Widgets Offer Viral Marketing and Affiliate Revenue
ClickSurge, the offering by MediaRiver, is designed to combine contextual search with widget technology, said CEO Al Wasserberger. "We build widgets that understand the content on the page and serves up information based on that," he said, "so it's all about driving traffic." The ClickSurge Platform is designed to let Web publishers guide Internet users to the publishers' online content in a discovery-based contextual model allowing content of any type, including video, music, pictures or text, to be linked onto any Web page dynamically based on the unique properties of that Web page. Widgets built on the platform quickly scan the contents of a Web page, and search for related content, placing links to that content onto Web pages at a publisher's Web site, at a partner's Web site or on any Internet page, including user-generated content sites such as blogs and social networks. Jay Budzik, founder and chief technology officer, provided the following example: "If you sell posters, and have a vast catalog, and put a ClickSurge widget at your MySpace site, when someone pastes the widget on their page, it will read the information there and list matches for that person's favorite bands. It customizes itself for wherever it lands." This significantly differs from other widget models, he said, that will simply feature, say, top sellers, best deals or most popular items. "Other widgets don't have a relationship to the customer or viewers, whereas ours deliver content based on what else in on the page." There is no upfront cost to get started with ClickSurge. Instead, the publisher pays a percentage of the new revenue realized from new traffic to their Web properties. The MediaRiver platform can be used to accomplish the following:
- Spread your content across the Web. Create a widget that spreads virally, bringing your contextually related content to blogs and social networks.
- Create revenue-producing affiliate programs. Widgets can help you get the right content placed on your partner's Web sites, sending more traffic back to you. Have your partner include related links that drive people back to your content. Or switch it around and use to generate extra revenue from your highlyh trafficked Web site by creating related links that shows your partner's content.
- Increase the number of page views per visit. By tying widgets to your own content, you can build a related links module that increases the number of page views per visit because it's designed to show the user more of what you have.
TheFind.com: Lifestyle Goods
TheFind.com, a lifestyle goods shopping engine recently launched four new widgets that provide direct access to its index of more than 170 million products consolidated from over half a million online stores. Bloggers and e-tailers can now take advantage of TheFind.com's following offerings:
- Shoplinks a real estate-neutral tool that's designed to enable bloggers and Web shop owners to monetize all posts about products by linking directly to TheFind.com's product search results.
- Search Widget a shopping search box that sits on a site and allows readers to directly search for products on TheFind.com.
- FindIt Widget a pre-populated search link that can be added to posts, and is especially useful alongside product images.
- Marketplace Widget a marketplace of category-specific product search links that site owners can customize.
Product review site Wize.com just introduced a new widget for bloggers and e-tailers who want to make money through affiliate marketing with LinkShare. The Wize widget is contextually based, meaning that it will provide related products based on the content at your blog or Web store. Right now it is only available for TypePad blogs, but the company is planning to make it more customizable for other blogging services. Founded in 2005, Wize claims it searches more than 7,114 Web sites, ranks almost 30,289 products and features more than a million user and expert reviews. An example of how this widget works: If you write about music or MP3 players at your blog or sell musical instruments at your store, Wize will display relevant products in your widget, offering visitors, say, links to the top three digital music players, based on its product research and scoring process. The site owner gets half of Wize's profit when a visistor clicks on the widget based on the click through. Music Sales Widgets
Widgets that sell music are an emerging subcategory with more than half a dozen in use now. The most popular players come from Amie St., Blast My Music, Hoooka, Musicane, Nimbot OMT, Project Opus and SNOCAP, according to Hometracked.com's Des McKinney, a recording engineer and producer who edits the homerecording blog for indie engineers. He said all of these music-selling widgets have a few common features: They're Flash-based, and embed in any Web page with some simple HTML; they support the sale of individual songs, and full albums; they let listeners stream music; and they don't require artists to waive any rights to their music. McKinney said these widgets are affordable and easy to set up and provide an effective way to keep fans at your site for purchases, as opposed to redirecting them to a third-party seller. For a side-by-side comparison of features of these seven specialized widgets visit McKinney's outline here. Michelle Megna is managing editor of ECommerce-Guide.com.
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