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Listen up! Why audio content should be on your radar

As of 2014, podcast Serial Season 1 was downloaded approximately 40 million times, globally. This international success of this podcast is just one of the many signs that audio content is back, a concept reflected in the rising popularity of audio books (3.88 million audiobooks were downloaded in 2015) and now, in content marketing.

So why should brands make audio part of their content marketing strategy?

A shining personality

As well as being useful and entertaining for your audience, audio content is engaging and, more importantly, immediate. The nature of audio content allows you to spark a connection with your audience almost instantaneously.

Whether it’s through the delivery of the content (think pace, tone and the use of inflections) or through editing techniques like transitions and intro music, audio content gives marketers a better handle on how the content is conveyed and received by the audience. This provides marketers with the ability to literally give their brand a ‘voice.’

Ross Adams from podcast platform, Ascat, notes “brands are realising that podcasts can offer a unique one-to-one engagement, it is about as personal as marketing can get as the listener is truly engaged if they are prepared to listen to long-form content. This is the golden age for podcasts.”

A content makeover

This is essential for content that is not typically engaging, an area explored by Vodafone in their podcast the Vodafone Institute Podcast. This podcast addresses current issues of a digitisation in society, business and education, asking questions like: “what are the opportunities and challenges of digitisation? How is the world of work and learning changing as a result of these challenges?”
Utilising key strategies from traditional content marketing, like influencer marketing, the podcast produces episodes such as “Digital Skills with Sinead Mac Manus,” an episode with engages Sinead Mac Manus (founder of digital skills startup fluency.io) to discuss new skills in the digital world.
Creating a conversation around the topic thus engages the listener, drawing them in through dialogue which is far more relatable than the written word.
Keep them coming back for more

Beyond simply conveying information, audio content like podcasts are key to creating ongoing engagement by providing additional entertainment value to the listener.

In Australia alone, 2.9 million people have listened to podcasts in the past 12 months, with podcast penetration set to increase to 1 in 2 Australians. With only 3% of marketers in Australia, podcasts provide a key opportunity for marketers to cut through over saturated marketing channels

Podcasts also provide marketers with the opportunity to create hyper-engaged audience through the creation of series style content, key for lead nurturing and retention. Online fashion retailer Asos began creating their own podcasts in early in 2015, recording interviews with female entrepreneurs and developing them into podcasts. Since then, the Asos podcast has gone on to attract more than 30,000 listeners and 2,000 subscribers.

“Once you get people listening regularly and make your podcast their weekly habit, you have a really engaged audience,” says Adams.

With more people than ever plugging in their headphones, there has never been a better time for marketers to make some noise about audio.

 

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