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Women-Owned Business – Websites -1999

UWOA – WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS – WEBSITE IDEAS (Part 1)

The UWOA has access to many terrific sources of information that help women-owned businesses. We publish frequent business articles in the UW News section of UWamerica.com. You can review these articles by selecting the Women-Owned Business option on the UW News menu.

All of our articles are written with both newer and older businesses in mind. If yours is a new women-owned business, you will find that we discuss even the most complex subjects in a way that you can understand them. Please read on.

DAZZLE YOUR WEBSITE VISITORS WITH MULTIMEDIA

Many women-owned businesses own or will soon start a new website. Multimedia is one of the least expensive and most beneficial improvements that you can make to your website.

Dazzling and informative multimedia features convert website visitors to paying customers. Multimedia will build your website traffic too.

So, you want to add multimedia to your business website? Smart move!

Years ago, the world wide web was a very silent medium. The written word ruled.

Not so today. The web is now a very social medium filled with sound, music, video, graphics and motion. YouTube alone boasts billions of video views daily.

How do you compete and grab your share of attention online?

This article will help you learn techniques to promote your website, your business and your products using audio and video. You will learn:

1. How to Add Audio to Your Site.
2. How to Add Video to Your Site.
3. How to Capture Attention Using Video Demos
2. Easy Multimedia Content – Interviews
3. Hosting Teleseminars for Traffic
4. How to Market Your Business With Videos … and more

Now, let’s get started with a quick overview of how you can use audio and video on your website.

You can use multimedia to…

Demonstrate – Video is a great medium for demonstration. You can demonstrate a product or a service. You can demonstrate how to use your website or how to make a payment. The options are limitless.

Engage – You can engage your audience by creating videos that they will relate and respond to. Showing your true personality in videos also engages your potential customers and makes them feel like they ‘know’ you. Use audio throughout your website to guide your visitors through to the next step. Both audio and video work well for engaging your audience.

Sell – You can use videos purely as sales tools. Use them to let your listeners or viewers know the benefits to purchasing your products or services, and to give them a clear call to action.

Generate Web Traffic – You can place audios or videos throughout the internet to market your business. By creating useful, informative, entertaining or educational media that leave people wanting more, you can draw them back to you in search of the answers they seek.

Adding audio and video to your business website is worth the effort. They make you stand out from the crowd and show that you’re worth paying attention to. Read on for some practical tips you can employ immediately to start garnering the benefits of multimedia now.

HOW TO ADD AUDIO TO YOUR WEBSITE

Adding audio to your website is a great way to provide a personal touch without actually being face-to-face with your audience. Your voice will be working for you, 24-7, to introduce your visitors to all you have to offer. Use audio to introduce your topic, guide users through your site, make offers and invite them to join your list.

Before we get into some nitty-gritty on how to actually add audio to your site, let’s discuss audio formats and files so you know what you’re dealing with.

When you record an audio for online consumption it must be saved in a specific format. Your listeners won’t be able to open your audio file if it’s not in the right format.

What are the most common formats?

.mp3 – This is the standard audio format to work in because it is most commonly used for storing and downloading audios. We’ll be working in MP3 so you can use software programs to host your audio and you can easily allow your visitors to download your audio files.

.WAV – A wav file is most often used on Windows software.

.WMA – Stands for Windows Media Audio, and it is again a Microsoft audio file.

How do you record audio for your computer?

You’ve got a great idea for audio but no clue on how to record it. There are a number of ways you can get your audio recordings online quickly and easily. Remember, each audio file needs to be in a specific format (mp3), and we need software to capture and save it in that format. The software you use is up to you. Here are some options:

Audacity – This is a free audio program that allows you to save your files in mp3 format. This program lets you record your voice live and then go back and edit. You can also use Audacity to mix voice with music, cut or splice audio together, and crop an audio that you want to break into pieces. Audacity is available free online; you simply download it to your computer, boot it up, and record your audio using a good microphone or headset. We recommend a Snowball Microphone from Blue Microphones or a Plantronics headset. Download Audacity for free here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Free Conference Call Lines – You can also use free conference call lines to call in and record an audio for your blog. These lines are actually intended for 100 or more people but even if you call in alone you can typically record an audio file and then add it to your website for download as an mp3 (this will depend on the features of the program you decide to use). http://www.freeconferencecalling.com is one we have used.

Audio Acrobat – While this program is not free, it’s packed with so many features that it’s well worth the monthly payment. If you’re looking for the easiest way to get audio onto your blog, today, then Audio Acrobat is your choice. There is no learning curve or coding knowledge needed with Audio Acrobat. You just call into a special phone number, enter in your code, record and you’re done. Then when you log back into your account you have a large selection of ways to publish your audio. Next you grab the code to place on your site. Then you have a web-player ready to go and a download link if you choose. There are just too many features to cover here so check out the free 30-day trial to find out more: http://www.audioacrobat.com

Unless you’re using Audio Acrobat, recording the audio is just the first step. After it has been recorded you will then need to add the audio to your blog. Again, the exact software you use to do so is your choice, but if you want people to click a ‘Play’ button on your site to hear audio, then you need a script that creates a ‘player’ for you.

Here are some options:

Podpress – This is a free plug-in that you can use with WordPress. Podpress can take an mp3 file you’ve uploaded and put it into a player that visitors can click and listen to online. It can also allow your visitors to download the audio to listen to anywhere they like (on their computer, on their iPod or other mp3 player, on a laptop, etc.) http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/podpress/

Audio Player – This is a WordPress plugin that acts as a simple mp3 player for your audios. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/audio-player/

Audio Acrobat – If you’re looking for an easy way to add a web player then check out the Audio Acrobat trial mentioned above.

Teleseminar/Conference Call Lines – Earlier I mentioned free conference call lines. Depending on the service, you may be able to create a player from your phone recording and add it to your site. Instant Teleseminar (www.instantteleseminar.com) is one such service that allows you to do so.

If you want to start out simply, you may want to just let your website viewers download the mp3 audio file without having an audio player on your blog. To do this, you’ll need to upload your audio file to your website, get a link to its location, and then share that link with your readers. That way they can download it to play in whatever manner suits them best.

Yes, adding audio is a bit of a ‘techy’ thing to do. And yes, you can do this!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then I recommend going with the simplest solution and choose an all-in-one program like Audio Acrobat. Over time things that once sounded foreign and confusing will start to sound familiar and even second-nature. Take a deep breath and know adding audio to your blog is another way for you to create a solid connection with your audience and build your brand long term.

That’s worth the extra effort!

Please stay tuned to our Women-Owned Business News for Part 2 of this discussion concerning the addition of Video to your website. This will be published on UWamerica.com within the next week.