If there was a small, entrepreneurial company to which to award my highest score for designing and executing a truly effective, cutting-edge, value-adding, and ethical online marketing strategy, that company would have to be Sharon Housley's one.
Photo credit: Oleksiy Petrenko
Sharon is one among three partners making up the company behind Feedforall.com and NotePage.com. Two interesting software tools that serve the needs of providing wireless messaging and automated alerts via SMS (NotePage) and the easy creation of RSS feeds for those that have no technical skills (Feedforall).
It is only a few hours ago that I got into an online conversation with Sharon Housley, who is responsible for all marketing, and got her to share with me some of the interesting tactics that I had discovered when looking a bit deeper into her kind article submissions she had started to recently make on my sites.
Yes, once again it was my curiosity and interest that created the spark for this good conversation, as what I saw when exploring her marketing very effective marketing strategy is much of what I think any intelligent online marketer should seriously consider doing.
This story started with Sharon Housley submitting a few interesting articles both to Kolabora.com and MasterNewMedia.org.
Generally, submitted articles are either not very high quality content-wise (at least for my publishing standards) or have promotion that is too smack in the face of the reader and takes away much of the credibility of what is written in it.
But Sharon's content was somehow different. Her articles contained up-to-date content on specific themed topics and it also provided useful information, tips and pointers to valuable resources that I didn't know about.
If you went and looked a bit deeper and into many of the resources links she provided inside those articles you would have found a mini-nice portal Web site rich in further resources and pointers to other tools and services.
Instead of providing direct pointers to products sold by her company, Sharon and her team created nearly one hundred topic specific mini-web portals dedicated to aggregate and bring together the best resources available on the specific topic selected.
Look for example at this article from her which I recently syndicated on MasterNewMedia:
Online Tracking Tools
January 7th, 2005
And look now at this other mini-portals she has created:
Call Center Depot
The approaches adopted to create these dedicated mini-niche web sites are multiple and overlapping. Sharon is leveraging all of the potential of content sharing, syndication, RSS, aggregation, contextual advertising, win-win partnerships and more:
a) manually edited directories in which content and resources are all manually selected, edited and added. (see RSS Specifications)
b) integration of existing thematic feeds as the ones that can be obtained by any major search engine or directory via RSS or in other ways. These are nothing less but up-to-date direct list excerpts of thematic lists generated by specific search queries or by accessing for example dedicated categories inside the Open Directory Project. (see Monitoring Tools)
c) integration, aggregation, syndication of thematic RSS feeds from selected resources. (see Call Center Depot)
In all cases Sharon is providing free value-added content to readers of her articles, who may actually use some of these very targeted resources as acquired references for further use.
What may escape the novice online marketer is that by adopting one such strategy Sharon is not only seeding her name and credibility wide and deep on the Web but she is also:
a) Getting valuable linkbacks to her sites from those who publish her articles.
b) Increasing the link popularity, PageRank and all other factors, visible and not, that positively affect the ranking and visibility of any Web site on major search engines and directories.
c) Seeding her content into other popular RSS feeds (like she did with mine) and getting all of the benefit that comes with that. If my RSS feed is redistributed to the top 100 RSS search engines and RSS news directories she gets all of this re-distribution at no cost.
d) Getting a good reputation for being a credible and non-intrusive player in the software market. One that cares first about doing good and then about picking up the change.
e) Creating multiple income streams generated by the effective integration of text-based relevant contextual ads next to the resource lists in her dedicated mini web portals. The Google AdSense generated ads on these web sites are extremely targeted, relevant and useful for the reader, as they represent without a shadow of doubt a true complementary, additional value to the good information already being made available.
f) Creating opportunities to synergize promotion and exposure to partner companies by providing discrete and ethical exposure to these only within relevant mini web portals.
But listen yourself to my good conversation with Sharon of a few hours ago and find out how the above strategy has been serving well the marketing goals of this small, but brave and innovative online software company.
Lots to learn.
Here is the recording:
Good conversation with Sharon Housley
January 26th, 2005
"Online marketing strategies involving content seeding and syndication, mini niche web sites and portal, contextual ads, win-win partnerships, RSS syndication."
Duration: 29' 05"
.MP3 (zipped) 6.8 MB
.WMA (Windows Media) 3.7 MB
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with this company, I don't resell their products nor I have been invited by them to hold this recorded conversation. I am not receiving any type of compensation or benefit for having published this article.
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