The Web’s Seven Key Channels for 2011

January 10, 2011
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As we bring on 2011, we are going to see continued innovation and expansion on the web but with all that is emerging it is prudent to focus in on the following:

First and foremost it is going to be your website as this stands for you and is the key medium that helps you communicate with your consumer base. This is your gateway to the consumer and should have all the correct information, it should offer a conduit to everything else that you offer, and it should be updated (and checked) often.

Second, you need to think about ‘hanging out’ with your consumers. To do this you need to create community pages or environments where your users can join discussions, ask questions, and help you build up your user-generated content. The important thing here is to keep this as a user / customer only group.

Third, you need to have as social media engagement strategy to allow you to attract new consumers, turn your existing consumers into brand advocates, and continue to drive dialogue with your followers (and those you follow) across channel. This is externally focused.

Fourth, you need to focus on Google. They are the leading search engine and an extremely dominant one. The world of Google offers a lot of functionality that allows people to find what they need. You need to understand the offering, be present on the key sub-channels, and learn to engage your consumer. Don’t forget the other search engines, just put a little more emphasis on Google.

Fifth, mobile web will be big with the increase in smart phones and the urgent need of consumers to interact in real time. Also, the mobile consumer is quicker to engage on social media channels.

Sixth, treat Facebook as a channel – you need to think of this as a store or branch front and learn to drive engagement with your consumers on Facebook. It is a destination channel and needs its own emphasis.

Seventh, you will see a big push towards coordinated messaging – the consumer will expect you to remember what they do on your channels / watch and use that information to carry on a conversation that makes sense.

One key thing to remember is to capture consumer preferences in each of these channels and leverage these preferences as you continue your conversation with your consumer.