Widgets, often called gadgets, are mini applications that provide users with fast access to information. They are either downloaded directly on a user’s hard drive or included on a Web page. The content can be in a variety of forms, such as text, video and audio. Perhaps one of the most popular widgets being Weather.com’s weather widget, which streams the latest forecast information, based on your location preferences. They can also be used to stream financial information, travel information, mapping and much more.
Although widgets are a rather recent trend on the Web, many business owners question how to make use of them or, more importantly, if they are worth the often-substantial cost of having them designed and created.
Quite simply, you should think of widgets as a way to distribute content, not only on your own Website but on other sites and desktops as well. Because widgets are easily shared and downloaded, there is a strong chance that your business’ widget could become viral – spreading your message to thousands of people in an instant.
Business owners have also been using widgets for in-house matters to actively monitor what consumers are saying online by creating widgets that aggregate streams (in real time) of information based on selected search terms. This allows businesses to easily monitor and respond to their customer’s conversations online.
Along the same line, already-existing widgets can also help improve both employee and consumer productivity. Custom widgets can streamline internal communication, allow consumers instant connect with a business or search online databases.
Most importantly to most business owners, widgets can provide a channel for direct communication which streams relevant information to customers instantly, 24-hours a day. If you are sending information that has a high value or interest to people, your audience is going to want to share it with others. As adoption of your widget increases, it will provide a new avenue for attracting attention and increasing awareness of your brand.
Although it may not be in your business’s budget to develop your own widget, there are still thousands of existing FREE widgets that will help you grow and develop your business.