Using widgets for marketing

With creativity and discipline, widgets can be a powerful extension of a brand advertising campaign. Here are a few points which can be taken into consideration for your application to meet its objectives.
  1. Consider the big picture: The best widget campaigns support your overarching marketing efforts and are integrated with the broader campaign -- online or off. Before you ask how people will interact with your widget, determine what goals the widget will help you accomplish and how your campaign elements can work together. For example, Unilever's Dove Widget campaign.
  2. Define your metrics: Widget creative can deliver on almost any clear objective: from driving awareness of a new TV show or beauty product among a particular segment of your audience, to gathering user-generated photo or form contest entries, to generating photo views of a new product line. We should be sure to set metrics that are meaningful for your particular campaign. Videos played to completion, percent of widgets customized by users, number of entry forms completed and any other specifics will help you evaluate not just user engagement, but the kind of engagement that matters.
  3. Design for your target: Widgets fall into one of two buckets: utility widgets and social widgets. Creating the right widget for your target depends in large part on understanding where that target audience is spending his or her time. To know more about utility widgets and social widgets and how they can be best utilized, click on the respective links: utility widgets | social widgets
  4. Budget for a media plan: There are many options for seeding your widget to ensure that your investment has the intended impact on your target, including running your widget as a rich media ad unit, securing widget installs through a cost-per-install network, conducting influencer outreach, seeding the widget in high-traffic widget galleries, and incorporating the widget into a campaign website where it has appropriate focus and calls to action. The most important thing is to build a plan that leverages several distribution options with proven reach so that you can hedge your bets and learn for future campaigns.
  5. Incorporate a sharing platform: There are several technologies, many of them free, that make it easy for your audience to grab and share your widget across a variety of destinations, from social networks to blogs to bookmarking, start page and desktop platforms. Just as important, these tools also enable you to track results -- like how and where your widget is being used -- against the metrics you established up front. They also allow you to compare performance across the different distribution channels you built into your media plan.
  6. Close the loop: Widgets offer an incredible opportunity to optimize both creative execution and seeding strategies so you can achieve your goals. Not only is every element of a widget measureable, but it can also be changed on the fly, from a single location, with all widgets reflecting the change almost instantly. If your media plan has some flexibility, reviewing performance a few weeks into the campaign can give you the necessary insight for shifting budget to your best-performing channels or partners.