Audio Helps You Speak in Real Time to Ideal Consumers
Everyone can see a brand, but how many hear it? Putting a personal voice behind what makes you great gives consumers a memorable, rewarding experience.
James L Katzaman
Podcasts, Clubhouse and Spaces offer many ways to meet people
Everyone can see a brand, but how many hear it? Putting a personal voice behind what makes you great gives consumers a memorable experience.
The beauty of sound is there are a variety of ways to achieve the perfect effect.
“Audio marketing uses audible channels to get your marketing messages across,” said Suze Cooper. “That could be podcasts, social audio like Twitter Spaces or even an audiobook or voice experience.”
With a background in radio, Cooper is applying her audio knowledge across social media platforms such as Twitter and Clubhouse.
“I love cracking something and being able to help others with their audio content,” she said. “Whether it’s sparking new ideas for your podcast, chatting in Twitter Spaces or going on a sonic adventure to discover how a brand sounds, I am here for it all.”
Cooper joined digital marketing expert Madalyn Sklar to share insights on using audio to boost your brand.
“Audio content in marketing is no longer just radio ads,” Cooper said. “Now we can create audio content on niche topics and communicate directly with our audiences. Audio is intimate and emotive, making it a great connection builder.
“Audio is great for raising brand awareness and revealing thought leadership,” she said. “It’s portable, on demand and gets good engagement. Clubhouse reports users averaging 70 minutes per day on the app.”
Cooper endorsed Twitter Spaces as a whole new way of using audio in marketing that speaks directly with an audience.
“Audio marketing refers to the creation of audio content, rather than written or visual content,” Sklar said. “In the past, this was largely focused on the radio industry but now expands to podcasts and even platforms like Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse.”
Audio With a Plan
Anyone on audio should have some sense about what they’re doing. Otherwise, you’re talking into an empty space.
“Creating audio content takes work,” Cooper said. “It’s important you know why you are doing it and who you are doing it for.
“If you want to use audio as part of your marketing, you should have an audio strategy,” she said. “Then you can see how and where you plan to reach your audience, how to target any messaging and know what success looks like for you.”
Those planning to do audio should know it’s not a standalone proposition.
“An audio strategy should be integrated into a wider marketing plan and align with your brand’s objectives and aims,” Cooper said, recommending to keep these questions in mind:
- What do people hear when they come across your brand?
- How does your podcast sound?
- What music are you using?
- What does someone hear when they ask Alexa about your brand?
“Audio is emotive and memorable,” Cooper said. “To use it well, you need a plan.
“It’s our natural mode of communication — talking and listening,” she said. “We are hard wired to connect that way. This is why voice and audio are seeing such a boost at a similar time.”
To an extent, audio assistants seem on the verge of taking over with minds of their own.
“Often, Alexa will pull information from Wikipedia, which may not be what you want people to hear,” Cooper said. “In some cases, Google Assistant takes business information from the Google business panel. It’s important to keep info there up to date.
“I often say that audio quite literally brings your tone of voice document to life,” she said.
Match Content With Goals
Sklar points to that as an example of why audio — like all marketing — should not be treated too casually.
“Any brand that wants to create audio content would be wise to also outline a clear strategy,” she said. “This way you’ll know what your goals are with your audio content and can plan accordingly.”
Cooper listed several ways to incorporate audio into an overall marketing strategy:
- Create a podcast.
- Add audio to blogs.
- Create a voice app.
- Create social audio content with Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.
- Create audiograms using Headliner Video.
- On iOS use voice tweets.
“Do sonic branding,” she said. “Think about the sound of your brand and all the places people will hear your content. Consider coming up with a sound logo to use at the start and end of your audio content so listeners can recognize your content instantly.
“Don’t spend all your time making the audio content and then forget to tell anyone it is there,” Cooper said. “Marketing and repurposing should always be thought of as part of the creation plan.”
Her Vixen Labs works with brands to create experiences for brands and businesses that can be accessed on smart speakers and voice-activated devices.
“You can create audio content via podcasting, Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse,” Sklar said. “Another fun option is to record and share voice tweets to connect with your audience on a new level. It really depends on what speaks to you and your audience.”
She has a blog post all about voice tweets for those who would like to try them out for themselves.
Meanwhile, flash briefings are still available on Alexa-enabled devices.
“They are a good way of repurposing a podcast,” Cooper said. “They are certainly not a focus for Amazon right now. They have other audio and creator ideas in the pipeline.”
To get started with your audio strategy, know your audience.
“Go deep, finding out who they are, what they do and what they are already listening to and why,” Cooper said.
“Make sure you know where your podcast sits within any marketing funnel you are using,” she said. “If you have a podcast, think about how you are directing people to listen. Where are you leading them after they’ve listened?”
