3 Reasons You Need Audio Content
Are you aware of the power and growth of audio content?
I admit I wasn’t.
I’m a carless New Yorker. It’s easy for me to overlook the power of drive time radio.
But even President Obama has his favorite Spotify list!
As content marketers, we often think text-based information first. The message.
We then add visual content in all of its various formats. We’re visual beings.
According to MIT neuroscientists, the human brain can process images the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds!
But we rarely consider adding audio content.
Before you list the podcasts you listen to regularly, realize audio content marketing isn’t just podcasting.
Americans spend an average of 4 hours a day listening to content according to Edison Research’s Share of Ear. That’s roughly a third of the content consumed daily! (Note: This 2014 data via Spin shows a more granular breakout by type than more recent surveys.)
“Mobile’s increasing utility as ‘the first screen,’ as well as the rise of alternative content forms, such as podcasts and ‘bingeable’ content from on-demand video services is subverting the myth that our attention spans are shorter.“
(BTW, listen to Webster’s The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schafer.)
3 Reasons to add audio to your content marketing mix
- Humanize your brand. The human voice gives B2C and B2B brands a real-life personality. Remember: most of our earliest learning came by being read to as children.
- Expand your audience. Some people learn and remember audio content better than text or visual information. It’s a plus for people with very short attention spans and people with low vision.
- Provide time-shifted and dual content consumption. Listening to content can be done while doing other activities such as driving and exercising. It gives your audience control over when they have time to listen and focus on your information.
Regardless of your target audience, audio content listening happens everywhere. (Note: This is also 2014 data.)
5 Actionable Audio Content Marketing Tips
Adding audio content to your content marketing mix requires a different set of skills. These may not exist within your organization.
The benefit is that audio can be created along with your other major quality content efforts or regularly produced content (such as your blog).
Additionally, audio content offers additional distribution options.
1. Start listening to content
Okay, I get that this sounds basic. But you have to start somewhere.
Listen to podcasts you like and those in your category.
Try audio books. Consider creating an audio version of your next ebook. Many authors retain their audio book rights since they make money!
Assess how they’re promoted and where audiences search for them. (Think websites, blogs, social media, Amazon and Apple.)
Answer the following questions as they relate to your audience:
- What information works for listeners?
- What does your brand need to get heard and remembered? Include voice/personalities, sounds, audio logos and taglines.
- What skills and support are needed to create and distribute audio?
- What makes you stop listening to a piece of audio content? Is it advertising, grating voices or sounds, boring personalities or other factors?
- When do you listen to audio and where are you? Also consider the device you’re using.
2. Start small by tapping into other people’s audio audiences
Start small with audio to get used to the medium.
Become a regular listener of people you admire. Get to know them and their focus. Where appropriate, comment on and help promote their content.
Be a guest on existing podcasts. Make sure that you listen to a few of the podcasts before you show up. Understand the format and the questions you’ll be asked. I was a guest on Jon Loomer’s PubCast. I didn’t do my homework. When he asked me what I was drinking, I responded coffee. I should have said, “A cosmo!”
Ask a question for a podcast. If you’re not an influencer or an established podcaster, you can submit questions. Smart Passive Income’s Pat Flynn answers questions on his Ask Pat podcast. It’s a start.
Many authors do podcast tours. It presents them to wider and/or different audiences than they would get otherwise.
If you have a regular podcast with a strong audience, new books are an opportunity to get speakers who would otherwise turn you down. When an influencer has a book out, they batch their podcast interviews to help sales.
3. Extend your video content as audio content
Use your video content as audio content. It already exists. Strip the audio out of your existing video. Viola, new enhanced content marketing!
This is an easy way to extend the lifetime value of your existing content. It avoids the problem of once and done content.
Moz does this with Rand Fishkin’s Friday Whiteboard. Take it from these search experts. They focuses on a topic, text and audio versions .
4. Add soundtrack to existing text content
Social Media Examiner adds audio its high performing articles. While this adds work, they only do it for proven content.
When I was at The Economist, we offered select articles via audio in the pre-podcasting era.
The content marketing bonus: You have a reason to re-promote your existing content across owned and social media to reach new audiences.
5. Enhance Promote and re-promote your audio content
Make your audio content a regular feature of your blog. For example, host a weekly podcast. Social Media Examiner’s Mike Stelzner hosts a weekly podcast that’s a regular feature of their editorial calendar.
Don’t forget to promote your podcast everywhere. Even in your email signature file, your social media profiles and your business cards.
Audio Content Bottom Line
Add audio content to your content mix to humanize your brand, expand your audience, and capture dual media content consumption.
Audio content provides additional ways to reach your target audience across a different array of platforms.
Additionally audio content enables you to extend your existing content. Convert it to an audio file.
While most podcasters use word-of-mouth and social media to extend their reach, there’s no audio-based social media platform. iTunes and Amazon offer other entryways to new listeners.
Start using audio content slowly.
Test different ways of finding and listening to podcasts and books.
Be a podcast visitor or try stripping the audio out of your existing video.
Listen to your words.
Your audio content may add another dimension to your content marketing.
P.S. Many people don’t know it but many traditional magazines have created audio versions for the blind for years. This goes back to the cassette tape days and it’s free for low vision subscribers.
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