When your customer closes their web browser, do you still reach them? What piece of your brand do you offer them to stay near the top-of-mind? There are quite a few ways to do this effectively and add value to their experience.
- Desktop Background: Yes this is old, but that doesn't mean it needs to be mundane. Do something cool, give more options more often and make it something people will want to talk about. Even better if you can personalize the message.
- Icons/Avatars: People are using icons/avatars to identify themselves online and make connections. Create something interesting so fans of your brand want to show you off.
- Screen Savers: Creating rich, immersive screen savers is a great way to keep people engaged. It's easy to dynamically pull in information like RSS feeds, schedules, press releases and news stories and product information. The more dynamic these are, the more useful they'll be to the user and the better impression they'll have of you.
- Widgets: Widgets come in many flavors, but the overriding thread is that they allow people to take normally web-based information and use it in other places. This includes feeding in your blog posts, searching your site from their Dashboard or Vista's equivalent, displaying new photos and video you've published and the list goes on. The point it that you make your content easily portable so they can use it in their lives the way they want.
- Instant Message: On top of using an avatar, viable, new information delivery vehicles are emerging. IM allows people to get updates from you via an existing channel. They add you as a contact, you message them with content.
- Twitter: This micro publishing tool reaches consumers in the way they choose. This includes SMS, IM or web-based delivery. The power and potential of Twitter is largely un-tapped by marketers.
- Content portability: By this I mean, if you have video, offer it for the iPod. If you have audio, offer a podcast and easy ways to subscribe to the feed. If you have a web site, make the content accessible on a mobile device. Allow your customers to engage with you throughout their daily routine no matter where they are or how they got there.
New technologies are popping up all the time. Think about the impact of Second Life. Although it's a risky venture right now, we may see a shift in usage demographics if the right model is put in place. What other ways have you allowed your customers to take a piece of your brand offline?