” Marketers need metrics that can break down audience engagement to the component interaction level. The ability to unlock detailed audience behavioral data will not only increase the inherent value of widgets and social applications, but will effectively transform them from short-lived, whimsical entertainment to essential components of any distributed branding strategy. “
Ori Soen – CEO & Co-Founder of Musestorm
Widget Metrics is an online resource for marketing and advertising firms looking for the latest information and resources related to utilizing widgets for marketing, advertising and promotions. WidgetMetrics.com will provide extensive analysis and objective perspective on what works in widget advertising and what does not. Widget advertising is literally in its infancy. Widget Metrics will grow and adapt with the evolving widget advertising ecosystem.
Widget Metrics is a page within WidgetLocker.com that provides direct links to blogs, articles and news releases related to widget marketing. Web Applications and Widgets have emerged as an important advertising and promotional vehicle on social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster and many others.
Savvy marketers are also beginning to utilize widgets on blogs such as WordPress and others. Smart app development companies such as MediaForge are breaking down the barriers of static banner ads by integrating widget technology to create true end user engagement with brands. There is explosive growth of widget adoption by mobile device and phone handset manufacturers.
iPhone by Apple, Instinct by Samsung and Nexus 1 by Google bring a “widget based” application interface to the mobile market. This shift to application based navigation is generally viewed as a “game changer” in the multi-billion dollar mobile phone industry.
Finally, the announcement by Yahoo and Intel regarding the release of the “Yahoo Widget Channel” to be fully integrated into IPTV brings widgets front and center to the global audience via the most popular screen of all, television.
Widget & Social Media Application Metrics
(Definitions of Metrics provided by IAB)
Installs – Applications: Total installations of widget/application
Active Users – Total users interacting with application over a specific time frame, usually day/week/month.
Audience Profile – User demographics from self reported profile information.
Unique User Reach – Percentage of users who have installed application among the total social media audience (or calculated as active application users per audience).
Growth – Average number of users within a specific time frame.
Influence – Average number of friends among users who have installed application.
Application/Widget installs – User – Number of widgets installed by a user onto their profile page or other area. Also called “embed”, “grab” or “post”.
Active Users/Widgets in the wild – Number of people regularly using an application at a given point in time. Number of widgets on a user page at a given point in time.
Longevity/Lifecycle – Average period of time for which an application or widget remains installed by a user.
* Information gleaned from Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) May 2009 Report “Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions” Link to website and PDF available here.
(Definitions by Jodi McDermott of Clearspring)
Installs – The number of widget Instances for a specific widget.
Active Installs – The number of widget instances that have been viewed at least once over the period of analysis.
Grabs – The act of a visitor “Grabbing” the widget and sharing/installing so that a new instance of the widget is created.
Placements – As defined by Jodi McDermott of Clearspring.
Interaction Time – As defined by Jodi McDermott of Clearspring.
10 Rules for Widget Success
1. Keep it Simple
2. Delight the Audience
3. Have fun with the brand
4. Be authentic
5. Be contagious
6. Be useful
7. Offer play with no work
8. Offer exclusive value
9. Measure and improve
10. Don’t forget the context
Benefits of Brand Widgets
1) User Endorsement
2) Creativity & Control
3) Tracking & Measurement
Source: Liza Hausman, VP of Marketing, Gigya
5 Key Areas to Consider when planning a Brand Widget Marketing Campaign
1) Designing for social environment
2) Design & Development resources
3) Distribution & Tracking
4) Analysis & Optimization
5) Post-Campaign Planning
Source: Liza Hausman, VP of Marketing, Gigya
Keys to Designing Widgets for a Social Environment
1) Provide Value
A. Increase a users social capital
B. Facilitate communication or self expression
2) Keep it simple, focused and relevant
3)Tap into promotional tools
Source: Liza Hausman, VP of Marketing, Gigya
Highly active micro-applications
New way to reach millions on other websites
A rich media experience with a high level of engagement
Simple and ease of consumption and distribution
Easy sharing makes for viral distribution
Interoperability on multiple devices
Seamless user experience
Widget Business Models
Ad Supported Widgets
Widget Analytics and Metric Resources
Widget Analytics – Measuring the Widgets in the Wild is an extremely good blog written by Jodi McDermott, Director of Analytics Product Management for Clearspring, one of the best widget companies in the world.
Widget Metrics PDF by Jodi McDermott from Clearspring at the 2008 WidgetWebExpo conference in Brooklyn, New York.
The Web Analytics Association offers this interview podcast with Jodi McDermott about measuring widgets. Includes full text of interview from the podcast.
Web Strategy by Jeremiah is another very useful blog written by Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research. Jeremiah’s articles are some of the most cutting edge in the social media industry. A huge archive of articles on widgets, social apps and viral distribution strategies among other related topics.
Widget Metrix is a compilation of widget industry research by Comscore, a leader in measuring the digital world, This Press Release lists the top widgets as of June 2007.
Comscore also recently published a ranking of the top widget companies in terms of reach and viral distribution. The findings were published and can be found with a handy chart here.
Sprout announced the rollout of “Sprout Mixer” that lets users create customized widgets that incorporate brand and personal content and could also provide Google analytics and tracking for flash. Article from TechCrunch.
