Most people listen to their favorite music, audiobooks, and podcasts while driving. It's safe to say that audio content is not only a big part of our lives, but a naturally occurring one. Since time immemorial, people have relied on the spoken word for communication and learning.
In recent decades, we have also witnessed a great change in communication via the medium of electronic devices. Influential IT and tech companies are competing to create AI-based personal assistants that understand and comply with our audio commands accurately.
One study found that 65% of users said they regularly ask general questions to their AI personal assistants. Moreover, 40% use them to get directions while driving; 25% make calls; 23% dictate texts or emails; 17% receive updates; and 9% perform other tasks, such as setting appointment reminders.
Can these new audio trends be used for marketing purposes?
Why Audio Marketing
You use marketing to popularize your business, increase sales, raise brand awareness... Consider adding something different to your campaigns, something that has been overlooked until recently: audio content marketing campaigns.
Granted, visual messages have impact, but audio marketing is no different. Marketers need to adapt to people's behaviors in order to reach those people. Moreover, relying solely on text and writing perfect articles for content marketing is no easy feat. Thus, alternative content marketing strategies should be considered.
The Importance of Audio
People are busier than ever, so podcasts turn out to be a passive way of consuming content while multitasking.
- An IAB and Edison Research study found that 65% of podcast listeners are more likely to purchase a product endorsed in a podcast.
- Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of consumer browsing sessions will be voice-mediated.
- On-demand audio streaming was up 76% in 2016, overshadowing video streaming by more than 250 million streams, according to Nielsen.
- According to Google, voice search is growing in popularity, and 20% of mobile queries have been voice searches in 2017, and the numbers are expected to continue to grow.
Audio content can also affect customers/fans, making it profitable for marketers. Julian Treasure explains how sounds affect us in four ways:
- Physiologically: Sounds influence your body directly, increasing your heart rate, stimulating the secretion of various hormones, etc.
- Psychologically: Sounds influence emotions, depending on various stimuli. Music is the most powerful emotional audio trigger, allowing listeners to relax and brighten their mood, for example.
- Cognitively: Unpleasant noises can interfere with our concentration, resulting in less productivity. Background noises impede comprehension of conveyed messages.
- Behaviorally: This is aspect is essential, enabling us to create sounds and communicate audio messages that prompt customers to heed our advice.
Six Ways Content Marketers Are Using Audio Marketing
A. Websites and Blogs
1. Record your posts and distribute them as podcasts
Allow your audience to choose their preferred medium; moreover, by doing so, you can attract new audiences. A good example is the Content Marketing Institute's Pulizzi and Rose podcasts, which provide insights, useful tips, and latest news from the content marketing industry. Joe publishes a weekly blog post about the show, featuring sponsors, and a call to action to subscribe to the podcast.
You can also create a dedicated page for your podcast and turn it into a lead generator. If you are not sure exactly what it should look like, look at Rainmaker.fm's dedicated podcasts page. And to help you present your content in easy-to-use formats and layouts for all types of customers, you can use a tool like Kajabi to easily upload documents, presentations, images, and audio files.
2. Enhance the navigation on the website with audio
Playing audio on your website is a good idea only if you make sure that it can be disabled, lest it annoy visitors.
3. Record your clients' testimonials or record audio transcripts of your articles
Use a tool like Podbean.com to learn how to create audio follow-ups and get more referrals. Rewardstream explains how referral marketing works: "Catch and engage your customers at the exact moments when they are feeling the most satisfied with your brand, your company and your products." Study your customers and find out what appeals to them; include audio elements to suit their taste.
B. Social Media
Social media is essential to your content marketing strategy. The question is how to create a hook to generate likes, shares, or comments. (For example, the Verge uses a graphic element in the first few seconds of its videos to let the audience know they need to "turn on the sound.")
4. Use Facebook Live Audio
You should not limit your audio streaming to your website or blog. If your fans/customers use Facebook, make use of the Live Audio feature to convey your message directly.
Experiment with every feature Facebook launches, as it is the only way to know whether a new feature brings value to your business.
5. Use music to create branded content
Create playlists on popular music streaming channels and distribute them to your fans, customers, or followers. Doing so shows your brand personality and will attract followers. For example, Pepsi has Pulse Pop, a branded radio station on Apple's iTunes Radio, and Toyota has created a station on Pandora featuring exclusive interviews with popular artists.
6. Use music as a targeting element in social paid ads
About 80% of your audience is using one social media platform or another. Unlike traditional targeting strategies, on social media ad targeting can be influenced by your consumers' listening habits. Major music distribution platforms, such as Spotify, iHeartMedia, and Pandora, are building technologies aimed at serving specific and targeted ads to listeners based on their preferred music genres.
Pandora VP of product Jack Krawczyk told AdWeek, "Brands can now layer [customer info] with what Pandora has done with multicultural communities. It's really allowing advertising communities to enable their buys at higher integrity."
People are busier than ever, and increasingly more individuals are learning by listening to podcasts while multitasking. Audio content might well be a perfect fit for marketing your business or brand.
Are you already into this type of content marketing? Which strategies do you find most effective in mixing written with audio content?