Customers are increasingly turning to audio tools to accomplish tasks, gain knowledge, and consume content. True, traditional visual content, written and video, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, audio is gaining traction across demographics as users discover the simplicity of consuming audio content on-the-go.
Audio Content is Marketing’s Next Frontier
Brands can stay ahead of the curve by jumping on the audio bandwagon now. As with any media product, brands seeking to stake their audio claim must invest in long-term strategies that produce clear, compelling audio marketing. For brands that do take the audio plunge, the payoff can be extraordinary: broader reach, comprehensive branding, and new revenue channels are just some the rewards of audio marketing done right.
Podcasting arguably first came into its own with 2014’s Serial, an investigative journalism podcast whose fascinating audible insight into crime narratives led to over 350 million downloads during its first two seasons. Since then, major brands hailing from diverse industries such as banking, music streaming, and messaging platforms have launched their own branded podcasts. To put the numbers in perspective, in 2018, Apple announced that it had reached over 50 billion Podcast downloads and content streams since launching the services. What these early adopters understood intuitively is that podcasting can be one of the highest forms of native advertising. In other words, branded podcasts are the type of ad that consumers want to listen to.
Another podcasting marketing route to explore is podcast advertising. Podcasting adverts, whether live read or prerecorded, have a distinct advantage over other types of traditional advertising: they’re broadcast to a captive audience. So much so that according to data from Midroll Media, very few podcast listeners are skipping ads. At the same time, new data analytics solutions like Apple’s podcast analytics are making it easier for publishers and advertisers to connect over shared demographics.
It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of Spotify to the worldwide music industry. With 200 million users worldwide – of which 87 million are paid users – Spotify has cornered the music streaming market. While premium subscribers gain ad-free service, Spotify pays for its freebie service with ads.
The streaming giant has a designated platform for audio brand advertising, which uses AI and data science to identify the perfect streaming audience for your business as well as create in-depth analytics that help you develop your strategy as you go. Other music streaming players, such as Apple Music and Pandora, have similar ad options for you to pursue.
Smart Speaker Apps
Nearly one-third of US consumers owns a smart speaker, with industry predictions forecasting a sharp increase in that trend in the coming months. Burger King’s notorious 2017 television spot, which was designed to and successfully did activate Google Home smart speakers around the US with a clever audio prompt, demonstrated how primed smart speakers are for marketing initiatives. However, for brands that aren’t looking for direct confrontation with the likes of Google or Amazon, smart speakers still hold exciting audio marking possibilities via apps.
Leading brands like Capital One, Domino’s and Uber have integrations for Amazon’s smart speaker Echo and its companion virtual assistant, Alexa. While Alexa isn’t doing much in terms of direct sales (yet), the smart speaker is quickly becoming a household staple. Enabling interactions with your brand via voice command empowers you to create meaningful connections with your customers from the comfort of their homes.
In 2014, conductor Rainer Hersch led an orchestra performance of a waltz based on the assorted sounds generated by Windows XP. This glib concept was humorous precisely because Microsoft has so successfully branded its Windows sounds that they are instantly identifiable with the brand. While branded sounds on their own might not drive revenue or even brand awareness, they can definitely contribute to your company’s overall audio identity.
Voice Search Optimization
Move over, SEO. Audio has a system of its own to get noticed. With mobile voice queries on the rise, brands need to ensure their names rise to the top of the audio search rankings. Unlike SEO, which relies on keywords to boost rankings, VSO algorithm is far more nuanced, drawing on parameters like tone of voice and conversational phrasing.
Voice Search Optimization might be the most important type of audio marketing you can do for your business at present. Even if your brand isn’t quite ready to roll out signature audio content or ads, passing on VSO means losing out on a growing swathe of customers.
Not all forms of audio marketing are right for every brand, but every brand should be investing in some form of audio marketing. At Motif Content, our efforts help businesses craft outstanding content that can be heard well above the noise.
Contact us to discover the steps for strategizing and launching your own bespoke audio content strategy today!