Request for review/ideas for new web audio marketing service

10 replies
Greetings,

I've been poking around here for years but finally made the time to register, so thanks for having me.

I've recently re-launched my web audio marketing service (link in sig for ref) and I'm interested in a) constructive reviews of the service, and b) hopefully some help (or a little nudge) coming up with an out-of-the-box marketing strategy to help gain exposure.

Here's the background 411 on the service (excuse the length here, but I really would like some informed opinions and comments):

The service consists of Flash-based web audio mp3 players that I've designed specifically for marketing, along with supporting pro web audio production & editing services (I've been in the audio biz for about 22 years).

The players feature several possible upgrades, namely a custom image (head-shot, eBook cover, logo, graphic, animation, etc.) that helps to build instant trust and "say" your serious about your product, service or the message at hand. They also come with a custom scrolling text prompt, an optional (unique) TicklePlay™ audio prompt, advanced control features, and have an optional built-in affiliate program (embedded link on the player).

The player is a hand-crafted, one-time purchase, which not only allows it to be customized for a specific use, but differentiates it from other generic free mp3 players and subscription-based web audio services. The premise is that most people now, with perhaps a little education and resources (which I provide on a DIY page), can record their own audio (in their voice, which generally sells better).

TalkingSpeaker picks up by helping them polish their audio (precision editing, mixing in appropriate music, mastering for best level and quality, etc.) and then provides the delivery mechanism (player) custom-tailored for their site/blog/profile, etc. The players cost about as much as 2-3 months of a comparable subscription web audio service, and they can be used as many times as desired on a user's own sites/pages. "Cloned" players (with different text and link) can be had very affordably for other uses.

That's the short of it for the service offering. Here's what I've done so far...

In addition to running some PPC to jump-start the traffic and "tickle" Google (which I swear works because I consistently get ranked well in just a couple days for all of my ventures and on client sites that I design - gloat gloat - hehe) and doing the normal social-bookmarking and micro-blogging (namely Twitter) track, I've embarked on a little MySpace experiment in the past 12 days.

First, I created a dedicated "Free Barack Obama Victory Speech Player" that I posted in the comments on a handful of MySpace profiles. I thought it would get a few hits, but wow!!! I went from about 750 page views/day avg. to 3400 the very next day (450%?). I though "hmm.." so I posted a few more here and there - just a couple hours of work, and 4 days later I peaked at 12k views (for the day).

Thinking that I was onto something here, I created another player targeted directly to all the bands/musicians on MySpace and posted it around for a few days. 12 days in, I peaked at 21k views (for the day). Now, mind you that most of this traffic is caused by the player loading on these profiles, and not people necessarily clicking through. In fact, the player link doesn't work on MySpace because they block Flash links. Just the same, my actual click-thru traffic is up by many hundreds, so the technique seems to work somewhat.

BUT, imagine what this could do when it's on thousands (or more) of sales pages (and for so many other uses) where the links DO work? Again, the player has an affiliate program built in, so these users can earn from the clicks as well.

So then, MySpace is one thing, but I need to reach more qualified potential buyers (like probably everyone on this forum - hehe). I've tried directly emailing web owners, but it's very time-consuming and it's hard to get through when there's only an aweber squeeze.

I've been told that I need to narrow my focus to a specific niche, which I guess would be affiliate marketers and the like, although my free mp3 player (run as a loss-leader) is being used all over the web for some unexpected and interesting uses and I don't want to rule anyone out (I'm sure I'll get an education on responses to this <g>).

My other inclination is to secure JV partners, but of course, this is easier said then done and frankly, I'm a bit "hungry" right now and while I very much want to build a long-term, value-based business out of this service, I don't have the luxury of much time to get this rolling. As well, because this is truly a hand-crafted product, I can't offer the huge 50%+ JV commissions that a replicated digital product can. I do have a couple exploratory meetings setup with some big names (probably in here but I don't kiss and tell), but time is of the essence and I think this venture has room for many players.

Finally, I have a business plan for a logical extension to this service ( BizMediaPlayer.com ), which involves extending the media to video, links, Flash widgets, text, etc. and some amazing, trackable features designed specifically for internet/affiliate marketing (and more), but alas, I don't have the modest start-up capital to make it happen on my own right now (any rich Uncles in here? <bg>).

That's probably more information than anyone would invite, but I do appreciate you reading (look at me assuming that people have read this - hehe) and of course would be grateful for any comments, critiques, suggestions, (orders, checks, stimulus packages, anonymous lottery winnings, etc.).

Feel free to grill me and I will submit (err.. links, more info, etc.).

Cheers and thanks a bunch!

-Mark

PS How's that for a first post... over-kill? Embarasing? Brave? Crazy? :confused:
#affiliate program #audio #jv partner #marketing #marketing strategy #mp3 audio player #request #review or ideas #service #web #web audio marketing
  • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
    Hi Mark,

    those are pretty cool players. :-)

    The order process of adding all the extras seems a bit confusing to me.
    There's a lot to read until you finally figure your best player configuration to order. There's just too many choices there.

    Hm, reminds me a bit of this very post where you write so much that in the end I don't really know what you want feedback about. Asking precise questions is likely to get more responses.

    You might add a second sales page and try to offer the player 'bundled'

    1. Player with gold guy and scrolling text: 37$
    2. Player with your custom image an scrolling text: 57$
    3. Player with custom image, scrolling text, custom color...

    You get the idea.

