On the Web: Is Rich Media Making You Rich?
5. Audio clips have fallen out of favor as the web has evolved well past page background music. Audio narration of page copy can be downright annoying. But some products still lend themselves well to audio clips.
Think beyond the obvious CDs or audiobooks. Musical instruments or electronic equipment might benefit from sound samples. Maximize the effectiveness of podcasts you create for fans or users of your products by adding them to your relevant product pages, as well as iTunes. That way, you add a rich media experience for your current site visitors and create cross-link opportunities to enhance search engine performance and draw new visitors.
6. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) personalization that allows shoppers to personalize products like ad specialties, greeting cards and gifts. See the ThingsRemembered.com website for a good example.
7. High resolution video allows merchants to dramatically show product features and benefits in a short clip of the product in use. Customers also can upload short videos of themselves using products in creative and fun ways, thus enthusiastically extolling the virtues of buying the product in a way that no paid advertiser will ever be able to. (YouTube has made amateur video acceptable in pursuit of fast and real communication.)
8. Video using graphics or line art also can be used to simply communicate concepts. The simple explanations of Twitter, blogs and podcasting in "plain English" on YouTube are good examples of how simple, efficient and effectively engaging rich media can be. Check out DailyDM.com for a good example of this. ROI
Terence Jukes is president of integrated software solutions provider Ability Commerce (TerryJ@AbilityCommerce.com).