If you’re building a website, have built one, or are planning on building one, the subject of RSS feeds is sure to come up. You’ll want to know: should I provide feeds from my own pages? Should I include feeds from other sites? What type of breaking news will contribute to brand development?
In this, the information age, it seems that the more up-to-date information you can provide, the better your brand development efforts will fare; however, as with any branding decision, a bit of education is necessary in order to decide if a feature might be right for your application.
So, here we go.
Brand Development, with the Help of an RSS Feed
RSS, originally indicative of “RDF Site Summary,” but now commonly known as “Really Simply Syndication,” provides participants with immediate links to fresh new content like blogs and other newly uploaded audio and video.
Providing an RSS feed for your clients, fans, and readers will automatically promote your newest offerings, saving you promotion time – and even a bit of brand development effort, if content is strategically created. It will also save your subscribers time. Each reader can scan headlines and follow only the links that appeal to them (which, with clever headline and content writing, will be many of them). Subscribers won’t have to suffer through spam with RSS – it will only contain feeds to which they’ve subscribed.
When consumers see the RSS icon on your page(s), most will recognise it – and those interested in what you have to offer will be more likely to subscribe than if you’re using a less-recognisable application. This trusted reputation is bolstered by the fact that, at any time, people can unsubscribe from any feed, making the decision to sign on risk-free.
As internet marketing or brand development professionals will tell you, the more channels you use, the greater your brand visibility will be. RSS is yet another one of those channels available to you.
When you provide the option to subscribe to your RSS feed on your website or other pages, you will ensure that your readers are notified immediately after all content is uploaded, giving time-sensitive material the attention it deserves.
As you may know, Google looks at the number of links to your website when determining placement in search results. An RSS feed builds this number, with every syndication location acting as a backlink.
Of course, as with any web application, there are disadvantages. Firstly, an RSS feed will not provide the kind of analytics that some webmasters expect from a brand development application designed to increase website traffic. Numbers of subscribers, cancellations, reasons for cancellations, and site visits are not provided. Furthermore, readers of feeds will be hard-pressed to determine just where the information is coming from (unless they click on the link to see the entire piece), because URLs are not displayed. Some web hosting services don’t support RSS; however, if you have your web design built from scratch, by an expert web designer and developer, you’ll have no worries.
RSS isn’t meant to stand alone. It is a supplement, an additional channel with which to gain exposure, increase traffic, and bolster brand development. However, if it’s right for your brand, and it’s properly executed, the results will prove to be brilliant.
For further brand development help or advice, please get in touch with us on [email protected] and get your daily branding tips by subscribing to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/HowToBuildABrand.