Three Ecommerce Web 2.0 Platforms You Should Know About
You’ve built the online shop, found the supplier and set up a cart and accounting system… Now you just need visitors and customers. And it would be nice if they were the same people. It is funny that people swap steady 9-5 jobs for a life at home running their own because they are tired of dealing with traffic. And that is exactly what they are looking for now. Traditionally there were several ways to get this done:
- Use the services of greedy… err business-savvy eBay or other puny… er growing online auction services.
- Pay for ads through Google AdWords
- Buy banner advertising
- Write articles and comment on forums.
Thankfully, several new web 2.0 addresses have proved to be a hit with not only netizens but also search engines. The evolution of web 2.0 has been very fortuitous for smaller e-commerce operators for two reasons. Web 2.0 platforms don’t only allow you to bring more people to your site they also let you communicate with your paying and potential customers and build your service into one that is more targeted towards the people that buy your products.
Here are the different type of platforms you should know about:
- Video platforms
- Material hosting sites and blogs
- Social bookmarking sites
The general consensus by marketers is that you ignore video at your peril. While YouTube is the undoubted king of video sites there are many others on the internet with different benefits and different audiences. It often pays to put your video onto a number of different sites. Good examples of this are Metacafe and Revver.
These are only two of the video sites online and a Google search will bring up many more results. When making videos it is always good to make the videos shorter and always include a description and tags.
Social Bookmarking Sites
Once you’ve created content you’re going to need to let the world know it is there. A good way to draw attention to your site.. and to the resources you have created to get the people to your site is by announcing it to the world through social bookmarking sites. These sites are basically ways for netizens to share sites that they think are interesting with other people and are loved by both netizens and search engines.
One popular example of this is Stumbleupon. A Stumbleupon blog can create a lot of attention on its own right as seen by the some companies’ Stumbleupon blogs.
Social networking sites, like MySpace and Facebook are basically a form of social bookmarking but are a little different to Stumbleupon.
While you can in fact use these to share your links with people they are also used to communicate with your customers, keep them informed of what is happening at your company and see what else is happening.
The new Friendfeed service is a great example of this, with people sharing different links and discussing what they have found.
When putting items through social bookmarking sites it may pay to consider masking your actions a little by also submitting other links, particularly when using sites like Stumbleupon or Digg.
There are many content hosting sites online including Squidoo, Hubpages and some of the document hosting sites on the internet. On top of that there are blogging platforms like WordPress and Moveable Type. Blogs can be excellent content hosting solutions that constantly draw attention back to your site and your products, providing excellent ongoing marketing tools. Some, like WordPress, are useful in that you can either set one up that is hosted on their server or download their software and plug it directly into your site. There are pluses and minuses with both scenarios and it is a decision to weigh up carefully.
So what pitfalls do you have to watch out for when marketing through web 2.0?
There are two main issues:
- You must remain aware of your reputation
- You must take into consideration the time getting involved takes.
Developing a good reputation is done by providing great content, proving that you are trustworthy and showing that you listen to your customers. If content poorly written, badly made, or lacking in useful information you risk getting a bad reputation. Another way to ‘loose face’ is to fail to develop a relationship with customers.
On sites like YouTube check up on videos from time to time and answer any questions that clients and potential clients have. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to deal with every flamer or troll, in fact it is probably more beneficial to ignore the people who seem to be just posting a comment to get someone arguing with them.
Essentially if you cut corners or try to trick a customer it’s going to hit you hard in the long run. Treat people fairly and they will remain loyal to you. Those are just some of the excellent web 2.0 posting tools out there on the internet that make great marketing tools for up and coming e-commerce operators strapped for cash.
-By: Rose Li
Want to learn more about the opportunities e-commerce offers to you? Check out Chinavasion and the Squidoo page on Chinavasion [http://www.squidoo.com/chinavasion] for more information about how you can better manage your e-commerce business.