What is Web 2.0?
“Web 2.0” is a term used to describe a growing trend towards online content made by web users, rather than traditional web publishers. It is a general term used to describe online technologies and medias that promote interaction and the exchange of information online.
It is increasingly important to market your website using web 2.0 technologies in order to respond to the habits of the web 2.0-savvy customer. Whilst planning your web development strategy, it will be necessary for you to assess how your target market uses these modern and ever evolving Web 2.0 technologies to decide on how to integrate them into your online presence as each technology requires a different approach.
Taking the tourism industry as an example, below is a scenario of how potential safari guests could search for a safari company using web 2.0 avenues.
They browse a video-sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo for safari footage so they can picture what their future safari experience in Africa could be like. They then ask for more advice on Facebook and Twitter and online discussion groups such as the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree, TripAdvisor forum on travel blogs or discussion forums. They book online on the website that gives them the most information without having to pick up the phone. Once the holiday is over, they post their photos on the photo-sharing site Flickr, write a review about their accommodation on TripAdvisor, report on their experience on the forums where they initially asked for advice, and recommend or advise against your tour business to other members of their online community.
The above example illustrates that a static brochure-like website is not sufficient to attract the modern web savvy customer. As a business owner you need to ensure your online strategy incorporates the required web 2.0 technologies.
WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGIES
- Websites that encourage interaction: business websites, potentially yours.
- Topical, diary-style websites: Blogs
- Content sharing sites: YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr
- Social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter
- Trip review sites: TripAdvisor
KEY CONSIDERATIONS TO SUCCEED IN THE WEB 2.0 ERA
To succeed online, you need to:
- Have a website that meets the expectations and habits of a demanding and evolving target market.
- Integrate web 2.0 tools into your website to help manage your reputation online and improve your internet presence.
- Be listed on relevant third-party distributor sites as they have a wide reach and rank high in search engines for mainstream keywords.
- First impressions are often made online via search results that point to third party reviews of your service/product or to an external video or blog post. It is important to pay attention to and monitor every page on which your product is listed. Google alerts is a service which can assist you in this.
Whilst planning your web development strategy It may be helpful to think of your website as your most dependable and untiring salesperson. Just a sales person talking on the phone to a potential client, your site needs to be concise, easy to understand, provide timely information and encourage your customers to choose you over your competitors.
A well planned and search engine optimised website may attract anywhere between 20 to 200 new and unique visitors. In comparison, your phone might only ring 5 to 20 times a day.
Adapting to Web 2.0 as an online marketer of your business
To succesfully market your business in the Web 2.0 market place it is important to dedicate time and effort to adapt your website as often as you adapt your products or services, and respond to emails as quickly as you would respond to a phone enquiry. Time is of the essence as website visitors will not wait long before moving on to your competiros. Your online presence should reflect your offline presence.
You do not need to have any programming skills to be self-sufficient in online marketing in the Web 2.0 marketplace. You will still be marketing your product to a human. The only difference is that you will be marketing through digital mediums such as websites, blogs, photos, videos etc.