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!
PS How's that for a first post... over-kill? Embarasing? Brave? Crazy? :confused: