Thursday, November 15, 2007

Web 2.0 Marketing

I've decided to shift the focus of this blog to a discussion of Web 2.0 marketing techniques.

If you are interested in online marketing, the old strategies focusing around SEO and static linking are no longer enough. Today, being an aggressive online marketer means using Web 2.0 tactics. What are these tactics? There's so many it tends to make your head spin.

In case you are not aware, Web 2.0 is about interactive media where readers (members) are also the publishers. Given the democratic and interactive nature of the web this shift (in retrospect) was inevitable.

One of the most obvious examples is - anybody with a free account can post videos about just about anything. Other people watch them, and comment on them. The number of times particular videos get viewed pushes the popular ones to the top of the list and so they'll get even more views.

Wikipedia is another interesting example (although not friendly to marketers at all.) Anybody can start a page on virtually anything at Wikipedia. For instance, if you consider yourself an expert on 19th century Romanian folk music, go ahead and create a page (although there may already be one there). Then anybody else can just add to or edit your work.

Craigslist is another, more marketing friendly example. Anyone can post free classified ads in major cities across North America and around the world. Your ad stays in circulation for usually about 45 days. If your ads pass the automated CL filters and if nobody else tags it as spam or inappropriate you've got your message in front of millions of potential viewers. And it doesn't cost a cent.

There are many other sites like this, and I'll try to look at and experiment with several of them - always from the online marketing perspective - as time goes by.

We will also be offering Web 2.0 online marketing services for clients serious about using these media to reach millions of people.

Online Marketing with CraigsList

In my quest to harness the power of Web 2.0 for online marketing I've started trying to figure out how to use CraigsList for online marketing purposes. If you are not familiar with Craigs List, it is a massive classified ad site where you can post ads for virtually anything in many, many cities across North America, and around the world.

You would think CL would be ideal for people trying to sell stuff online. That's what online marketing is about, right? After all, these are ads for stuff that, presumably people want to buy. So there are millions of people crawling and searching through the CL listings every day.

For some reason CL has not gotten a lot of buzz in the internet marketing community. Maybe because CL itself does not encourage the kind of rah rah overhyping and quasi-spamming that internet marketers are fond of doing.

But there are a few online marketing guys who have produced guides and helpful products for those of us interested in legitimate ways of reaching people with our messages. One of them is Jeremy Lawrence. Jeremy has done extensive testing with CL and uses it to generate signups for his newsletter and find buyers for his product called Craigs List Videos. I have links to three of his products and reports on the Advertising Opps page at the Linknet Forum.

Another product that might be helpful to automate Craigs List postings is called AdBomber. This may sound like a spammers tool. But it is not. Anyone who starts placing ads in Craigslist pretty soon starts thinking, "Hey wouldn't it be nice if I could automatically post these ads to a bunch of locations?" That's the urge Adbomber was created to address. I'm still not convinced it is the answer, but I'll let you know after I've tried it a few times.

I will be reporting back on my Craigslist success or lack of success as time goes on.