Want a piece of sound marketing advice? Add a human voice to your site. OK, it's a bad pun, but let's take a closer look at this marketing tool that appears to be really taking off.
It's well known that the more "human" you can make your products and services, the more likely people are to purchase. The human voice and other sounds can be a very a powerful motivator in the sales process; but this has always presented some major hurdles in relation to presenting audio on the web.
In the past, many web masters have tinkered with combining sound and their web sites - often with disastrous results. I'm sure you've experienced it, innocently cruising the web and landing on a page only for some ghastly midi file to begin playing unexpectedly, causing you to gag on your coffee.
Other site owners decided that having an automated voiceover on their pages was a good idea - the talking web site. Again, the unexpected occurrence of sound startled more than intrigued many web surfers and potential clients. Also, the loading of the voiceover often interrupted normal navigation.
Marketers started getting on the right track with the talking web site strategy when they gave visitors a *choice* of listening to an audio representation of the textual content of the page.
Problems still remained in that the visitor usually needed to download special audio plugins and because of the size of the sound file, it really wasn't worth the bother. Good quality voice recordings were just too bandwidth heavy and the distractions of the plugin application starting up really interrupted the sales flow.
Also, the cost of the bandwidth to the site owner for streaming messages that may be 5 minutes long was very restrictive, not to mentioned the time, hassle and expense in compiling a sound file.
All that appears to have changed....
I've just finished trying out a rather nifty voice application called the Audio Generator. The learning curve for using this tool was all of 5 minutes - seriously, it was that simple and there was no software to download.
In a nutshell, the Audio Generator system works like this:
Even though I am based in Australia and the Audio Generator system is in the USA, which meant a long distance call, the finished product was of very high quality.
There was no significant delay caused by operator voice prompts; e.g. "press one to continue.. now press 3..." etc - I was recording within about 10 seconds of being connected.
Once you've finished recording, the voice messages are instantly saved on a very fast server, so you never have to worry about bandwidth or delivery issues - that's the responsibility of the team at Audio Generator.
There's no plugins for your visitors to download in order for them to hear your voice recording. All you need to do is to add the line of code to your web pages or email and the recording will be available for playback.
The Audio Generator uses the FLASH™ format for audio messages. Unlike Real Audio™, MP3 or Windows Media Player™, there's no waiting for other software to load once your visitor clicks the play button - it's *very* quick to respond.
The Audio Generator system opens up all sorts of possibilities for marketing, including:
So, if you're looking for the next "big thing" in web marketing, this may well be it. Many voice technologies have emerged and then disappeared over the past few years; but judging profile of some of the people now using this system, the Audio Generator has firmly entrenched itself as the application to which other companies will compare themselves.
Try a free trial of the Audio Generator and see for yourself just how easy to use and effective the system is.
Want to take things one step further? Read my article on using animated, programmable characters in web site marketing.
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