Okay!! You've finally gotten them to your web site after a large
investment in time and effort, not to mention money. What??
They're not staying long enough to buy anything or to fill out
those profile forms that you stayed up until 3:00AM to create?
Why?? The site navigation is good; you have a secured order
form; the site loads quickly without too many annoying graphics,
Those of us trying to do business on the Internet are constantly
bombarded with information, statistics, and marketing advice. Go
to your target market. Claim your niche with your "unique
selling position." Promote your brand. Develop a web
"community." Publish a Zine. Provide worthwhile content. All of
it, good advice. But these marketing gurus leave out a very
important and indisputable fact. People want to be entertained!
And they don't want to have to work to enjoy their web
experience. The success of television, a completely passive
activity, attests to that. So, what should be done? How do we
keep our audience long enough so that we can tell our story and
promote our product?
Streaming media provides a vital answer. It has a 70 percent
click-through rate for content, a 60 percent click-through rate
for advertiser information, and a 49 percent "buy" rate for
online merchandise. Those statistics, provided by
Carton-Donofrio Interactive, are proof of the success of
streaming media when it is used in a creative and content rich
What is streaming exactly? Streaming promises quick access to
crucial audio and video content without the aggravating wait for
files to download. Downloading requires that files be sent to
the user's PC in their entirety before they can be played; MP3
audio is a perfect example of this. The files then remain on the
user's machine until they are deleted. Streaming continuously
sends these same files, which have already been digitized, to
the user's PC while the user is listening or watching. When the
stream is ended, no data is left behind on the user's machine.
How can we use this exciting technology to create "stickiness?"
The possibilities are endless:
1. Coaches and motivational speakers can utilize it for
instruction and team building. 2. Lawyers, CPA's, and other
professionals can enhance their sites with timely client
messages. 3. The intricate product features of machines and
"widgets" can be demonstrated. 4. Resorts can showcase their
most desirable features. 5. Realtors can market multiple
properties efficiently and at reasonable cost. 6. Clothing
retailers can have fashion "events" and showoff new items and
services. 7. Furniture and antique dealers can highlight unique
product details. 8. Human Resource professionals can use it to
enhance corporate sales sites for remote sales forces and
clients. 9. Non-profit organizations can use it to explain their
missions. 10. Charities can use it for soliciting donations.
The quality of your streaming presentation will only be as good
as the quality of the source material for which it was
originally created. This is extremely important! (You can't
expect a videotape with bad color and contrast to look better in
a stream than it did when you played it on your home VHS
machine.) The company that you select to do the encoding and
compression of your media should be able to provide you with
good guidelines for your original production. For example, we
always tell our clients that too much movement on a videotape
will cause blurring and "smeariness" when the video is streamed.
(As bandwidth continues to improve, many restrictions that exist
today will disappear.) Your streaming vendor is the best source
of information regarding tape formats and the equipment required
to create the original production. Streaming media is already
being used effectively by a number of industries and
organizations that are striving to stand out in the crowded
Internet business world. Streaming media still has its
limitations especially in the area of delivering full- screen,
full-quality video. But most of the big players on the Internet,
even those in head-to-head competition for the fast-growing
streaming audience, know that as bandwidth continues to improve,
streaming is inevitable.
Streaming media advertising substantially increases brand
recall, brand awareness, and positive brand perception. This
really gives you the opportunity to deliver a powerful message
about your products or services. It is affordable, exciting, and
inviting. It creates the "stickiness" that keeps your web
visitors at your site and gives them that extra incentive to
click on the "Order Now" icon.
About the author:
Ronni Rhodes is the owner of WBC Imaging, a woman-owned Internet
company that specializes in web site enhancement utilizing
streaming media technology. With her husband, Don, a broadcast
engineer, they work with companies to incorporate streaming as
part of successful and meaningful sales and marketing programs.
Please direct all questions and comments to:
Ronni@wbcimaging.com 520-742-5780 http://www.wbcimaging.com