A Creative Primer on the Power of Brand Widgets by Liza Hausman, VP of Marketing at Gigya provides insightful widget campaign strategy perspective.
4 Winning Widget Strategies is a must read article by Mitchel Ahern of OTOlabs that was recently published on iMedia Connection.
Also provided by iMedia Connection is an excellent article entitled 11 Steps to Widget Success witten by Mitchell Ahern, Director of Product Management at OTO Labs.
MetaBlocks offers Widget Development 101, a helpful list of best practices when designing web widgets.
Top Rank Online Marketing has a slightly dated, but very informational interview with Lawrence Coburn of RateItAll.com
Futuristic Play by Andrew Chen has a nice selection of essays and articles related to Viral Marketing, Engagement Strategies and coverage of FaceBook apps.
OffdGrid is a WordPress Blog that offers a very good article called” Best Practices For Deploying Widgets”.
Flypaper provides an interesting perspective in this article “Widgetisation of Media” about several successful widget campaigns by major brands.
Knol – A Unit of Knowledge has an excellent article on widget metrics posted by Kevin Geraghty, Vice President of Analytics at 360i. Key widget distribution metrics discussed include, placements, grabs, transmission rate, hubs, etc.
The ClickZ Network provides a great article entitled, “Best practices for Deploying Widgets” written by Jeremy Lockhorn, the director of emerging media and video innovation at AvenueA/Razorfish. Key widget metrics include, views, installs, time spent, actions/interactions, and post-view actions.
Another great article entitled, “Widget Analytics” by Jack Aaronson of the Click-Z Network is found here.
SexyWidget is a great blog written by Lawrence Coburn, CEO of RateItAll, a distributed review company in San Francisco. Provides insight and straightforward analysis on the latest widget news and events.
Sniperoo is the Universal Widget Blog posted by “widget man” Ivan Pope, the mind behind the WidgetWebExpo. Ivan provides great analysis on a wide range of widget related topics including measurement and metrics.
SproutBuilder offers a great “how to Build, Publish and Manage” your sprout widgets in a video tutorial. The video provides a nice overview of the widget lifecycle.
Gigya provides an overview of their services that includes Case Studies and an itemized list of the metrics they track during a widget distribution campaign.
Social Media blog has frequently updated posts with analysis and insight of the Facebook economy and other social networks
Izea demos their blogging widget platform CloudShout in this video recorded at Devasaurus and posted on Blip.tv.
Kontagent is the leading viral analytics platform for social network application developers. The Kontagent platform works directly with the Facebook API, and will soon support OpenSocial and the MySpace platform. Good viral strategy resource including a company blog.
Developer Analytics is a new media measurement and report service providing rich data and insight on the social media industry by viewing detailed application reports covering reach, growth, engagement, monetization potential, and audience profiles.
Sometrics is pioneering social intelligence –combining deep, relevant social analytics with precision-targeted ad serving/social branding capabilities to help developers and brands monetize the social web. Company has AppMetrics and Social Site Metrics available for customers.
The W3C provides the latest published draft of the Widget Package Requirements for desktop and mobile widgets here. Very technical but useful info for those looking for insight on the future direction of the widget economy.
mediaForge provides a case study in PDF format with information about their Overstock “Daily Steal” widget campaign.
The Widgetbox Blog focuses on topics related to the company but also has interesting widget industry data and real world analysis of web marketing campaigns.
Newsgator Widgets has a page dedicated specifically to widget analytics. Lists Home site and Descendant Sites as the critical discovery and placement mechanisms leading to traditional metriucs such as pageviews and impressions, etc.
SlideShare provides several very useful widget related slideshows including this one presented by Ori Soen, CEO of Musestorm at the eMetrics conference in 2008.
ReadWriteWeb is a website that publishes daily articles related to the emerging social media economy. Good coverage of new trends in platforms, mobile, social media and widgets.
Ecommerce Times published this article written by Ori Soen, the Cofounder and CEO of MuseStorm. The article is entitled. “Widgets and Apps: The Rules of Engagement” .
MarketingVOX provides a wide array of web marketing articles that includes coverage of social network apps and viral strategies.
iMedia Connection publishes articles and videos related to web analytics and engagement strategies for new media marketers.
AdWeek provides an article about Facebook modifying its metrics for widget measurement.
The Analytics Guru is a blog devoted to web analytics. This post includes a (roughly) 10 minute video of Jodi McDermott’s widget metrics presentation at the WidgetWebExpo in New York this past summer.
Media Magic Weblog offers an interesting article entitled. “Widgets and Viral Marketing – A Winning Combination”.
The YieldBuild Blog provides a wide array of internet advertising analysis with plenty of coverage of Google Adsense. But it also has some very good posts about iPhone apps and widgets.
SEOptimize lists 33 Website success metrics. While specific widget metrics are not included, many related social media metrics are.
WidgetSummit 2008 is the third annual intensive 2 day event focused on the state of widgets and syndicated content. It takes place on November 3rd and 4th 2008 in San Francisco, CA.
Widget Web Expo was created by the “widgetman” Ivan Pope and returns to London in October of 2008 after an early summer gathering in New York. A wealth of resources and information available on the website.