Widgets and Your Affiliate Marketing Mix – By Amy Ely

by FeedFront Staff on November 6, 2008

One of the highlights of Affiliate Summit is the constant stream of new ideas. Affiliate marketers are called Internet pioneers for good reason – they are passionate about finding new business models and innovative ways to use the Internet.

As expected, hot topics in Boston included ways to incorporate video, mobile and social media into affiliate marketing programs, and how networks and advertisers can support these efforts.

But one topic associated with social media deserves more attention: widgets. Have you considered how widgets might fit into your affiliate strategy?

Why Should I Consider Widgets?

In short, they’re capturing a lot of attention on the Internet. In the U.S., more than 77% of the internet audience has viewed a widget; in Canada, 80% have; and worldwide the figure is 62%. Also, research shows that widgets demonstrate greater reach than video, according to comScore’s April Widget Metrix and Video Metrix. So, if you’re looking for a way to share ideas and programs with the global online community, widgets can definitely help.

What are Widgets?

Widgets are light-weight single-purpose applications that run on a desktop or website. They serve a variety of purposes, from news feeds and calendars to entertainment, self-expression, photo and video sharing.

Using Advertiser Widgets

The benefit of advertiser widgets is that advertisers take care of most of the development work and you reap the benefits.

Advertiser widgets can add content to your site that can improve traffic and engagement. Some examples include:

CBSSports.com Scoreboard: http://tinyurl.com/cbssports

National Geographic: http://tinyurl.com/natgeographic

Yahoo! Weather: http://tinyurl.com/yahooweather

Also, widgets can help you earn additional revenue when users interact with the widget to make a sale or fill out a lead form.

For example, buy.at’s Ticketmaster EventEngine widget enables affiliates to earn revenue for each sale driven by the widget, even if it’s several download-generations away from the affiliate’s site.

Creating Your Own Widgets

You can create your own widget to drive traffic, increase page views and share ideas. If your widget gains traction, consider selling advertising within your widgets to generate new revenue opportunities. A few general ideas include:

• Share content – share tips, ideas, and content in your widget, keeping your brand and site top of mind when users see your widget on the Web.

• Leverage viral marketing – encourage users to share your widget with friends as a way to expand your reach.

• Update regularly – updates automatically appear wherever your widget is embedded, creating a dynamic dialogue with users.

How Do I Build and Distribute My Own Widget?

Work with a syndication partner. They provide the components necessary for your widget to be picked up on blogs, social networks and personal pages. Established syndicators include YourMinis from Goowy Media, Clearspring Technologies and Interpolls.

Showcase your widgets on your site, and you can also work with a widget ad network, such as Widgnet, or place your widgets in galleries such as Yahoo’s Widgets, Facebook, the Mac Dashboard or Widgetbox.

The opportunities with widgets are endless, how do you plan to use them?

Amy Ely is the U.S. Marketing Manager for buy.at, Platform-A’s affiliate network. Joel Fisher, Director of New Product Development and head of Widgnet, Platform-A’s social networking application and Web widget ad network, also contributed to this article.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 3 here – http://feedfront.com/feedfront-issue3.pdf
FeedFront issue 3 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/category/issue-3/

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