By Jerry Bader (c) 2006
Narrowcast Communication-On-Demand Websites
The next generation of websites will have a vastly different way of communicating information to their visitors. Websites will evolve into true communication platforms that will take advantage of the Web’s multimedia capabilities and the Internet’s broadband penetration.
The new website model will have the look, feel, and sound of your very own narrow-cast communication channel complete with audio and video programming and on-site personalities that will present and guide audiences through the maze of content. But unlike television, this humanized Web-experience will allow site visitors to make their own programming choices; audiences will be able to experience the content they want, when they want and in the format of their choice: audio and video, or text and graphics.
Why Websites Will Become Multimedia Communication Channels
1. There are millÃons of websites on the Internet representing millÃons of small and medium size companies with an enormous aggregate Ãnvestment, and the vast majority of these websites are underperforming in large part because they have not taken advantage of the Web’s multimedia communication capability and the penetration of broadband transmission.
2. Business owners want to see better results but they are being stymied in part by their own lack of vision and unrealistic expectations, but more importantly by a conventional wisdom promoted by particular Industry interests that handicap website owners’ ability to capitalize on the Web’s multimedia communication capability and its democratizing economic character.
3. Up until recently, major search engines have stifled Web-based marketing communication by failing to develop appropriate measures with which to properly index Web-based multimedia presentations. With the popularity of Google Video, YouTube, and the advent of Google Video Ads, the search engines will develop the technological means to better index multimedia content.
4. Progress can only be halted in the short term. Multimedia communication technology and the Web’s ability to accommodate it have outpaced the Web’s gatekeepers. The limitations imposed by SEO strategists on delivering content cannot stop the demand for a more humanized Web-communication experience that provides material that is informative, meaningful, and memorable.
5. As successful as some companies maybe with their PPC (pay per click) programs, the vast majority of small and medium size businesses are not. It is impossible for every business that is prepared to pay for placement or for SEO-expertise to be number one or even on the first page in any particular search category. There are just too many companies in similar businesses, with similar objectives to all rank on the first page of search results. As a consequence businesses will begin to focus on delivering more effective content to truly interested Web-visitors who take the time to find you on the Web or who respond to your direct marketing efforts. More emphasis will be placed on how long visitors stay on a site, and what visitors learn and retain from that site rather than spending monÃ«y on attracting just more random traffÃ¯c.
6. With articles and books being written about the Web’s natural ability to access niche markets (‘The Long Tail’ by Chris Anderson), businesses will soon realize that delivering meaningful content to interested audiences takes precedence over attracting volumes of uninterested traffÃ¯c. High volumes of traffÃ¯c may be the goal of sites that make their monÃ«y by delivering traffÃ¯c to advertisers, but if you have your own product or service to sell, it’s about the quality of traffÃ¯c not the volume.
7. Human beings are hardwired to listen, learn and retain information based on how the brain receives information. People just don’t like reading information on computer screens. The linear narrative (storytelling) delivered by the sound of a human voice, enhanced by the moving image of a real person is how information is most effectively transmitted. It’s about communicating the message and how best to deliver the content.
8. The broadcast advertising model is not relevant to the narrowcast nature of the Web. Even websites that attract thousands of simultaneous visitors, still speak to one visitor at a time, and each of these visitors can experience your content in the order and at the time they choose. The Web audience for your offering wants content, and your Web marketing and communication techniques need to be adjusted to deliver your message as content and not merely as advertising.
9. The Web’s hyperlinked nature is a two-edged sword. As quickly as people can be directed to your site by high search engine ranking or reciprocal links, they can also leave at hyper-speed when they are frustrated by reams of text, outbound links, and distracting advertisements. People want content delivered in familiar, easily understandable, and digestible formats – audio and video.
10. Advertising as we know it is dead. Two thirds of television audiences completely ignore or disengage from television ads, and website audiences learn quickly where the ads are on a website and then avoid them. If you what to make your point, get your message across, and attract interest in what you do, you have to provide quality content that is entertaining, compelling, and above all memorable.
The Narrowcast Communication-On-Demand Website
The narrowcast communication-on-demand website model will deliver information formatted in audio and video programs. Text and static pictures will be provided for those who need to print hardcopy information for reference purposes.
This model offers businesses the ability to take advantage of the Web’s full communication capabilities and the hardwired nature of people to respond to human-based presentations that enhance attraction, comprehension, and retention of information.
If you want to improve your bottom line using the Web, you have to start thinking differently. The same old marketing and sales models of the past are not going to work on the new multimedia Web. Web-audiences will demand more than a sales pitch or product specification sheet.
How to Convert a Static Website into a Multimedia Website
Traditionally websites are divided into sections that provide information on the company, the products and/or services, clients, help resources, company news and PR initiatives, and contact information.
These traditional website elements have to be reformatted into more effect program-style presentations using video interviews, expert opinion, and how to sessions, as while as audio FAQs, knowledge bases, and product or service descriptions. Testimonials, success stories and corporate histories can be turned into entertaining and compelling video documentaries that establish brand personality and build confidence.
The Web has evolved from its early days into a fully functioning multimedia communication environment. If you’ve followed all the rules and listened to all the conventional wisdom, and you’re still not getting what you want out of your website, maybe it’s time you tried a different approach.
About The Author
Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a Thornhill, Ontario based website design firm that specializes in delivering their North American clients’ marketing messages using the latest audio, video, and interactive Flash presentation techniques to create compelling, informative and memorable Web-experiences that enhance brand personality and increase sales and profÃts. Visit MRPwebmedia.com, 136Words.com, SonicPersonality.com. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (905) 764-1246.