In 2020, audio marketing spend jumped from $1.1 billion to $3.09 billion, per Statista. In four years, that’s nearly tripled. The time has come for businesses to produce audio content.
People listen to music while they jog, drive, or wash dishes. Viewers choose which shows to watch and when. They also tend to fiddle with their smartphones or tablets when things get boring or predictable.
As every marketer knows, media consumption is constantly evolving. Customer lifestyles are rapidly changing, and marketing teams must adapt to keep up.
Marketers who prioritize capturing eardrums while maintaining eyeball content will be successful.
The Top 4 Audio Content Marketing Sites
If your company is new to audio content marketing, there are four main categories that have grown in popularity in recent years.
- Voice search
- Audio Ads
If you can only invest in one aspect of audio content marketing, make it this one. The reason is that voice search will soon be prioritized on search engine results pages (SERPs), much like “mobile-first” website design is now.
Voice search, also known as “voice-enabled,” allows customers to find what you have to offer by asking Google Voice Search, Amazon Echo, Siri, Cortana, and other AI-powered technologies.
As a result of this, optimizing your content for voice search is critical.
Audio ads on the internet are similar to radio ads. The difference is that broadcast radio ads are like a “shotgun” approach (you might hit something), whereas audio content ads are like a sniper (you might hit something).
Audio ads can be targeted to specific demographics, geographic areas, or pre-filtered audiences. The format allows businesses to produce ads that reach interested listeners rather than random listeners.
Don’t be misled by the word “book.” While audiobooks do include entire published works of fiction or nonfiction read aloud, they are not the only format available. Anything that has been printed or published online and has received positive feedback can become an audiobook.
For example, a popular blog could be redesigned to include audio versions of all posts. So fans can listen with headphones instead of staring at a laptop or smartphone.
Remember the word episodic before you jump into the podcasting craze. You can choose to release an episode once a month or twice a day, but you must commit to a regular audio production and release schedule.
If you can’t commit to a regular schedule, hold off for now.
Successful podcasts feature interviews, tips, and tricks on a common topic. Ideally, any branded podcast will focus on a topic relevant to your company’s expertise.
Start Small, Think Big
There’s no reason to avoid audio content marketing. You’re probably already doing it, whether you realize it or not. Answering customer questions is audio content marketing. Anyone who asks for your opinion or expertise qualifies.
- Identify the most urgent need
- Establish a time, talent, and treasure budget
- Start with the low-hanging fruit
- Get outside your own head
- Gather and analyze historical data to guide future spending
1. Identify the most urgent need
“Make more sales,” many business owners reflexively respond. This is fine, but when it comes to audio content marketing, it helps to reverse the emphasis.
Focus on your customers’ most pressing needs. Why do they do business with you? What questions do they ask often? If they don’t buy your product or service, where was the sales funnel’s break-off point?
Listeners’ loyalty will translate into future sales if you provide valuable insights and solutions to common issues.
2. Establish a time, talent, and treasure budget
Add audio content to your monthly budget just like you would print, TV, radio, or other marketing channels. Staff time, media buys, and production costs.
Audio content marketing can’t be done “when I have time.” If you’re hesitant to invest regularly, consider why.
3. Start with the low-hanging fruit
Look for “found” high-quality audio. If your company already produces videos, you may already have high-quality audio content recorded. Several companies have repurposed their existing YouTube marketing budgets by exporting audio tracks to other platforms.
A supplier who already produces high-quality audio may agree to republish their content with your business’s header and footer identifying your business as a trusted local vendor.
4. Get outside your own head
It’s all too easy to think inside the box while working in a silo. As you transition your company to audio content marketing, ask others what they think about your industry as a whole, not just your company. Note diverse opinions, questions, and suggestions.
Siloed thinking can cause us to dismiss an idea we’ve already considered and not hear what others are saying. To get around this, invite a stranger to join you for casual conversations and interviews. They may hear things you do not.
5. Gather and analyze historical data to guide future spending
As you publish your audio content to the internet, keep an eye out for what works and what doesn’t. Your “worst effort” audio content may become your most popular.
Plan regular meetings with your top marketing people to review your website, podcast, and social media analytics. Decide ahead of time that your “best” material will fall flat. Clickthrough rates can only tell you that someone cared enough to look at what you said.