In this era, we are blessed with plenty of content options and if anything — we’re spoilt for choice on how we want to receive information.
You name it, we’ve experienced it all, from a good read, watching “How-To Videos” on YouTube, social media stalking our friends, favorite brands, and celebs, or social media updates, breaking news, and more.
Dealing with the content clutter out there in the digital landscape is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, it’s disruptive chaos and it’s getting harder to focus with all these digital distractions sometimes.
Audio content differs from text-based or video content because it’s easy to consume and interact with. It is considered a passive form of communication as both text and video require you to be present to read or watch it. Instead, for audio, you can just listen to it wherever you go, even when running errands.
Perhaps that’s why the potential for voice and the need for a more intimate outlet is emerging as audio content gives businesses a chance to cut through the clutter and is seen as a brand-new catalyst for rapid growth in marketing.
What is audio content?
In digital marketing, audio content is any type of published information or asset that is consumed audibly AKA through listening via ears.
This type of content typically includes any type of auditory-related entertainment that is utilized for marketing purposes such as podcasts, audiobooks, Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as voice assistance, or activated actions from our fellow friends Siri or Alexa) on smart speakers, and more.
Audio content can be accessed through devices like computer speakers, mobile phone speakers, smart speakers, and any device that supports it. We will cover the types of audio content, later on, so let’s take it step-by-step by understanding the importance and the use of audio content for starters.
What is the use of audio content?
Here are the ways where audio content can be used:
Audio content can be used by publishers, marketers, or content creators, musicians, writers, and so many more ways to explore.
Brands can create their own Al-enabled skills with devices such as Amazon Echo which is the product line of a hands-free speaker and acts as a virtual assistant with devices that interact with an end-user or Google Assistant to increase interaction with the customers or to answer the common product FAQs.
Audio players can also be integrated into website pages that read the text aloud of an online article you’re interested in and can even play according to your language selection and other languages made available.
Podcasts can be utilized as a form of audio-blogging to cover important and relevant topics or to provide business updates.
What is the importance and benefits of audio content?
When we think of digital marketing campaigns, we instantly relate them to catchy slogans or taglines with powerful text and imagery or capturing videos with dramatic effects, but how does audio content come into the picture here?
The value of voice has never been greater now in the 21st Century workplace. Back then in the 20th century, workplaces depended heavily on the text as a form of communication, but today, it’s all about audio and video to get your message across. Can you agree with me? Or are you still relying on text-based outlets to convert your clients?
One thing we know for certain is that the numbers don’t lie and even content like online videos and podcasts will continue to rise, according to stats conducted by Cisco.
Our consumers today are gravitating towards voice-led content and businesses understand the popularity of audio content as a great way for them to convey their brand message to the consumers. Imagine this, if the content is already considered king, what more for audio?
As a digital marketing agency in Malaysia, we believe that audio has a special way of working its magic to our consumers, and given the fact that it’s one of the oldest mediums of advertising, dating back to radio in the 1980s; it definitely plays a crucial role in digital marketing today and the future of it.
We definitely rely on audio more than we realize; think about all those radio channels you tune into to hear the top hits and the most memorable jingles by or a dialogue between two people that makes you want to get the product you’re hearing about.
We are always plugged into audio in an effortless way and when you think about all the music streaming apps and radio we listen to on the drive to and from work just tuning into all these radio promotions, ads, and news, how else would we retrieve such insightful information? Hearing is a very powerful way for our brains to focus on important content and process information which enables us to multitask while we are on autopilot mode.
Here are some benefits of why audio content is effective for marketing:
Music get stuck in your head way easier compared to texts so you can send your marketing message to audience more easily.
It provides a new channel of consuming information that has a high chance of converting new leads to customers.
It’s an added advantage when reaching your customers against competitors who have not explored the audio content space yet.
Makes information more accessible.
Accumulates a higher-quality following such as podcast listeners that tune in consistently to your audio content.
Audio is considered as “Found time” because you can still listen to audio content when you’re doing other things like doing your laundry, dishes, commuting to work, cooking at home, walking your dog, etc.
Develops a more personable voice for your brand.
Sparks intimacy and a connection with your consumers.
It’s a more convenient way for your users to engage with your content and encourages higher return rates.
It is cloud-based and free of hardware restrictions.
