How to Harness Audio Content for your Business
From podcasts to shortform audio, soundmojis to audio spaces, 3D audio ads to audible GIFs, it is evident that audio is on the rise. But what is contributing to this massive audio boom? Which types of audio content are now available to us as marketeers, and, more importantly, which of these would be beneficial added to our content strategy?
Why Audio Is Having A Resurgence
It’s easy to look at 2020 and 2021 in a vacuum and feel like the audio resurgence has been kickstarted by Clubhouse coming out of nowhere as a hot new audio platform during the pandemic. Nevertheless, audio content has been growing in popularity for a while.
Since 2005 when the New Oxford American Dictionary named ‘podcast’ the Word of the Year, the popularity of podcasts has been rising steadily, asserting their status as an emergent media trend. At first it appeared as though the podcast scene might be predominantly already-established media companies repackaging existing radio and TV broadcasts, as these were the shows that were topping the charts. However, the success of Serial in 2014 shifted everything, and demonstrated that podcasts could be used in a different way. Now there are more than 30 million podcast episodes, and more than 1 million active podcasts.
Whilst podcasts have been instrumental in the growing popularity of audio, a big step was made thanks to voice assistants. Using voice search and the likes of digital personal assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, is becoming second nature as they are integrated into products we use daily.
Today there is a smart speaker in over a quarter of UK homes, and devices like Amazon’s Echo use a virtual assistant to play games, your music or audio books, answer your questions, and even control other devices in your home through smart home-connected technology. Microsoft has also stepped up by integrating Cortana into Windows 10 to allow for both text and voice search on devices such as their Xbox.
In 2017 Google predicted that 50% of their searches would be made by voice by 2020, and now their Google Assistant is available across an abundance of devices. It is even integrated with many other services such as Netflix, YouTube and Spotify, who have partnered with Giphy to animate the listening experience for their users.
It’s obvious that a lot of the Big Tech companies are focused on voice and according to the founder and CEO of Audioburst, Amir Hirsh, the biggest companies understand that to win the heart of the consumer, talk audio content is the way forward.
What Opportunities Are Available For Marketeers
Voice search is one of the biggest opportunities available to us as marketeers. As more and more users search in this way, we need to make sure our websites are prepared. Part of this is spending the time embedding SCHEMA Code into your website to enable key information to be optimised and relayed through smart speakers and smart phones.
But another key part is ensuring you are creating audio content in the same way you would do with text. This doesn’t need to be an burdensome process, in fact the easiest way to approach this is to look at content you are already producing and then how you can use audio tools to offer it in a different way to your audience.
Your industry, content strategy and the content that you have already produced will influence which audio deserves your investment. As previously mentioned, it is worthwhile looking at the content you already have, and the content you are planning to create as part of your content strategy, and how you can create audio versions of this content.
Audio Versions of Blogs
Why not create audio versions of your written blog, if you create one, using online tools such as Play.ht, Blogcast and Natural Readers? You can embed audio versions of your blog directly into the blog itself, and therefore present a different way for users to consume your content, which can help increase your target market.
Alternatively, if you have a blog or video series, why not think about creating a podcast version of this content? Again, this could provide potential customers with a different way to engage with your business and content.
If recording content isn’t your style, then why not think about going live with your audio? Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Facebook Live Audio Rooms and Spotify’s Greenroom each provide opportunities to engage with your target audiences using audio. Once more, consider what content you might already have created that might apply to this new format, whether it is Q&As, interviews, or sharing a weekly recap of the biggest stories in your industry.
If shortform content such as sound-first TikToks and Twitter threads are working well for your brand already, then you might want to try using shortform audio. From apps such as Beams, Quest, and Pludo to Facebook’s upcoming offering of Soundbites, you have the ability to record 90 second audio clips that are shareable and then others can reply with audio as well.
This type of content could be helpful for Q&As, showcasing key product or service features or extracting key elements of a wider piece of content, such as key statistics from a whitepaper.
3D Audio Ads
If you already use audio ads to promote your products and services, then using binaural 3D ads might work for you. Binaural recording uses microphones to replicate human hearing, so listeners hear sounds directionally relative to where the sound was originally made near the microphone. This type of content has worked well for some brands such as Popchips, with an immersive, realistic audio experience.
Audible GIFs and Soundmojis
If as part of your social media strategy you are already using GIFs and emojis, then trying audible GIFs or Facebook’s soundmojis where appropriate could make sense. Taking advantage of this type of audio inclusive content is an easy way to test out the audio trend and could help you to widen your target audience.
The possibilities with audio content are evidently increasing all the time. To make the most out of this trend as a brand, it follows to look at your content strategy, and the content that you have already created, to deduce which audio tools might be worthwhile to support your aims and objectives.
If you to get started with audio content and you’re not sure where to begin, we are experts in Content Strategy. With experience in producing award-winning podcasts, our team can help you to create a content strategy with audio at its core.