Using audio and video to present customer testimonials is a good way to engage buyers, she said. Though it depends on the content and the situation, shorter videos are usually better, Ramos said. “When you get over 10 minutes, you're taxing the b-to-b decision-maker's patience,” she said.
Ramos cited RSA, the security division of EMC, as being a good example of a b-to-b company that has effectively used Web 2.0 applications. The company has a program called Speaking of Security that includes a blog, and audio and video podcasts.
Alexandra Fisher, Web marketing manager at RSA, said the company developed the program because it wanted a channel through which it could demonstrate thought leadership. “We had a channel for official responses for things—public relations. We had a channel for telling people how great our security solutions are—marketing. What we didn't really have was a way to take a position on something,” she said.
Fisher said she also knew that having constantly refreshed content and links from other bloggers would increase the company's position on search engines. “That was also very important—to use the blog as a traffic builder,” she said.
RSA recruited writers from among its employees, Fisher said, including marketing people and technologists. The company decided to do a group blog, with four of five bloggers all contributing to a single blog feed. That decision ended up being critical to the program's success, she said. “That means that even if someone's only blogging once a month, we constantly have new content,” Fisher said. “That's important because nobody wants to subscribe to a blog that's dead. You want to have a constantly fresh, interesting conversation happening.”
Fisher said it's very important for marketers to pay attention to the “greater Internet ecosystem” when considering what their Web site will offer to visitors. “You're not just a Web site sitting in a little island all on your own,” she said. “Your site is part of an ecosystem that includes Google, and Flickr and all the different sites that you need to plug in to and leverage. You have to be very conscious of that. If you're building a new site, are you going to try to duplicate something that's already been built somewhere else or are you going to leverage that platform? M