Four ways e-tailers use RSS feeds to drive traffic, extend their brands, and create advertising.
Many online media companies find RSS (define) useful for driving traffic, extending their brands, and creating new ad vehicles. As RSS continues to gain traction, marketers are testing new ways to use it to promote e-commerce. It can be used to drive sales and build relationships when your content is adapted to meet users' needs.
Some e-commerce leaders have been investing in RSS-based marketing for a while now. So far, there are four primary ways e-commerce companies use RSS:
How to Implement RSS
From an implementation perspective, e-tailers use methods similar to those of media companies to drive RSS users by using content (either promotional or informational) to engage new users. In addition to driving new traffic, RSS can help search engine rankings (particularly blog-related ones), as blogs and feeds are indexed. Here are some tips:
RSS Issues to Consider
RSS use still has challenges to overcome. Among them are:
Analyzing RSS Results
RSS analytics are still relatively young. Part of your RSS analytics' strength will depend on your existing online analytics capabilities and technology platforms used. Wagner, who uses a marketing metrics dashboard at Orbitz, sees RSS as a viable marketing tool within the marketing mix. She noted, "You get the behavior that you measure." Here are a few basic measures:
As RSS adoption grows, marketers must test this new channel for driving sales and retaining customers. As more browsers begin to include a new generation of RSS, notably Internet Explorer 7, mass-market use of RSS will increase. As a marketer, you want to be ahead of the curve by learning how to best deploy this useful customer communications tool now.
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Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
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