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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Audio on Your Web Site

With all of the multimedia developments in the world of web technology, the affordability of large amounts of web hosting, and an explosion in high speed connectivity, it has suddenly become a lot easier for small businesses to have audio of some kind on their web sites. There are a number of ways audio can be used - from podcasting to streaming radio stations to downloadable info products. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to include audio in your web presence and where to begin exploring it.

The obvious reason to have audio on your site would be if you're a musician and want to share samples of your tunes with your audience. Another clear reason would be if you are a voice over artist or speaker - certainly you would want to give people a chance to hear what you sound like.

In the virtual world, where independent professionals often find prospects and close deals online without ever looking someone in the eye, audio can be used to develop a sense of personality and establish trust with your audience. It's important that you don't thrust the sound of your voice on someone without them choosing to hear it - no one likes to be accosted by sound (music or voice) without warning. That said, if you have a welcoming message, a story to tell or short presentation to make to your visitors, it might make sense to present it as audio. Some professionals have arranged to have their customers testimonials recorded - making this tried and true marketing strategy even more powerful.

If you record telecasts, teach anything, make online presentations or even have written info products, you might want to consider packaging this material as a downloadable audio product for sale on your web site. Business professionals are often unable to find time to read the information they need, so why not offer it in a format they can listen to while multitasking amongst other projects. Once you've created audio products, there are services like where you can offer your audio products for sale.

If you have a topic you can speak about regularly, and build a listening audience, you might want to think about podcasting. Podcasting is simply a recorded, downloadable presentation that takes advantage of RSS syndication to alert people to when there is a new file to listen to. People use their RSS applications to "subscribe" to your podcast - when you publish a new audio file, they know, and can listen to it from their MP3 playing device (many times it's an iPod, hence the name). A lot of people combine blogging with podcasting and have built an audience that way. But as with any of these trendy marketing strategies, you really have to have a good presentation style, a topic that isn't being done to death, and the patience to slowly build an audience and add that to your overall repetitive marketing routine.

So, you've identified a reason to use audio on your web site - where do you begin? You can start by reading this article I wrote about how I put a recording of an interview I had, on my web site. If you're interested in podcasting, you can read this beginners guide. Beyond that, there are dozens of ways you can accomplish the same goal but the best solution depends on whether you already have digitized audio, what operating system you're on, whether you intend to offer downloadable or streaming audio and so on! Once you have identified your goal, you can start researching online to see how people are already doing it and what tools you need to create your own web site audio, or contact your favorite web professional for suggestions and solutions.

(c) Eileen Parzek, 2006

Eileen Parzek is an award winning graphic designer and writer providing digital and print graphic design and web design services. Always found at the intersection of information, creativity and technology, her business, SOHO It Goes! Business Design Studio ( helps small businesses make a big impression, increase their reach and grow.

May be republished with full bio and credit link to