Voice Content: 10 Audio Content Formats Your Marketing Needs

10 Audio Content Formats Your Marketing NeedsWhy add voice content to your marketing mix?

Because while your marketing may be rooted in the beauty of words and images, roughly 80% of the population listens to content on their smartphone or other device. (Source: Edison Infinite Dial 2021)

This translates to 2 hours 35 minutes per day of voice content. (Source: Activate Outlook 2021)

Average Day by Activity per adultSo this allows you to reach both your current and future customers with words, music and sounds on their device of choice and on their timetable..

From a marketing perspective, voice content is the easiest and most cost-effective way to give your brand or business a voice. Even better, there’s a chance that your organization already has and uses some form of audio content.

The biggest difference between voice and non-voice content:
After publishing it on your owned media, transform it and publish it everywhere at the same time. So potential listeners can find your voice content on the platform and device of their choice without downloading another app.

So let’s examine how you can get people to listen to your content.

Voice Content: Top 10 Audio Formats

Beyond being listened to live or in real time, voice content has the advantage of being delivered for on-demand consumption. Each of  these Top 10 Voice Content Formats can improve your marketing. Decide which audio content formats will yield the best results for your business.

1. Podcasting

Podcasting is the most popular of voice content formats and the base of listeners continues to expand across English and other languages.

US Podcast Listeners - eMarketer-February 2021-Chart

To attract and retain your podcasting audience, record your voice audio as a series of episodes or as a consistent piece of content. Among the most popular formats are host-only, interviews and serialized fiction. By regularly creating content you keep listeners coming back for more.

Further, do guest interviews to test the effectiveness of podcasting.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tips:

  • Post your podcasts and related content on your owned media first. Always include a full text transcript of the recording edited for improved readability, ownership rights and search findability.
  • Get permission to post your interviews on other people’s platforms. Link back to the original post to avoid duplicative content.

2. Voice Assistant Specific Content

This content is created especially to be found and listened to on a voice-first assistant like an Amazon Alexa or a Google Assistant

Your voice marketing objective:
Establish a content foothold on each of these major content ecosystems.

So your content can be heard on each device’s ecosystem

Beyond transforming the format of your audio content, it must be vetted and approved by each publisher separately.

In terms of frequency, publish shows either daily or weekly to build a consistent listener habit.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tips:

  • Publish key business information to ensure findability across platforms and devices. Doing this to support your search marketing efforts.
  • Include calls-to-action to drive listeners back to your website. Front Row CEO does this well.


3. Audiobooks

Before you think audiobooks are only for authors, take a look at Amazon’s listings, the world’s largest bookseller.

By transforming your ebooks and other major content into audiobooks, you get additional visibility for your content marketing in a less message-filled environment. And, as an added bonus, readers will pay for it!

Since many audiobook listeners tend to use this format to test  new content, consider bundling your audiobooks with print options at a special rate. Also, include a special offer in the script of your audiobook to purchase the paper edition at a reduced rate.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tips:

  • Support audiobook efforts with targeted paid promotion on Amazon, the third largest digital advertising platform.
  • Offer additional bonus materials in your audiobook. This drives more readers to your website and gives them a reason to subscribe.

4. Traditional Radio Shows

Despite the expansion of voice-first devices, traditional radio continues to thrive across devices. In addition to terrestrial radio, there are a variety of other radio options including streaming radio like Sirius FM and other digitally-based radio like Spotify and Pandora.

Native radio shows are the original form of voice content. Starting as original radio dramas, they’ve evolved into fictional podcasts or audiobooks.

Radio shows expanded into a variety of formats. They include all music, all news, and talk shows. Each type of show has its unique benefits such as entertaining, informing and educating.

To make your native radio shows work in a voice-first environment, take a page from NPR and hire librarians to add the appropriate data and metadata to make this content findable and usable. Then transform it for listenability across voice-first devices.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tip

  • Transform native radio into voice-first formats to extend the reach of your shows to new listeners.
  • Create another revenue stream by licensing original radio show content, if  you own the IP (or intellectual property) rights. This content provides useful information and background for new voice content.

5. FAQ Content

Heidi Cohen and Marcus Sheridan -Only Conference Advice You NeedFAQ Content powers purchase support. Marcus Sheridan dubbed this content, “They Ask, You Answer” information.

