An estimated 70% of B2B technology marketers are missing key opportunities to directly influence sales decision makers by not incorporating Really Simple Syndication (RSS) into their company’s online marketing strategy, according to a report from MarCom Ink.
RSS is a general term used to describe a group of web-based feeds used to publish frequently updated works including blog entries, news headlines, audio and video in a standardized format. Using an RSS reader, subscribers can stay up to date on timely events from their favorite websites.
After visiting 300 U.S. B2B technology-company websites, researchers found that about seven out of 10 are not using RSS. Researchers also found that while 30% of companies provide RSS, only 10% have multiple targeted feeds allowing subscribers to choose from a variety of topics.
These findings are important, Marcom Ink said, because while only 16% of the general public use RSS feeds, 71% of technology buyers find them valuable, according to a 2007 MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm survey of more than 3,000 B2B technology-sales decision makers.
“RSS offers B2B technology marketing and PR professionals a golden opportunity to establish ongoing relationships with their target audiences and become a trusted source of valuable information on topics buyers care about most,” said Kim Cornwall Malseed, principal, MarCom Ink.
While evidence specifically geared toward B2B training product and service marketers is still missing, this recent study examines a missed opportunity for many organizations. RSS feeds can be used to alert customers of product specials, new articles, upcoming events, best selling products and much more.
Along with informing customers of the latest company news, the added benefits of using RSS feeds include:
- Increased traffic. Submit your RSS feed to places like Technorati, Google Blog Search and BlogCatalog (here are some more places to submit your RSS feed). Getting your RSS feed listed in RSS search engines and directories creates new ways for potential customers to discover your brand.
- Free advertising. With little effort, you can deliver timely and valuable information to a wide audience of subscribers. Once your RSS feed is set up, subscribers receive regular news and product information that could help them in purchasing decisions.
- Higher conversions. RSS product feeds allow customers to receive product information straight from the source. Customers are more inclined to buy products from familiar and trusted sources. RSS feeds keep your brand name at the top of the list when customers are ready to buy.
- Customer loyalty. With the constant communication and information they deliver, RSS feeds can act as a customer relationship management tool to maintain customer loyalty and provide customers with valuable content.
How does your company use RSS to generate leads and improve site traffic?