When Peter Parker practices his heroics as Spider-Man, he captivates the citizenry and the press alike. You may not be able to dominate the news cycle like Spidey does, but by emulating his superpowers you too can masterfully connect with customers and followers online. The good news is you don't have to get bitten by a radioactive arachnid to do it.


Soon after his fortuitous accident, Peter Parker found that he could adhere to just about any surface. He could crawl on walls, hang upside down from ceilings, and otherwise use his "stickiness" to his advantage.

The desire to create website stickiness—engaging visitors so that they return frequently and linger longer—has been around as long as websites themselves. Today, however, new tools and techniques are available to you:

  • By using gamification, you can make the experiences on your site not only educational but also highly-interactive, enjoyable, and competitive. "Players" (your visitor/prospects) learn about your products as they collect points and compete against each other for discounts and bragging rights.
  • Create Facebook apps, games, and campaigns to build a community, and keep your visitors engaged with each other as well as you. If you use tools such Lujure, customizing your fan page can be quick and easy.
  • Give your visitors a voice in your decisions by crowdsourcing product ideas, service-excellence nominees, and the like.

Using his stickiness, Spider-Man creates superior vantage points that lead to heightened awareness. You can, too, by making sure visitors stick around and you become top-of-mind.


When trouble's about to find Peter Parker, he gets a tingling sensation. With this "Spidey-Sense," Peter can perceive subtle changes in his environment that constitute threats and opportunities.

Similarly, you want to know about threats to your online brand and reputation, as well as opportunities for service intervention or product innovation. You don't have Spidey-Sense, but you still can...

  • Monitor what's being said about you, your service, and your products beyond the confines of your own website and Facebook page with social-media listening tools, such as Radian6.
  • Collect what your customers are telling you by interacting with you online and on the phones. Use that knowledge to customize the multichannel experiences you offer them. The best companies do this in real time (while adhering to privacy best-practices, of course).

Lightning Reflexes

Once alerted by his Spidey-Sense, Spider-Man can react instantly to almost any situation—even dodging a bullet that's heading his way. Your reaction time to events is bound be a bit slower, but you can fine-tune it to stay relevant to customers, top-of-mind with prospects, and ahead of the competition.

  • Sync your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts, and even schedule posts in advance, by using a social media management dashboard, such as HootSuite.
  • Anticipate visitor and subscriber interactions and use a tool like Hubspot to automate auto-response campaigns.


Whether to save a civilian or tangle with a foe, Spider-Man relies on his web-slinging ability to extend his reach and ensnare his target.

Similarly, as a Web marketer, you seek to extend the reach of your campaigns beyond your own online properties, catching as many in your target audience as possible. For you, it isn't as simple as a flick of the wrist, but you can follow other practices:

  • Place your thought-leadership pieces on premier blogger sites and online industry journals; they're typically hungry for content to satisfy their large followings. Sponsor their popular newsletters and webinars for the opportunity to provide the content.
  • Complement your online messages with an offline speaking program that demonstrates your expertise at seminars and conferences.
  • Target more effectively and generate referrals on social networks by implementing social login on your sites.

Wrapping It Up

After saving the day, Spider-Man leaves the criminals wrapped in webbing for the authorities to collect, and snaps a few photos as evidence. As Peter Parker, he creates buzz for Spidey by getting the pics published on the front page of the Daily Bugle.

We don't all have Spider-Man's talents for self-promotion, but following the tips inthis article will help you enhance your Web presence and amaze your fans.

* * *

Can you think of other Spidey powers that provide valuable online marketing lessons? What about powers that his arch-enemies possess? If so, please let me know by commenting below.

(Image courtesy of Bigstock, Woman in Masquerade.)

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Dave Calibey is the founder of BigThunk, a digital marketing and strategy company that helps its client use websites, email, social media, and local search listings to grow their businesses.

Sky Calibey is an associate at BigThunk, a digital marketing and strategy company that drives business results for its clients via online customer engagement. He will be entering his senior year at the University of Connecticut in the fall of 2012.