How Audio Can Bring A New Dimension to Content Marketing
Digital marketing is constantly evolving and brands are creating more and more engaging content. While planning your marketing strategy, you have to be mindful of the best way to visualise and implement the information you want to get across to your users. Usually, you would use infographics, videos and text to do this, but one medium that is often overlooked is audio based content.
Far from annoying background music, audio content, when properly implemented in your brand's website, can aid the customer experience in a variety of ways. Perhaps you're a holiday company specialising in a particular city of country - why not include snippets of interviews from local residents who can describe the area? If you're a law firm, dedicated to a specific form of injury, why not host interviews with previous clients who can tell potential new customers how much you helped.
Audio content and podcasts boast powerful benefits over other forms of content. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider audio in your new marketing strategy:
Greater Personality From Your Content
You're an industry thought-leader and a controversial topic has caught the media's attention. Naturally, you want to offer your expertise, but is a blog post really the most effective way to do so? Instead, consider recording a podcast about the issue and hosting it on your website. Rather than proofread and edit text, you'll be presenting yourself in a more personal manner, with natural intonation driving every point you make. If it's a particularly contentious issue, you could record a debate covering both sides of the argument, with a representative from your brand acting as the intermediary.
US copyright licencing firm Copyright Clearance Center started their Beyond the Book podcast in October 2006 with just 60 listeners. They're still publishing regular episodes, except now they have an audience of thousands, covering not just copyright law, but also wider issues in the information content industry. Hosting regular content that literally speaks on a topical matter in your industry also shows that you're willing to comment through other avenues of the media and could lead to radio appearances or newspaper interview.
More Time Spent With Your Customers
Episodic podcasts are a great way to reinvigorate the standard 'FAQ' or 'Beginner's Guide' section of your website. Particularly effective for a brand in the DIY sector, recording multiple customer targeted podcasts on how to plan for, construct or even reinvent your products in their homes increases the time your brand is directly engaged with. Rather than reading tips of how to measure a room to plan for a new flooring, they can instead listen to your podcast while carrying out the task itself, with one of your expert advisers guiding them through the process step by step.
These podcasts then become an asset that can be passed from customer to customer. Perhaps someone who listened to your podcast knows a friend who is planning a DIY project. By recommending your informative podcast catalogue to help with their project, they are also promoting your brand as the option for them to purchase the materials they need.
Easier to Engage Across Social Media
Infographics and blog articles can be loaded with great information, but if you can't condense this information down into 140 characters, or create an enticing image that fits within a social media channel's specific dimensions, then getting people to actually engage with your content through social media can be tricky. Audio platforms such as SoundCloud and Grooveshark provide players that can be operated immediately on news feeds and timelines, making it easy for your audiences to engage with your content straight away.
The Level Up Network's newest episode shared with an in-Twitter player
Highly Adaptable With Other Content Mediums
SlideShare is a fantastic way to host presentations on your site, as it allows you to host a large amount of detailed information in a digestible manner. Unfortunately, not everyone will get the full benefit of your presentation when used on its own, as they may want to know the process behind your research, rather than just the results. If you're hosting a SlideShare on your site, consider a podcast to accompany it going through the information and noting when the reader should click to the next slide. Narration lends another dimension to your presentation, allowing someone to explain additional information without needing text-heavy slides. Additionally, your readers can download the narration and listen again at any time, effectively taking your presentation with them wherever they go.
Podcasts also lend themselves tremendously to case studies. As the case study itself will detail what your company did as a whole, a podcast lets an individual explain their role and how they went about helping your client. You can even have a representative from your client appear on the podcast to literally voice their thanks. Any medium that allows for clearer and more thorough explanations of how your company carried out its work is going to help attract potential clients.
Transcripts can also be easily supplied allowing for greater accessibility for people with hearing disabilities or those whose first language is not that which is featured on the recording. An additional benefit of transcripts is that listeners can search the text for specific information and ensure the podcast is right for them.
Huge SEO Boost
Having varied content is all well and good, but it won't help your site unless you have something that Google can read. It can't read videos or audio files, but it can read text file transcripts of these files. For each audio file you provide on your site, accompany it with a transcript. This can be a separate PDF that readers can download or interactive transcripts embedded into the audio player widget you're using.
These transcripts will provide a boost to any keywords you mention in your audio file and you can target specific keywords by scripting your podcast beforehand. As well as keeping you focused and on-track, a well-planned script will actually help with improving your recording because if you get lost, you know what you need to work towards.
The weekly public radio show This American Life had its entire - over 500 episode strong - catalogue transcribed and posted on separate pages that were linked to their corresponding episodes. With an audience of roughly 2.1 million listeners, 7.2% of all visitors viewed at least one of the transcripts and the website received a 4.3% boost in traffic from unique visitors. The American Life was also able to increase its website authority, with the transcript pages receiving over 400 inbound links.
Whether it be a weekly podcast commenting on your industry, interviewing clients and customers or simply narration for on-screen information, audio-based content can provide a huge boost for your website's accessibility and its search performance. Easily shareable and adaptable, audio content can be easily downloaded by potential customers, meaning they can hear your expertise and opinions at any moment. This gives you the best chance of becoming their go-to option when they're making their next purchase.