    BTW: I didn't really calculate my ideal player, but I get the impression that the features add up to be pretty expensive because there are so many.

    To make it more clear you could also separate the cart items that belong to the player from those that are extra services.

    Ralf
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  • Profile picture of the author TalkingSpeaker
    Hi Ralf,

    Thanks a bunch for checking out my site. I couldn't agree more about there being too much info - I've struggled with this over and over. The previous incarnation of the site had 3 stock packages for the custom player with the most common configurations. The problem was that people who just wanted the most basic features seemed to be thrown off even by the basic package (perhaps it wasn't basic enough), so I thought I'd try a pay as you go approach, which brought the anti down to just $37 instead of $77. As it is now, the equiv. price for a loaded custom player is only $67. True, the audio services and some of the more obscure options will creep the price, but I just haven't nailed the best way to present all of the options yet keep it a simple BuyNow deal.

    The new MP3 Promo Player that I released does have its own package page - perhaps a "Packages" page linked from the home with similar configurations would work better. I think it's one of those things where I'm just too close to the nuts and bolts to see it as the customer. Always room to improve, so I'll work on this.

    Thanks for the feedback - very useful indeed!

    Cheers,

    -Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author TalkingSpeaker
      Hi Ralf and others,

      I've retooled my products and now have convenient custom web audio player and web audio service packages available right on my homepage.

      To make up for the previous lengthy email, I'll leave it at that and just say that I hope to get more feedback from others here about the service, my players, my site in general, and of course any tips about getting the word out.

      Thanks a bunch!

      -Mark
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      • Profile picture of the author LonNaylor
        Mark,

        First, I like the players and your basic business model. I recently registered WebAudioPlayers.com and will be putting together an info site that could very well include your stuff and services...

        I think that there is way too much stuff going on with the pages.

        Also...no offense...I just don't like the way the site looks. The color schemes (or lack thereof), fonts, layout, graphics, etc. all remind me of old, 1990's style websites.

        I would recommend that you hire a professional web designer and put together a much more focused, up-to-date page. Maybe incorporate a "marketing funnel" approach where you could build interest and credibility and a customer list to market to.
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        • Profile picture of the author TalkingSpeaker
          Originally Posted by LonNaylor View Post

          First, I like the players and your basic business model. I recently registered WebAudioPlayers.com and will be putting together an info site that could very well include your stuff and services...

          I think that there is way too much stuff going on with the pages.

          Also...no offense...I just don't like the way the site looks. The color schemes (or lack thereof), fonts, layout, graphics, etc. all remind me of old, 1990's style websites.

          I would recommend that you hire a professional web designer and put together a much more focused, up-to-date page. Maybe incorporate a "marketing funnel" approach where you could build interest and credibility and a customer list to market to.
          Hi Lon,

          Thanks for the suggestions and nice job on that domain name - that's a gem for sure! I'd love to have you as an affiliate (or more) when your site is up and hopefully I'll have upgraded the look of the site by then.

          I agree regarding the design - While I think I've done okay given my limited resources and lack of time right now, I'd love to have it re-designed as soon as I can. I did have a thought to thin out the home page and push all of the technical details to a sub-page so I can have more of a "web 2.0" look, but I'm always conflicted by having too many clicks to the order button and not enough information to "capture" people. I definitely see some A/B testing in my future.

          Thanks again for the tips, I'm taking them all in.

          Cheers,

          -Mark
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          • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
            Just another idea.

            Since you know how to create flash players ... the unique feature 'TicklePlay' and the scrolling text could certainly be used for cool video players as well.


            Ralf
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  • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
    Hi Mark,

    that's easier to understand now, good changes.

    Will that scrolling text have a link to a page of my choice or is it always a link to your site?

    Ralf
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    • Profile picture of the author TalkingSpeaker
      Originally Posted by Ralf Skirr View Post

      that's easier to understand now, good changes.

      Will that scrolling text have a link to a page of my choice or is it always a link to your site?
      Thanks Ralf, I really appreciate the follow-up and I'm glad you were able to see the site as my entire server got a major upgrade tonight and was down for a little while.

      The link back to TalkingSpeaker.com is my default built-in viral tool <bg> and how I link my affiliates back to my site, but for an extra $20, I offer customization of the link and anchor text to whatever you want, so someone could have me put an eBook cover or product on the player and have it link to their affiliate product (or their own page, etc.).

      I also offer a cheap $20 "clone" player, so someone can order a custom player and have their own link & branding, and then use their clone player (as my affiliate, or not) and keep the TalkingSpeaker.com link. In fact, the custom link branding is now the only player upgrade option, having rolled everything else into the 3 player packages.

      Thanks again for lighting that fire.

      Cheers,

      -Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author TalkingSpeaker
    Indeed Ralf!

    I actually have a business plan for a total media marketing solution (video/audio/flash/java/images/text/etc.) but it would require some VC/Angel funding to get it rolling. You would flip over all the marketing controls and media management that I've built in. It's amazing how many people use YouTube videos and then let their traffic click and leave. With my BizMediaPlayer.com plan, all control and other unique tricks like TicklePlay™ would likely greatly increase conversions. Oh, if I only had an extra few hundred $K laying around.

    Love the ideas... keep 'em coming and thanks!

    -Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author TalkingSpeaker
    Anyone else have any ideas as to how to get my web audio players & pro audio services in front of affiliate/internet marketers?

    I'm getting great responses about the service, but I'm finding it difficult to get direct exposure.

    Thanks and cheers,

    -Mark
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