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May 5, 2017 (Updated: February 28, 2020)
Audio content is becoming more and more popular. According to the Pew Research Foundation, the percentage of Americans who listened to a podcast in the past 30 days more than doubled between 2008 and 2016. People who listen to audio content tend to do it while driving, jogging, or completing other tasks. It seems counterintuitive, but they’re actually able to pay better attention than people who try to read while talking to others or watching TV. Also, many people get distracted and only read headings and bullet points in text articles, while audio keeps others engaged. Here are some useful audio content marketing tips.
The audio from many YouTube and other videos makes great content, and you can expand your audience without a lot of time or effort. Also, add links to your audio content in your videos and mention your videos in your audio content. Some people may find listening more convenient than watching and vice versa.
Some people don’t have good hearing or good vision. You’ll be able to get your content to more people if you make it more accessible. If you write an e-book, create an audiobook version as well. Many traditional magazines create audio versions for visually impaired subscribers. You can also use a crowdsourcing site to create transcripts of your audio content.
Be a guest on other podcasts or vlogs. You can even contact local radio shows and ask them if they’re interested in an interview. Many shows also sell advertising. In lots of regions of the United States, almost everyone listens to the local morning show while they commute to work. This is a great way to introduce yourself to new audiences, and a regular conversation between you and a host can be very entertaining.
For best results, discuss your pets, what you did last weekend, and other casual topics as well as your brand. Listeners should feel close to you and the host and feel an urge to join the conversation by calling in or commenting. To have a better idea of what you should talk about, listen to a show at least a few times before you become a guest. Many people start as regular guests on other popular shows. That way, they’ll have loyal audiences immediately when they start their own programs.
Image via Flickr by Sean McMenemy
Getting attention on podcast aggregators like iTunes and SoundCloud is difficult for beginners, so you should wait to take this step until you’re a regular guest on at least one other podcast. A successful blog doesn’t hurt either, and you can gain new audience members by hosting guests often.
Make your podcast a recurring feature of your blog, and promote it whenever you get a chance. You can mention it at the ends of videos, at the top of your blog, in your email signature file, on your social media profiles, and on your business cards. You can also use Twitter to remind listeners when a podcast is coming up and even hire an artist to create an inexpensive graphic for your show. Don’t forget to ask listeners to leave a positive review at the end of your podcast.
Don’t commit to a schedule until you’re sure you can stick to it. Listeners might not come back if you say you’ll broadcast every Monday and then you miss a day. Depending on the subject, you may be able to record a few backup podcasts. That way, people will have something to listen to even in an emergency.
According to Gartner, Inc., 30 percent of web browsing sessions will happen without a screen by 2020 through “voice-first interactions.” You’ve probably already asked your smartphone for directions this way while driving. Other voice-activated devices becoming more popular include home digital assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home, smart thermostats, and even smart cars. Soon, spreading your content through all these mediums will be possible.
To take advantage of all this voice recognition technology and receive a high ranking in voice searches, target questions and phrases instead of keywords. An average person would type “Raleigh, North Carolina” in a search engine, while the same person could also ask their smartphone “What’s the best way to get to Raleigh, North Carolina?”.
If your audio is boring or poor quality, people will stop listening. A high-quality microphone and good audio editing is essential. Fortunately, editing software is available free for Mac and PC. Record in a quiet place, remove awkward pauses, and rearrange content with editing. You should also have introduction and closing music, as well as some occasional sound effects. For a great podcast, hosts should spend at least twice as much time preparing and editing as they spend on recording. For example, many one-hour shows require two hours of research and preparation and another two hours of editing.
Remember that any content that seems angry, sarcastic, or irrational on paper will come across as even more extreme when people can hear your voice. Showing listeners your entertaining personality is good, but you should remain rational. Raising your voice or getting angry could alienate some listeners.
Also, make sure your content is helpful and entertaining. If you record your audio, ask a friend to listen to it before you make it available to the public. If it’s live, ask your friend to read your script or outline before you go on the air. Make sure you choose someone who can give you an honest opinion of your work, not a significant other or a subordinate.
Audio diversifies your content strategy, exposing your brand to new audiences. Tech-savvy people with smart homes and seniors with old-fashioned radios listen to it. You should get to know your target audience and start listening to the shows they like. Ask people what types of podcasts they want, and make your show similar to what people ask for and existing shows.
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