Unlike video, audio content is a completely hands-free way of consuming content, making it easily consumable on the go or while you multitask the day away.
Audio like a good book leaves details to your imagination and everyone envisions a story a little bit differently in their heads.
It creates more intimacy straight to your ear or in your car, but the impact is great, whereas the video is all about the visuals and the splash, but it’s a different type of experience.
Audio can fit into our lives a little more in ways that video can’t in terms of reduced distractions and focus.
Audio content is a different sensory experience. For example, if it’s a cooking-related audiobook, it’s reinventing a cookbook with the cook describing their story, the sizzling sounds, the rich description of culture and history, and so much more for the human mind to imagine.
Usually, audio content is typically generated using these techniques:
The actual recording of human voices.
Natural language processing (NLP): The conversion of written text into spoken words.
Voice recognition or command through smart speakers or voice-oriented devices.
14 Types of Audio Content in Marketing
So, what type of audio content should you be using as a marketer or business? It all depends on the nature of your business and your marketing objectives and goals.
Before you dive in, here’s a list of the top audio content for you to consider integrating into your marketing strategy:
A podcast is a digital audio file that is available over the internet or for download to a desktop or mobile device. It usually comes in a series of episodes that subscribers can receive automatically.
Podcasts are growing big these days and are probably the most popular audio content type.
Did you know that podcasts are projected to double up to 112 million listeners by 2021? And 13.67% of podcast audiences comprise people between 18 and 44 years of age. The younger people, the majority of millennials are more tech-savvy and are more likely to adapt to streaming platforms such as YouTube, Spotify. Amazon, Netflix, and other options. That’s quite a following right there!
There are many different types of podcasts that cover a wide range of topics and also a wide range of people who tune in according to personal interest. The market for podcast listeners is generally well-educated, well-off, and are more likely to have Amazon Alexa or any smart tech like Google Home smart speakers, enabling them access to audio more audio content exposure.
When creating a podcast, it’s best to avoid promoting your brand so heavily. You should think of creative ways of promoting weekly podcast as your branded content and instead of focusing it on your company, try to create one about a topic that is related to your industry.
A good idea would be to go with the podcast-style audio content about your company that’s short and sweet and no more than 5 minutes per episode. Create short audio clips that help break down your content in light chunks and offer listeners the opportunity to catch up while they’re out, but with their AirPods or any wireless headphone devices in. At the same time, you can also share your quality podcast by publishing it on social media with those light episodes that you can share on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Now that you’ve gotten the gist of what a podcast is, it’s time to introduce its relative — the audiobook. It’s like a cool version of that paperback book that you never got to complete but is now available audibly. Hip-Hip Hurray!
I nothing against paperback books or anything, but it is starting to lose out in the market because the fact is it requires a lot of time, concentration, and a hidden nook to read properly. We don’t have the luxury of the time these days with all the added distractions in the world to read a book line by line. The modern-day consumer wants information and entertainment pronto!
Digital audiobooks are a fast-growing segment in the publishing industry. Not only is it a growing discovery but the entire publishing industry is cash, now that there are more options available for customers. In the recent year, audiobook sales increased by 16% in the United States alone and managed to garner over 1.2 billion dollars in revenue, as compared to $940 million in 2018. 25% indicates more room for growth and relevance. And what’s surprising was that audiobooks beat popular Ebooks in sales, which only generated $983 million behind audiobook sales.
Furthermore, for 3 years in a row, more than 50% of audiobook listeners claim they are making “new” time or should we say “found time” to listen to audiobooks consuming more books and the market for shorter audiobooks indicate that 43% of audiobook buyers state they would purchase an audiobook that is one to three hours long.
Your company can benefit from the rise of audiobooks as well as you already know that creating even ebooks is a form of content marketing that works well with the market. So, why not capitalize on this opportunity by re-purposing content from existing ebooks to an audiobook. Or create a video and also record it as an audiobook as well to expand your reach. Sounds like a plan doesn’t it? One that brings in the bucks, for sure when expanding your content marketing strategy.
Voice search optimization or voice SEO is the practice of making ads more searchable via voice search, usually from a smart speaker or a virtual assistant like Siri or Alexa.
