Why Content Marketing Needs Audio (PART 1/3)
As the world of content marketing continues to grow, one thing has become abundantly clear. Content marketing needs audio. Humans have less time to absorb content while wanting to absorb faster, and with less effort. We are on the brink of cognitive overload, and audio has the answer. Defined as the fifth digital disruption, audio is taking its rightful place in the communications and marketing sectors; right in between sellers and buyers, vendors, and users. Audio is here to further disrupt the way that we talk to the market, but in the best way possible.
Digital Marketing Metrics vs. Meaningful Knowledge Exchange.
In the content marketing industry, the quality and effectiveness of content are demonstrated by search results ranking – which in itself has its issues. Corporates have cornered the market as they can afford to create greater content and pay for its promotion, whereas, independent companies struggle to keep up. Due to this, making it on the first page of a search engine’s results is no longer an attainable goal for most.
With that being said, content marketers are constantly – and sometimes obsessively – focused on how effective their content is. Statistically speaking, 90% of B2C marketers and 81% of B2B marketers focus on creating content to build brand loyalty and evangelize their point of view to the ecosystem. Despite this, only a third of content marketers find content marketing to be successful. They keep creating content to keep up with the momentum of the instantaneous nature of social media, yet rarely do they have clear data to demonstrate effectiveness.
This is where the need for meaningful content and knowledge exchange comes in. Content overload is a real issue for consumers and marketers need to rethink which format to present their content – and where to place it.
A New Media for Content Distribution.
The constant shifting of content such as text, images, and video, opens up a new media of content: Audio. Shifts in lifestyle also mean that consumers are changing what content they want to digest – and how they want to digest it. This is the secret formula for an effective content lifecycle.
There are four key elements of content that prove its effectiveness to the user and those are:
- Creating content that provides value and quality for its audience, rather than for Google. The consumer will feel prioritized and be far more likely to engage with the content as it’s tailored to their needs – not search engines.
- Making content accessible in various formats, rather than in one format. Audio creates a greater level of accessibility to the consumer and provides a higher engagement alternative to text-form.
- Providing short-form content as an alternative to long-form. Sometimes, the consumer doesn’t have time (or simply doesn’t want) to read a long-form piece of content. A short-form summary gives the consumer the option to digest the most important information, before deciding to read on further.
- Keeping long-term relationships in mind, as opposed to a one-time engagement. The main key performance indicator used to be how much time was spent on your site, as this was the way publishers measured their acquisition rates. Nowadays, we offer the chance to come back later and listen, which gives the company a greater opportunity to get to know their user and drive high-quality content directly to them.
The Process of Listening
It all started with print media. The earliest way we consumed content was by reading; then listening on the radio; watching on the TV; and finally, via the Internet. Since the revolution, we are constantly changing the way we consume content and have since made the jump from text-based content to video.
Along came audio and it disrupted everything we know about how marketing and customer communications content gets consumed. It is slowly but surely taking over video and becoming the most notable type of content we’ve seen. What may seem counterintuitive, is actually a hugely powerful progression. Audio has the power to build future relationships and create a new level of opportunity for content creators and consumers alike.
The sole reason why the process of listening is far greater than the process of watching or reading comes down to one thing: Time. Every time we consciously engage with a piece of written or visual content, it occupies valuable time. Audio has the ability to fade into the background, whilst providing us with on-demand information that fits into our schedule. In the fast-paced world of today, this is exactly what we need as consumers.
The Benefits of Audio
There are multiple benefits of audio content, for both the consumer – and the company:
- Audio is far more user-friendly than text or video since it allows you to multi-task while listening.
- Audio can be consumed on any device that can be sent an email or message with an accessible link; web audio players can be used on any device connected to the internet.
- Audio helps people who can’t read or have an impediment and that is a huge help for the future of accessibility.
- Audio is a great way to fill your time; listening to content while you’re out on a run, stuck in traffic, or cleaning the dishes can be a valuable way to digest information on the go.
- Audio can do both; some consumers like the option – and ability – to have access to both audio and text. If you embed your audio within the text, it will allow the consumer when and where they wish to consume the information.
- Audio is super cost-effective to produce; the production costs of audio are just a fraction of what video costs, whilst keeping it professional and of a consistently high standard.
- Audio helps us make faster decisions; ultimately, the shorter your content, the more likely you are to have an audience that actively listens and engages with it.
- Audio is statistically measurable; providing you with exact feedback on how long people have listened to each of your clips and how many items they chose to play, amongst other metrics.
- Audio is far less competitive right now; as we know, video and text content is crowded, ultimately paving the way for audio to be discovered.
- Audio has the power to create empathy and trust since its text rival will always feel more rigid and formal, so audio has the advantage of affecting the consumer’s emotions far greater.
Podcasting is NOT Marketing With Audio
Yes, that’s right. Podcasts are not simply marketing with audio. We need to abolish this misconception, once and for all. Podcasts are a form of entertainment that requires a topic or a person featured to gain relative engagement; making it one of the most difficult content options to see a notable ROI from.
Audio has the ability to offer so much more, though marketers often overlook it as a viable option as not enough people are working with it yet. There has never been a better time to get into audio marketing; just in time for the next boom to take its rightful place! Audio for marketing is still an undiscovered territory, and it’s high time we properly discovered and understood it.
Turning Customer Communications Into an Audio Playlist
It is time to take a good hard look at all of your content. Whether it’s blog posts, white papers, one-pagers, eBooks, brochures, or newsletters. No matter what it is, the content you’ve created can easily be repurposed into audio-form. This is where positioning it within a web-based audio player and delivering it directly to your consumer’s inbox could well become the next big thing.
So, you have a bunch of written content you want to refresh and recycle, but don’t know where to start? Take a look through a few of these content opportunities that you can try:
- Adding an audio player onto your website and offer the opportunity for the consumer to listen from a link in their email inbox later.
- Reworking your blog, or simply replace it with an audio version or summaries.
- Turning some of your existing content into a podcast.
- Turning your long-form content into audio playlists and using them to track engagement and source high quality leads.
- Sending audio instructions to your client directly after they’ve purchased your product.
- Getting your sales team to record a brief to send to your clients.
- Replacing your monthly report with an audio brief to colleagues and/or clients.
- Reducing support call times by sending out pre-recorded audio playlists.
- Starting a weekly audio channel.
- Sending out audio to brief to your various teams.
- Embedding audio playlists to aid in onboarding new employees.
- Asking the CEO to send out a monthly audio update or newsletter.
- Keeping your team up to date with trending web content, in the form of audio summaries.
- Adding an audio product description to further accessibility.
- Increasing trust by featuring audio testimonials on your site.
So, how can you turn all of your customer communications into an audio playlist? Easy. Let’s introduce you to Summurai – the pioneers of the Audio Marketing Platform (AMP). Summurai was founded by Tal Florentin, one of the leading UX thought leaders in Israel.
Summurai was created to provide a dedicated platform for audio marketing, where you’re able to store all of your content under your own brand’s name. Within the Summurai portal, you’ll be able to create audio channels, manage your content, and track your statistics.
Each audio channel acts as a playlist, and you can define all the visuals to match your brand identity. Go one step further and embed the platform on your company’s website for the fastest way to add audio marketing content into the mix.
The Future of Content Marketing
It’s obvious how badly content marketing needs audio and there has never been a better time to try something new. If you’re looking through your content and realizing that something is missing; or your content is just not performing how you want it to… You’re probably right! Content is ever-changing and it may be time to change your content format, as after all, relevance and engagement go hand in hand.