June 17, 2008
Promoting websites can be a difficult task. Unless you are internet famous or a social media expert, it takes a bit of marketing strategy to get your name and brand out there. There are a number of methods that you can use to advertise your website, among them creating a widget.
This morning the leading provider of next generation widget solutions, iWidgets, launched into public beta. iWidgets makes it easy for anyone to virally promote their website by creating widgets that can fit the look and feel of any blog, social network, portal (like iGoogle or Netvibes), and other platforms.
Instead of going through the trouble of creating an app for Facebook or relying on word of mouth to promote your site, iWidgets lets you create a widget that can be placed anywhere and spread all over the internet seamlessly.
From what I can see, the overall concept is to take the basic framework of YouTube’s success with visual media and apply it to a totally different platform — in this case, widgets.
There is no need for fancy pants programmers when using iWidgets because the site takes users through a step by step building process. Produce, Publish, and Promote. Those are the three building blocks of iWidgets that result in the creation of customized widgets that can build brand awareness and drive website traffic.
The main feature of iWidgets that makes it stand apart from previous widget generators is its ability to make “native widgets” that fit the look of any site you want to put it on. Old widget technology just created depressing, identical Flash squares, but iWidgets are more viral than Flash and can integrate personalized content and user data. You can even track the success of your widget using your existing Google Analytics solution.
Widgets are undoubtedly uber-popular in 2008, and iWidgets taking the first step in advanced widget creation technology, but it won’t be long until hundreds of clones provide the same features. What worries me is whether or not the virality of website promotion will cause widgets to become as avoided and ignored as advertisements and spam.