The verdict is in: Every business with an online presence needs to evolve in
order to embrace and utilize Web 2.0 technologies or risk being left in the
About the Author
Nick Yorchak is an SEO expert and Search Engine Marketing Specialist at
Fusionbox, a full-service Denver
Internet marketing, web design, and web development company. He can be
reached at his Fusionbox email (email@example.com) or at (303)952-7490.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-12-10 20:15:15 in Computer Articles