I was asked the following questions at the Glazer-Kennedy Peak Performers meeting, where I was presenting on internet marketing.
Q1: Is it better to have audio play automatically when a landing page loads, or let the visitor control whether to play it or not?
A1: I always give my visitors the choice, because I don’t like to create Web sites that I wouldn’t like to experience as a visitor. That said, I understand I’m not necessarily my typical visitor, and my preferences aren’t universal. So I’ll take the "marketing guru dodge" and say – test it. Run an A-B split test, send half the traffic to a page where the audio loads automatically, and the other where they have to push a button to hear the audio.
If you’re driving traffic using Google AdWords, you can split test from directly within the AdWord interface, using identical ads and different destination URLs. Can’t be much easier than that.
Now, I think video that plays automatically is a slightly different animal, and most people will be more forgiving with a video that talks than a disembodied voice coming out of nowhere. YouTube has trained us to expect the video to play as soon as the page loads. For a great example of autoplay video on a marketing site, visit www.Fripp.com/forplanner.html. Notice the instructions under the video – "click on image to pause video – click to resume playing" – that provide a feeling of control for the visitor while still serving them the multimedia without their permission.
Q2: What vendors/formats do you use for Web audio and video?
A2: For audio, I like AudioAcrobat. It’s easy to convert and upload audios, simple to get code for your page, and wonderful at tracking how many people listened, and for how long. It’s in the Flash format, which is pretty much universal these days.
For video, I go with QuickTme (for Mac) for ease of editing and uploading. If you have a mac, definitely include quicktime format. Just realize that some PCs don’t have the QuickTime plugin and will see an empty screen. For them, include a link to the pretty-universal Flash video (flv) format. You can buy a program like Sorenson Squeeze (at www.sorensonmedia.com) to do the conversions, and host them yourself, or get the easy-upload, cheap-hosting solution at www.webvideozone.com.
Q3. Is there still room for me at your fabulous "FINALLY GET IT DONE" AdWords Workshop in Durham on June 22-24, 2007? Oh please!!!
A3: I’m so glad you asked that one. Yes, there are still a few slots available. If you’re spending $1250/month or more on AdWords and you’re not implementing all the the strategies listed below, you’re throwing away money:
1. Fully optimized campaigns (peel and stick, content vs search, etc.)
2. Conversion Tracking set up, along with automated reporting that you actually print out and study each week
3. Analytics set up, along with key goals
4. Autoresponders to turn prospects into leads, leads into buyers, and buyers into loyal customers
5. Spit testing of landing pages and other site pages