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Chapter 12: Multi-Media

Multi-Media Options

Multi-media can add a lot of pizzazz to your website and can keep people on your site for much longer periods of time, often having them receive more value and having your opportunities for sales engagement increase significantly. But a caution I will add is that you should not force a site visitor to watch or listen to any media. This can have significant detrimental effects. Many people will just close a site that opens with audio or video playing. Also, this can often slow down how fast your website loads if it is not set up well. Below, I outline some details of how different mediums can work online and then let you consider what could support your objectives for your Internet Plan.

Audio can be used in a variety of ways on a website. You can use audio as a background track that is played when particular pages on your site are visited. I don’t recommend this because many people surf the Internet while in places that they cannot have noise, such as in a coffee shop, a library, or in a work environment. The music on your site that you think is lovely may just be an unpleasant surprise to these folks. People may shut down the site before they find the button that quiets the sound.

Music listening is probably the most obvious use of audio on websites. This is typically something that is reserved for musicians or retailers of music.

Podcast or spoken word audio files with readings, interviews, monologues or just audio infomercials are a popular format that can be a great way to augment your site and have people connect with you using a different medium than text. This can take the form of audio files that people listen to right on your site or you can set the podcast to be subscribable such that people can have new recordings in a series be automatically saved to their audio player. Podcasts subscriptions can create an ongoing relationship with your Company for customers or website visitors, but this requires the content to be long term engaging. Check out the DIY guide on setting up podcasts in our Online Resources.

Event sounds are another way that audio works on a website. Consider the sounds that your phone makes when you press buttons or when certain items arrive. Those are the event sounds on your phone. You can do something similar on your site with the design. This is usually a more advanced technique that you would get when you hire a web designer or developer. What you should consider here is whether these sounds really make any difference for the visitors of your site. They often do not make it more professional – but sometimes that is not the point.


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