How it works is that when an individual is searching for something on one of these devices, instead of having to type the words, they can speak commands into these automated devices, which recognizes keywords and conducts a search for them on their behalf.
Optimizing for voice searches through Google or Amazon works the same way as optimizing for written searches, which involves a keyword identifying tool on platforms such as WordStream or SEMRush to test out an ad copy. However, if you’re optimizing for voice search, then it is essential to understand the common phrases your customers will say out loud and altered to reflect how they will give a voice search device a command. Think about their thought process. For example, commands like “Alexa, play the song Fly me to the moon by Frank Sinatra.”
Here’s a tip: To improve your video marketing results, you can optimize voice SEO efforts to promote and direct any voice driven traffic to your video content.
Audio ads are basically conducted by a voiceover that delivers a message while a still image or simple animation. Audio campaigns in online marketing offer advertisers the same targeting option and bidding strategies used for digital advertisements.
Today, audio-focused advertisements are limited to streaming apps and radio services like Pandora, Spotify or no product sponsorships and endorsements that are featured in podcasts.
Even virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Home are able to support these ads but are not authorized to do so due to the viewer’s discretion.
Audio ads are indeed important for your business and advertising on streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora is the best way to reach the younger audience. And plenty of opportunities to promote your brand via podcasts, just because it doesn’t pop up like the traditional ads we are used to, doesn’t mean it won’t get to you — just you wait.
5. Audio Blog
An audio blog is a blog or article with vocal recordings as its main focus. Any blog that includes audio clips in MP3, AAC, or other forms of audio media format with short text descriptions of their content is an audio blog. However, any audio blog that is available in a syndication format such as RSS is considered a podcast.
Most businesses will naturally identify as storytellers and will usually have a company blog to help express their brand voice or to offer the relevant information as the industry experts. An audio blog will complement your blog posts with a strong narration audio file for those who wish to learn more about your brand but have a habit of multitasking. That’s where your audio blog comes in, walking them through your blog without feeling interrupted between sentences. Instead, they can relax and hear you out properly.
Work can be a distraction sometimes; just look at how many tabs you have open on your browser. Easily more than 5 tabs open, that’s for sure. And how many of them did you abandon? Admit it, you’re a busy bee and some audio content will cut you some slack after a long day at work.
A jingle is a short tune used in advertising to promote a brand and other commercial uses. It is known as sound branding and is effective because it leaves a memorable mark in a consumer’s mind and creates brand recognition.
This type of audio content often appears in TV commercials, radio, and even podcasts and if used well, it can lead to a campaign going viral in marketing.
A good example of a jingle gone viral is one here from Shopee, it aired on the radio and just practically was a trendsetter in terms of jingle ads.
For their upcoming single’s day sale, eCommerce site Shopee worked with an agency to create an ad for Singapore that riffed on the popular Baby Shark song which just blew up and went viral! Follow their footsteps here.
A signature tune is a tune that is always played at the beginning or at the end of a particular radio or television program, so the audience will associate with a particular tune to a brand, much like a theme song.
Can’t seem to think of a signature tune that makes an impact? Close your eyes and try to think of a time in your childhood days at home or at the cinema with your family. Remember THX? THX is actually a company that certifies that an audio system in the film you’re about to watch complies with their high-quality digital sound standards. It will usually appear before a movie. Just hearing the sound of it before a movie excites me.
If you want your brand to have a signature tune that rings a bell, tune in here!
A sign-off track is a term used in music to bring a song to a gradual close before it meets the end. It usually appears around 3-4 seconds of a track. Some brands also use a sound logo as a sign-off track too. The goal is to aim for brand recognition and memorability.
This type of ad is usually done in the form of podcasts, except the host or the personality reads out the ads for their listeners or viewers. The length of it varies according to the type of agreement the marketer and the organizer have. The impact of the ad all depends on the host reading it and how engaging they want the ad to be. A clickable link to the product is available and is usually included in the description or in the comment section of a specific podcast.
This native ad is the perfect example of what catches your attention when you’re busy multitasking, you will definitely stop to listen about how Marmite could make your Mondays better. Go on, give it a listen. Even the copy is killer, I like how they end the ad on a fast-paced note. I’m just so glad I got my hands on this script so I can listen and read it side by side so it packs an extra punch. It’s catchy, alright!
