Audio Content Marketing ROI (PART 3)

Mark Donnigan

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness and quality of content, various methods are used. Talk to ten content marketers, and you’ll get ten different ideas as to how you should approach evaluating and measuring content efficacy. Summurai is the creator of a new marketing tools segment known as an Audio Marketing Platform. The company has developed an interesting way to quantify the value of audio content by using a quality measure called the Value-Effort Ratio.

Quantifying Effectiveness of Content Using Value-Effort Ratio

If you follow Summurai’s model of providing audio summaries for online content, you should see a solid ROI by using their best practices. 

For example, instead of creating a speech synthesized twelve-minute long narrated audio file of your fifteen hundred word article or blog post, you’ll create a 3-minute “Summy” that is human narrated that summarizes the crucial insights. Not only is audio easier to consume in a wider range of locations and while performing many different activities, but the shortened time commitment makes it more accessible and easier to consume. 

You can extend the value to the listener by creating an autoplay list of associated audio Summies that bring extended learning and information to the listener since it’s quite possible that the topic is worthy of further exploration, and by not forcing the listener to seek out the next appropriate audio file, they will be delighted in how you were able to serve them. This is the essence of the Value-Effort Ratio, where the value of the information received exceeds that of the effort needing to be spent to obtain it. 

summurai channel stats

Here are a few considerations regarding the process of creating your audio content for maximum Value-Effort Ratio (VER):

  1. You need a professional writer who has the ability to synthesize content. They must be able to distill facts clearly and simply to ensure engagement and maximum understanding by the listener. If you’re using an AMP like Summurai, their Summies should always include accreditation and a link to the original article. The text must be easy to read and speak by the narrator.
  2. It’s important to think about the voice that you want your Summies to have. All brands have a style guide that describes clearly their color pallet and fonts used, but very few have thought about their audio style. Should the narrator have an accent? Will they be female or male? Will they be younger or more mature? Must they talk in a casual or business professional tone? You don’t need to overthink these questions, but they should be considered, lest your “sound” be out of sync with the rest of your look.
  3. Audio platforms like Soundcloud or any of the popular podcast platforms that exist may be used for audio marketing content. However, these are designed for different purposes, and they lack key features that marketers will want, such as players that are easily embedded in a website, the ability to collect data and analytics, and curation tools. Summurai is a company creating this new category called Audio Marketing Platform.

summurai summy live

Why a 3-Minute Summy Provides the Highest VER

Summurai describes their audio summaries as Summies that are deliberately optimized for easy consumption. Most Summies are 3-4 minutes long and up to 400 words in length, though the original article is often in excess of fifteen hundred to two thousand words (or more) long.

Today, so much of the content that overwhelms us contains too much unnecessary information. In some cases, the length of an article is the very thing that stops us from reading it. If we were to summarize this content into 400 words and have a human narrate it into a Summy, we will be able to provide a far more digestible version of the content for our audience, helping the reader get to the true core of the content much faster. 

The beauty is that the humble Summy can become a shortened audio version of any other content piece; from a video or a conference talk to an academic study, white paper, or a podcast, a Summy is a perfect vehicle to distribute the information that you want to put forth in front of your audience. For longer forms of content (such as eBooks, White Papers, etc), the best practice is to create a playlist of Summies to maximize the content message reception by breaking the distillation of it into digestible chunks.

Using the concept of the Value-Effort Ratio, it should be easy to see that a 3-minute Summy is the future of audio content marketing. Podcasts have proven to be an effective way to reach an audience when they are out of the office, but with Summies, its possible to do it with most all of the information that you publish on your website such as blog posts, case studies, white papers, product positioning papers, academic studies, etc. There isn’t too much content that cannot be redistributed as an audio marketing file.

summurai audio marketing platform

The Mechanics of Creating Audio Content

While text-to-speech technology has come a long way in recent years, even the most natural-sounding narration can sound synthetic. Using AI and NLP driven speech synthesis requires a lot of cognitive effort for the listener. An artificial voice is considered inauthentic and it prevents the listener from absorbing the content effectively; to the point where they’re focusing on the voice, as opposed to the subject (content). If the listener is a non-native speaker, then this can be an even bigger issue.

Human narration requires little cognitive effort on the creator’s side and is relatively easy to execute. It’s important to ensure that the text is written for narration as opposed to reading. There is not a direct correlation between written and scripted text, so it’s imperative that you make sure there is a human touch in the scripted content. 

For this reason, Summurai utilizes professional voice artists in all of the Summies that they produce. The aim is for the narration to require as little cognitive effort as possible for the listener. Though professional voice-over artists are effective, depending on your brand and positioning, it may be just as powerful to have individuals in the company actually recording the Summy that they wrote or curated. Many audio tools exist, but one that was built and designed especially for marketers is the Summurai Recorder app, available on Google Play and the App Store. It provides around 80% of noise filtering, along with audio enhancing benefits that professional studios offer, without the cost. You’re also able to utilize any headphones you currently use (AirPods are recommended) as your microphone, making this one of the quickest – and most cost-effective – ways to produce audio content for marketing. 

In addition to their Summurai Recorder app, Summurai has streamlined the entire audio content creation process by allowing their users to complete their recordings by adding a title, caption, and photo, with the ability to upload this directly to your own branded content channel – all in under one minute. A transcript is created as you upload and you’re provided with a unique URL to share on social media or via email or SMS. This helps to alleviate the dreaded production process and endless hours of editing so that you can publish fast and ship more content to your audience.

lg electronics

Audio Marketing Case Study From LG

LG recently launched a new smartphone but due to limited customer contact as a result of the pandemic, their traditional marketing methods could be used since sales agents would not be able to sell efficiently in the stores.

LG approached Summurai with the challenge and there is what they agreed to do. Using the Summurai Audio Marketing Platform, Summurai took LG’s marketing material for the new phone and created a 9-minute playlist of Summies, enabling it to sound just like a sales presentation. The playlist consisted of seven Summies that explained a different aspect of the smartphone, along with some featuring short videos to demonstrate the relevant functions.

The playlist was sent to hundreds of LG’s sales agents – all directly to their cellphones, of course, and this allowed them to absorb the information while going about their daily routines. LG distributors were able to track the playlist’s performance and see exactly who listened to what and how long. 

The engagement from the field sales team was phenomenal and this enabled their retail sales teams to get on board with the new product at a low marketing investment and with almost zero face-to-face interaction – and all in time for the big launch. 

The Best Value-Effort Ratio = Audio

With audio marketing content, the power is that it fills empty space in our audience’s schedule when they cannot read or watch a video, but they can listen. Whether it’s during a fitness routine, a morning run or hike, driving in the car, commuting on the train, or waiting in line at the store, this is the most flexible content type that there is. And because it’s easily consumed, the perceived value is even greater than the original content form that it represents. After all, who really reads anymore? Learn more about audio marketing and Summurai here.


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