Taking on too much will backfire.
“Be realistic about how often you can research and create content,” Cooper said. “It’s better to create slowly but be consistent, than to go flat out and burn out in the first few weeks. Audio marketing is a long game.
“Know why you are making the content and why audio is the right way to convey the message you have,” she said. “What is the impact audio will give you that other mediums don’t?”
As distinctions, Cooper noted that a podcast allows multitasking while social audio allows live discussion.
“Consider your long-term goals when it comes to your content, and determine how audio fits into that,” Sklar said. “What kind of audio content can you create? What sorts of topics can you discuss that will help you get to where you want to be?
“I’ve been podcasting,” she said. “With the introduction of Clubhouse and Spaces, I ventured into those as well. My favorite is Spaces. Each week I co-host three different rooms and absolutely love it.”
Continually Build Connections
An audio strategy can readily amplify a brand on Twitter.
“Go live on Twitter and start a conversation,” Cooper said. “Meet people, build connections. Talk but also listen. The questions being asked could be content gold. You can build upon questions to create podcast episodes, blog posts and other content.
“Create voice tweets rather than text-based ones,” she said. “You get more information in a 140-second voice tweet than in 280 characters.”
One drawback is that replies do not carry voice tweets.
“Until that changes you can still send someone a voice tweet,” Cooper said. “Be sure you have something to say that makes your connection memorable.”
Anything that adds authority is a bonus.
“Create audio content that’s going to position you as an expert in your field,” Sklar said. “Share your thoughts and opinions on industry topics while providing valuable information that addresses pain points. Show up and serve your audience.”
“Co-hosting three separate rooms each week in Twitter Spaces has been an amazing way to amplify my brand,” she said.
Cooper offered tips for promoting a podcast on Twitter:
- Create an audiogram using Headliner or Waave.
- Have captions switched on so content is accessible.
- Add a branded image and customize font and colors.
- Publish on your own account, but also make it available to podcast guests. Ask them to share the podcasts, too.
“Talk about your podcast,” Cooper said. “Create voice tweets telling everyone what it is about. Include a link to the podcast. Spin up a Twitter Space, and talk to people about the topic you have covered. Then direct them to the episode.
“Podfollow creates a magic link for each podcast episode,” she said. “It directs the audience to a different podcast player, depending on which device they’re on. You can customise redirects for iOS, Android and desktop. You can even point them back to your website.”
Promotions should entice listeners to want more.
“People like listening to bitesize audio.” Cooper said. “You could take 10- to 15-minute cuts from previous episodes and publish those between new episodes. It makes use of old content, promotes the full episode the cut comes from and draws attention to new content.”
Subjects can also draw people’s attention.
“Tease upcoming podcast episodes by sharing the topics you’ll discuss and the guests you have lined up,” Sklar said. “It gives people something to get excited about. Once your episode is live, share it multiple times to generate more downloads.
For more tips, she has a blog post all about promoting your podcast on Twitter.
Use captions to make audio more accessible. Be sure to proofread the subtitles before publishing.
“Whenever there is an option to use captions, make sure it is switched on,” Cooper said. “Captions are auto-generated on voice tweets and in Twitter Spaces.
“Create transcripts of your podcasts or audio content,” she said. “Upload your audio file to Otter.ai Voice Meeting Notes. Then get an editable transcript that you can copy to your website and newsletter. Make sure you share the link widely so people know where to go to read the content.”
Automation for Hearing-Impaired
Sklar emphasized that captions are essential so those who are hearing-impaired can enjoy the production.
“Both Twitter Spaces automatically incorporate captions,” she said.
Deciding whether to use Twitter Spaces, podcasts or Clubhouse is a matter of brand alignment.
“Which one is more aligned with your bigger vision?” Sklar asked. “Are you looking to create content that will always be available — a podcast — or something temporary that creates fear of missing out such as Spaces or Clubhouse?
“It’s also important to consider what your audience is interested in,” she said. “Do they enjoy tuning into podcasts? Are they hanging out in Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse rooms? Be where they are.”
As one solution, Sklar and Cooper have turned their weekly All Things Audio room in Spaces into a podcast.
“Direct engagement, live conversation and real-time research are social audio,” Cooper said. “Always available content, editorial control and bank of content are a podcast.
“Both social audio and podcasting can build community, but you can’t do everything,” she said. “Find out where your audience is, and put your energy there. If you have the audio tech know-how, you can always multitask and record your live social audio to turn into a podcast.”
About The Author
James L Katzaman
Jim Katzaman is a charter member of the Tealfeed Creators' program, focusing on marketing and its benefits for companies and consumers. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as subscribing here on Tealfeed.