The key to FAQ Content success is to answer every question your prospect may have about your products and business. Even better, organize them by topic to increase findability by voice search.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tip:

  • Include related images and videos with your voice-first content. Since prospective listeners may be using a multimodal device when their hands are busy but a visual will help their comprehension. Also add metadata to support listeners.

6. Instructions and “How To” Content

Often content marketers overlook the power of instructions and “how To” content since it’s developed by product or on-boarding teams. Yet this information can be mission critical from your customers’ viewpoint since it helps them to use your products and services better with additional information.

Transforming instructions and “how To” content into voice-first and multimodal formats improves and speeds up new customer onboarding by getting customers to use your products faster. This content supports sales and increases the lifetime value of your customer.

Further, this content supports legacy customers, especially those who purchase high ticket items they expect to work for a period of years. Not serving these customers well hurts future sales and destroys customer relationships.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tip:

  • Centralize the creation of instructions and “how To” content to minimize costs. Then adapt specific elements of this content to meet different customer needs at each point in the buyer process. Get all of your departments involved at the beginning of the process to ensure the creation of all relevant content.

7. Articles, White Papers, Case Studies and Communications

While most content marketers focus on creating and distributing text formats of their foundational or pillar content, assess the opportunity to transform this information into voice-first formats.

Why go to this added expense?

  • To help your audience consume your content on their schedule since audio or voice content can be consumed as a secondary activity.
  • To expand your potential audience by reaching new segments that mainly consume voice content first.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tips:

  • Add voice-first listening options to your owned media. This extends the findability of this content.
  • Include a call-to-action in this voice-first content to build your email housefile of voice-first listeners so you can contact them directly with new voice-first content.

8. Videos, Webinars, Courses and Conferences

Whether it’s current or older content, you can easily transform your video, webinar, course and conference content into voice-first information. This allows you to expand your audience for this content and to give it a second life across all of your video and voice-first platforms and devices.

Depending on the original format of this content, create voice only and/or multimodal content.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tip

  • Create new landing pages to get voice-first listeners to share their email address with you. Then use your initial email to determine the type of voice and audio content they want.

9. Interactive Content

Interactive content reveals the early benefits of conversational content or two-way voice interactions.

This digitally based content allows your audience to create their own narrative based on prompts at specific points. Like simplified voice interactions, listeners have the choice of two options. The benefit of this content format is that you can learn more about your prospect’s preferences to provide a more personalized experience.

5 Major Interactive Content types

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tip:

  • Transform existing interactive content into voice-first formats to reach a broader audience.

10. Historical Audio Content

Historic audio content falls into two categories:

  • Native audio content. This content was originally created in audio format to be listened to. Add relevant information and metadata before publishing it on your owned media. Then determine whether to distribute it more broadly. And, if so, on which platforms or devices.
  • Text of speeches and other spoken events. These transcriptions of past events can be transformed into voice-first content with the use of voice talent reading each document to recreate the experience. Selectively choose which historic content to transform based on the potential current value of these recordings and needs of your voice-first audience.

Use historic audio content to give your audience the sense that they’ve stepped back in history to experience the live event.

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tip

  • Focus on key speeches by senior management and storytelling opportunities to get the maximum return.

BONUS: Text Content To Explain Voice Usage

Depending on your marketing niche and customer segments:
Use text content to support voice-first customers.

To help get more of your potential audience to overcome the hurdles to using voice-first devices.

Case study:

VoiceBrew’s Katherine Prescott offers a text-based daily emailing to help her audience better use their Amazon and Google devices.

Prescott has expanded her offering to include a VoiceBrew Reader Q&A Forum. In addition, she generates revenue with advertising and affiliate offers.

VoiceBrew Reader Q&A Forum

Actionable Voice Content Marketing Tip:

  • Assess where your audience needs text and/or visual content to better use your voice-first offering(s).

Voice Content Conclusion

Add voice content to your marketing mix to achieve key business goals:

  • Expand your potential audience by reaching voice-first listeners;
  • Make your content marketing offering more consumable by extending the choice of devices and platforms your audience can use; and
  • Let listeners choose when they want to hear what you have to say whether they can view it or not .

By adding a variety of these 10 audio formats, you remove friction by meeting your listeners where and how they already spend their time.

Further, by initially publishing your voice-first content with the related text, visual and related information, you increase search findability.

Still not convinced?
Use these 10 options to test your way into becoming voice-first.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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