The Copywriter's Crucible

RSS – The future of content delivery?

The deluge of spam emails clogging up inboxes around the world has led to new methods in how content can be delivered. Not only do you want to ensure your news and articles find their way past the spam filters, but you also want to know that they are actually being read.

Blogs use a system called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to deliver your latest posts. If you have a Google or Yahoo account you might be receiving blog feeds already delivered straight to your homepage. The fact that Microsoft are integrating RSS into the new Outlook and Netscape should be seen as a sign that the delivery of content in this way is here to stay.

RSS bypasses filtering. It is delivered only to subscribers who have responded to a call to action on your website and are therefore potential customers for your product. If they have lost interest in your business then they can choose to unsubscribe from your feed. With RSS the customer is now in control of what marketing messages they want to receive. Its yet another sign that the method of bombarding people with marketing messages is now dated.

The adoption of RSS is now spreading from blogs to all manner of commercial websites with regular updates. The BBC, Ebay and Telegraph newspaper have now all incorporated RSS Feeds into their websites. They have recognised how the onus has moved from the reader to regularly checking sites to the site owner to deliver their content straight to their subscribers.

The shear number of sites now covering every topic and interest means it is increasingly time consuming to check through all your book-marked sites. RSS eliminates this problem as it allows people to subscribe to all their places of interest and then scan through all the latest posts in their aggregator. This saves the reader wasting time and allows the content provider to maintain a line of communication with their marketplace.

Online advertising revenue is set to eclipse the magazine industry in two years. Traditional marketers are going to have to reassess how they spend their advertising budgets and what mediums they target. There will always be a market for magazines as not everybody is going to want to squint at a screen. But as more blogs and interest sites with RSS feeds continue to appear more people will be happy to rely on their aggregator to provide them with their chosen hit of content.

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