From the time Alexander Graham Bell's little invention first allowed man to speak to others across the miles, it's been pretty much a given that nothing is as strong a tool for communication as the sound of the human voice . . . not newspapers, not magazines, not even the knowledge-stuffed texts on the Internet.
Seeing may be believing, but seeing AND hearing motivates people to act!
With that in mind, I’ve been peddling audio on the Internet for more than 4 years. As a professional singer for most of my adult life, I've always understood the importance of sound and the effect it has on an audience. The challenge for me has been to open the eyes and ears of my own audience.
It started while marketing our company’s first product Rave Reviews. Rave Reviews are professionally interviewed and produced audio testimonials that can be featured on web sites for added credibility. Wouldn't every business owner want to have “real-life" testimonials on their Web sites rather than those typically boring text ones that everyone else has? One would certainly think so.
But frequently people have trouble seeing the potential for their businesses and the question in the back of everyone’s mind was “do testimonials actually “sell" anything?" What proof is there? Does hearing a customer endorsement really differ that much from reading one? Can testimonials actually increase ROI? Lots of questions . . . but in this case, there's a better way to gauge the effectiveness of a new media form .
. think of yourself as the customer, and how a multi-media pitch might affect YOU.
I’m of the opinion that no matter what walk of business life you’re coming from . . .
the successful corporate CEO, the dedicated marketing specialist, or the struggling entrepreneur . . .
we’re all emotional creatures and because we're so intensely influenced by those emotions, external stimuli via our five senses play a very important role in how we perceive others and with whom we choose to do business. It seems logical that the more senses used in gauging something, the truer the evaluation. A simple inflection of the voice from an audio book can take the listener through emotional twists and turns that speak volumes over a comparative text-only version.
Obviously, reading offers one advantage over audio in that the reader can have a “pure" experience through his or her own imagination and perception, rather than listening to a voice that through its inflections and tone conjures up an image for them. But, as a business owner, marketer, or sales manager, do you really want your Internet customers to judge your product or service strictly by what they read, or think they read? Wouldn't you really like the opportunity to “talk" to them directly to personally point out the benefits of your product, and let them hear the pride of workmanship in your voice?
Through the earliest days of worldwide newspaper communications, through the era of radio that brought a faceless voice through a simple speaker, and on to the invention of television that literally changed the world . . . each medium as its turn came, gobbled up large percentages of the market. We can compare these three powerful mediums; newspaper, radio and TV, to the transitional phases of the Internet, which went quickly from obscurity to a household “must have". Now with the onslaught of audio and video to enhance it, we're well on our way to a new age of sight AND sound in our everyday online experience.
Prepare to dazzle and be dazzled as a witness and participant in the next generation of online communication and marketing: audio testimonials, audio quality assurances, audio facts and figures . . . all confidence-building messages of value from business owners directly to their target market, and all heard by potential customers. You never know if your web site visitors are actually reading all the sales text that's available on your site. But if they listen to the audio, you know they'll hear all the facts that are important to their decision-making process, and that can make the difference in helping you close the sale.
As business owners recognize the swaying power of using audio to communicate the value and quality of their products and services, online audio will come of age in a big way. Just as radio provided the sound that newspapers lacked, and wooed whole families to become an eager audience to sit and listen, audio technology for the Internet will draw in its own new generation of eager potential customers . . . it's a theory that follows history and just makes plain ol’ sense . . . and good sense is something every customer appreciates!
Diana D’Itri is Co-Owner of Ravebiz, a leading referral marketing and technology company. She’s a key driving force behind educating clients on how to generate more quality referred customers for their business through practical applications and an online marketing tool called the Rave eReferral system. For a free download “31 Tips for Boosting Referral Business” go to http://www.ravebiz.com . You can email Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org .