RSS is not for everybody in the same way as all other mediums of technology are. However by far, RSS is considered the most reliable content delivery channel there is. It is also believed to be able to increase search engine rankings, enhance e-mail marketing and builds on that relationship, generates media coverage through content syndication, develop on-line conversations and a whole lot more of possibilities. As such, its users should be able to maximize its use for their greater benefit and convenience. Here’s how:
1. Use the RSS initially as an end-user.
The first step in any worthwhile activity is understanding the intricacies of how it works. It would be impossible to fully comprehend anything without having the benefit of actual experience in using it. One can get an RSS aggregator as there is a variety of providers to choose from. Among the most popular and highly recommended are My Yahoo!, Bloglines, Firefox and NetNews Wire. Subscribing to other RSS feeds can immediately hasten the learning process.
2. Set up a plan for your RSS feeds.
Planning one’s RSS feeds is very important since it can be used for various purposes of the user. An RSS feed may be needed for e-zines, news section and articles. Other opportunities available in RSS includes follow-up RSS feeds, feeds for affiliates, feeds for employees or business partners, feeds for the media and many others. A technology that is capable of such diverse application requires organization and order.
3. Make a list of RSS Marketing Requirements.
There are several basic questions that need to be taken into consideration when you push to publish your feeds. Some of which includes whether RSS publishing is to be integrated with existing content management system, whether your feed requires personalization particularly the RSS content or whether you would want to provide subscribers with the ability to select the content they would prefer to receive. Other considerations are the RSS metrics desired, the host of the feeds and the budget.
4. Choose among available publishing tools in creating a feed.
Marketing and publishing tools come in a few general categories namely desktop feed generation tools, hosted on-line RSS publishing solutions, advanced RSS marketing solutions plus a few other options. Desktops software is relatively inexpensive and is quick and easy to use in generating RSS feeds but generally does not allow for more advanced features. A basic hosted on-line RSS publishing solution can be chosen to avoid being bothered by a desktop tool and the constant upload of your RSS feeds to your server. The more advanced RSS marketing solutions which include additional capabilities such as metrics, scheduled autoresponder messages, database building capabilities and the like. Other options would include the use of an existing content management system to publish RSS feeds or a blog publishing solution.
5. Be sure to promote your RSS feeds through your own channels.
This is best done through the creation of an RSS presentation page which should contain an explanation of what an RSS is, the benefits to be expected from it use, recommendation of a free RSS aggregator, the manner of subscribing to these feeds and the reason why people should subscribe to your RSS feeds. The same page can also include the links to all your other RSS feeds as well as direct links for subscriptions to relevant services. This page is to be promoted as much as possible in all available channels such as the e-zine subscription box, e-mail messages and e-zine issues. For more than one published RSS feed, each can be promoted next to their topics on the site. It should be remembered that nothing is more effective than a compelling copy in convincing people to subscribe.
6. Promote your feeds as well through external channels.
This can be done by submitting your feeds to appropriate search engines and directories where the best lists are found. The RSS aggregator sites should be pinged every time an update is done to the on-line content. Your feed content can also be syndicated to other web media.
7. Allow syndication of your RSS feed.
RSS as one of the potent marketing channels needs to be used to leverage the most out of its format. Allowing others to take your RSS feed and use it to refurbish your news in their homepage will work to your advantage. In fact, it should be encouraged by providing short stories or simple explanations of how easy it is to search, filter and aggregate content from various RSS feeds as well as create dedicated news channels.
8. People who adopt RSS are in it primarily for the information.
No one in particular would want to adopt RSS. The people who do are in it for the timely information they get in a controlled and organized way that helps them become better either at their work or their personal life. The tremendous volume of information and news available through RSS is very hard to ignore.
9. RSS, Blog, E-zines and E-mail can work together.
Most marketers still depend mostly on e-mail as their key marketing and communication tool. However, getting e-mail through is becoming increasingly difficult due to spam filters and spam itself. RSS has become the essential element to e-mail delivery at a time where many Internet users choose to ignore e-mail subscriptions and subscribe only to RSS content. Blogs and e-zines are concerned with the content and what is published on-line. RSS and e-mail are concerned with getting the information to the reader. One is not intended to replace the other but rather to work hand in hand together,
10. Use RSS potential for providing value in market research.
RSS holds much potential when it comes to its capability in reaching new customers. However, the best approach is to walk carefully rather than running head-on as there is much danger in over-hyping this medium. Patience would be a required virtue especially for companies that have sophisticated reporting systems. Advertisers should refrain from the annoying practice of placing an ad after every item. They would do well to observe the best practice guidelines for RSS advertising.
The RSS promises to provide to end-users a unified one-stop-shop for consumption of on-line content. It hopes to do away with the need to visit several sites each day just to see what’s new. On-line subscriptions will no longer interfere with personal and business e-mail communications.
It likewise promises to give its users complete control over their content consumption. They even have the option to unsubscribe from content they do not wish to receive. Breaking news is received as it becomes available. There is absolutely no need to wait for worrisome recaps sent to their e-mail addresses.
RSS makes possible the certainty of receiving the content users would want without the inconvenience brought about by spam filters. It also has the ability to receive content directly to desktops including audio and video content. To sum it up, RSS provide the tool that makes the user’s lives so much easier with its important advancements that can change how Internet content is consumed.
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