Turning Up the Volume on Digital Audio

digital audioWhen you’re thinking about online marketing, you should stop, look, and LISTEN! That’s because of the surge in digital audio as an online content marketing tool. Plus, digital audio is a medium that combines the effectiveness of radio with the added dimension of proprietary data. Additionally, digital audio gives people both control and access with the proliferation of streaming services, smart devices, IoT, WiFi, and 4G has given consumers unprecedented access to digital audio.

It used to be exclusively about visuals…the graphics, the colors, the fonts, the videos. People came to your site to look at the sights. The sounds weren’t as important. Just an afterthought.

When they’re on-the-go (or standing still), they’re listening

But in 2017, that’s changed substantially. Now, your target audience is all ears, especially when they’re passing time when they’re trying to get somewhere by foot, train, bus or car. Digital audio has become consumers’ companion when they work, travel, exercise, eat (even as they shower and sleep!).

They’re always listening to something. Whether it’s a new Spotify playlist or the latest episode of a podcast, they are using pretty much every opportunity to consume audible content. According to the 2016 Edison Research Infinite Dial report, despite our content consumption becoming increasingly digital, we still love sound and sound alone. Online radio listenership, for example, has increased by 35% since 2005.

Why audio is a growing opportunity

This listening behavior creates a tremendous opportunity for marketers—in both the B2C and B2B sectors—to create branded, audible content. But why?

According to Hubspot, the listening process, “…helps satisfy different physiological goals. We listen to alter our moods, stay alert, and figure stuff out.”

Numerous studies have discovered how listening triggers a widespread network of activity throughout the brain. That activity is what links auditory stimuli so strongly to memory. That might be why we love to talk about things we’ve heard, like a great song or a wonderful story, for example. We’re sharing our memory of what we heard. And that comes back to what we do as marketers. We share the stories of and about our brands in a way that will get people to pay attention and listen to us.

5 ways to use audio in your marketing

Podcasts

According to Edison Research, podcast listenership has been on a steady rise since 2006—in fact, it’s grown by 25 percentage points. Branded podcasts, like those by Solamar client David Gottfried, have been highly successful, telling a story, creating valuable, educational content for people who are searching for information on what your business does best, and the conveying the kinds of objectives your business exemplifies. Or, you can actually repurpose existing blogs as podcasts and offer that option for people who’d rather listen than read.

Use audio to increase opt-in signups

When your target audience clicks to get more information about your products and services, you can actually have an audio track of your voice explaining what you have to offer.

Create audio testimonials

Ask your peeps to create audio testimonials. You can set up a special number for them to call which records their testimonial. Then you can use the recording on your website.

Audiograms

An audiogram is a snippet of audio that overlays a still image, like an audio caption. This is a great tool to use over a picture of person with audio talking about whom he or she is and why you should take advantage of their products or services. This snippet technique also works well with still images on Facebook or Instagram, but the audio can be longer.

Facebook audio

In December 2016, Facebook announced its latest live content feature: Live Audio. “Sometimes,” read the official announcement, “publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video.” That’s because:

  1. Audio is often a bit lower-maintenance than video, in that it requires less hardware (like cameras) and lower connectivity.
  2. It’s also a bit easier on the listener. Audio is a really low commitment way to consume content, because you can have the audio open in your browser and listen to something like a podcast, even if you don’t watch it at the same time on Facebook.

Audio is certainly making some big strides in 2017, and it’s definitely an area your organization should be making a lot of noise in.

Need a little help turning up the volume in your digital audio marketing efforts? Just give us a shout! Solamar has the pros who understand how to tap into the medium and the make some noise with the kind of engaging digital audio content people want to hear.

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