Marmite ‘The Mondays’
SFX: Music intro.
VO: “Are you experiencing a case of the Mondays? Do you suffer from a once-weekly outbreak of sore personality, swollen mood or inflamed temper? Then Marmite on toast for breakfast could be the pseudo-scientific remedy you’re looking for. It’s anecdotally proven to help families smash through the start of the week. To report a case of the Mondays, call the Marmite helpline on 0800 832 1835.
Hate Mondays. Love Marmite.
Marmite is best enjoyed at breakfast. Breakfast can be eaten any time of day if you get up late enough. Users may experience a 33% increase in pizzazz.”
This type of audio content is a form of sponsorship where the music streaming provider engages in a deal with the advertiser to create branded music playlists or channels according to the brand name. As digital marketing experts in Malaysia, we believe every digital marketer or business should leverage music streaming apps like this for maximum SEO results that link the audience to your brand name.
This one is branding from Spotify in efforts to create and promote their top show “Stranger Things” and how they can just enter into a Stranger Things’ Playlist mode on Spotify. Genius!
In the digital landscape, everything works effectively and instantly. Once your ads are ready, just with an easy click of a button, your ads will be blasted everywhere. In today’s modern world, the ones that don’t optimize for mobile will definitely miss out on great opportunities out there. As a business, keep up to date with digital and ensure you’re available on all devices to be easily shareable for your audience to spread the word around about your brand. The more available you are, the more reach you will get, and your awareness will spread rapidly like fire. These sponsored podcasts could come in the form of a clickable ad on a streaming app or between podcasts like in The Adam and Drew Show, listen as they start promoting products between their podcasts. Sounds very convincing and their listeners seem truly engaged with them.
If your business is on the hunt for a creative partner to develop impactful concepts and engaging content, you can check out Synergy XYZ, the go-to agency expert to enhance your audio content and offering 360-degree digital marketing and content creation services.
SOURCE: Adam & Drew Sponsored Podcast (Listen to promotion)
12. Internet Radio
With all due respect, internet radio is still in and although many internet radio users have pivoted to use popular names such as Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming sites, many ears still remain glued to internet radio stations like NTS radio, worldwide FM, and more because of its wireless convenience and the fact you can listen at your own convenience and not just in the car, home, or wherever traditional radio stations are available.
Internet radio, also known as web radio, streaming radio, and other closely related names is a digital audio service that is transmitted via the internet. Internet radio is used to communicate easily spread content through the form of talk and is distributed through a wireless communication network. It offers radio services such as news, sports discussions, variety of music genres and every format is available on traditional broadcast stations. The only difference is you can listen to it as long as you’re plugged into your earphone devices.
13. Pre-Recorded Spots
As mentioned, these are pre-recorded ads that are conducted across a variety of digital audio platforms. They can be easily developed for a specific channel, show, series, or playlist, and can include a clickable visual for digital screens that direct interested users to their website. They still abide by traditional ad lengths such as 15, 30. And 60 seconds.
14. Streaming Audio Music
Last but not least, ever heard the term, music makes the world go round? That’s because it’s true.
Audio music content is an in-stream or programmatic audio ad in between songs for marketers and brands but of course, everyone in the world is united with music!
You can listen to your favorite songs on streaming apps like Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, and more!
To wrap this up, audio content is really a breakthrough invention as today we are being swamped with digital content clutter everywhere it’s overwhelming!
Audio content is like your partner in crime that keeps you informed when you want to be updated with the current news, trends, and your favorite audiobook even.
Audio content is considered a passive form of content because it’s not a disruptive type of content. It is considered “found time” and it enables you to listen on-the-go while you’re running errands, busy commuting, or walking your dog. Whatever it is, you may be out and about but once you in those AirPod or similar devices, you’re constantly tuned in at your own convenience. The beauty of audio content is that it reaches a consumer in a more intimate way than other forms of content marketing are unable to do so as it reinforces a different type of focus and presents a different sensory experience, allowing the listener’s imagination to run wild. It’s always best to have a strong content marketing strategy and overall online omnipresence for your business to reach different audience segments. The content opportunities are endless!
Most businesses are exploring audio content as it is the best way to reach your audience in a more intimate manner. It’s best to reach them from as many content marketing channels digitally as possible for more brand awareness and exposure.