While browsing websites for gift ideas, I am constantly seeing the awesome potential of multimedia. Now that there are multiple social websites for almost every kind of media, the potential for customers to be exposed to your experience is limitless, and really inexpensive.

My wife loves wind chimes, and I found some very interesting and different types of chimes. However, as most ecomm sites go; there is usually a picture and a small description of the product. This is hardly enough to go on when looking for a gift that goes beyond a static visual image. The chimes I found were made of ceramic bells rather than metal or wood, so I was very interested to hear them. This is one product where the lack of sound is a deal breaker – I can’t imagine that many people purchase wind chimes based solely on looks. I wanted to hear what they sound like before I place them permanently on my patio.

How many other websites are taking advantage of the amazing technology that is available to them right now and at no cost?

Think You have a Boring Product?
Who says pens are boring?pen creation video
A pen maker who creates wooden, turquoise and malachite pens created a humorous video using Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show.

He uploaded it to YouTube and the clip received 800 views in three months. Unfortunately, he did not add a link in the video description or in his YouTube user profile to help users find his website, www.woodenpenworks.com.

How many more product could engage a user by showing them the manufacturing process? Online video is no longer expensive and having it posted to YouTube can also increase exposure in ways never imagined by some marketing departments.

Where Customer Experience is the Sale
After this year’s Annual SiteLogic 4th of July Celebration, my shopping for fireworks has taken on a whole new level.

How do you shop for fireworks when all you see at the store are brightly colored boxes? Well, you go to the website and see a video of what the box will produce:

fireworks website

One of the favorite displays of the night was a box called “Guns of Navaronne” which we were able to preview on the Phantom Fireworks website. Sound and Video! All of which resulted in a very happy viewing audience.

For selling a product that cannot be seen until after the purchase, these videos are critical. At the fireworks store, it was obvious which people were buying based on researching the website and which were simply wandering the store.

In another instance that I learned about in Europe, The Royal Theater in Madrid, Spain mapped the entire theater for seating views.
Now, prior to purchasing tickets online, a guest can see the view from their seat prior to visiting the theater. Many felt that this would harm ticket sales, as many of the seats with bad views would go unsold. However, it increased sales as well as the average ticket sale! People knew what they were expecting when choosing the less expensive seats, which were available as others upgraded their tickets .

Image and Multimedia Optimization
Once a company begins to develop audio, video, and pictures to help sell the products, the standard website optimization rules still apply. image propertiesEach media file contains information that is critical for search engines to find, index, and show in search results. The file itself needs to be named appropriately, containing a specific description of what is contained in the file. Use keywords naturally.

Each type of media also contains author information, such as title, subject, author, category, keywords and comments. Use each of these fields to adequately describe the content and link back to the website, preferably to the specific page in the website that is relevant for the media file.

It Might Be Happening Right Now – Without You!
How much more can you create a customer experience by adding additional audio or video of your products, production process, or the products results? In many cases amateur video uploaded to YouTube has created a demand and an awareness of a product long before a company was able to produce the same results. Bloggers who review products have all written about amazing reactions by people who purchase the product after they have seen someone use it and can see for themselves the benefits of how to use it properly.

Not only bloggers with video, but the travel trade has been turned upside down since the 90’s with the internet and social sharing networks. Currently on Flickr, I can view hundreds of photos of Mount Rushmore from almost every angle. Visitors to Mount Rushmore upload their photos and then add geotags, even down to the square foot they were standing upon!

In my own case, I uploaded video of a tree mower that was being tested back in January; As a result, the company that makes it has been receiving requests for the machine from all over the country, even before it was released. How’s that for an inexpensive marketing campaign?

There are multiple stories of everyday people filming products they have either enjoyed or experienced disappointed. Those consumers have been far ahead of corporate marketing departments, and have had a greater reach. They are setting the stage for the customer experience rather than the company that produces the product.

What are you doing to be a part of that experience and how can you create your own?

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