Have you “heard” that audio is the next big trend in content marketing?
Forgive the pun — but if you haven’t been listening you may have missed the growing chatter about audio.
Of course, “audio” and “the Internet” have been together since the beginning. Podcasts had a heyday of overt popularity and continue to pick up steam. So why the sudden interest, again?
- Audio content has a distinct advantage: Audio is ‘eyes free’ content
- Digital radio revenue is growing faster than any other audio channel
- 40% of Americans listened to online radio over the last month
- In 2012, Pandora listeners consumed 935,451 years of audio content
- 200+ [million] devices running iOS6 are now one click [away] from a podcast
- Slate Magazine gets over 1 million podcast downloads per month
Perhaps the biggest reason audio is so popular is that we are all so busy, busy, busy! Audio allows you to combine activities, like listening to podcasts while knitting or driving. It also appeals to people who prefer to learn by listening.
Jon Buscall adds another startling reason audio is a powerful content marketing technique: lead generation. As he comments on Henneberry’s post at CrazyEgg.com:
I’m 80+ episodes into my podcast and it’s become the second largest form of lead generation for my business — after word of mouth. [emphasis added]
I am convinced the real benefit of podcasting is that it shows who you are rather than just tells visitors to your site. [emphasis added]
So, are you to ditch your blog in favor of producing a podcast on iTunes? No need. Podcastomatic will turn your blog into an iTunes-ready podcast for free with just a few clicks. (The process does take some time. You also cannot control how many posts are converted, so the more posts you have, the longer it takes.)
You may rightly wonder whether or not your audience will respond to the robotic voice of a blog-to-podcast conversion. You can listen to this post — the post you’re reading right now — at this link: https://sixestate.com/audio-the-next-trend-in-content-marketing/
There are several immediate benefits to creating an automatic audio podcast from your blog. Adding this feature will boost your blog’s accessibility to the visually impaired. It will also be a boon to commuters and those who prefer to listen rather than read. In any case, translating blog posts to an iTunes podcasts has the potential to greatly expand your reach for no cost — but it might not be as appealing as a broadcaster who is also a real person.
Dave Thackeray, “the podcast guy,” explains:
The Internet is flooded with content, and competition for an audience is fiercer than ever. As content creators, we have to set ourselves apart in the way we deliver our message.
Audio marketing and podcasting are gaining traction because they allow customers to go beyond the static web page and see the person behind the business. Podcasting is engaging, creates a sense of trust and builds customer loyalty. When you combine these three benefits, you have a strong foundation for growth.
Of course, audio shouldn’t live in a vacuum. A successful content strategy plan should always include other rich media, starting with your blog and branching out to include such diverse media as email newsletters, infographics, how-to videos, white papers, webinars, and the like. It should also include diversifying your content beyond the screen.
All of this media should benefit the audience — your current or potential customer — in some way. When it does, you’ll enjoy strong lead generation opportunities like Buscall.
Slip on those headphones. Audio is increasingly valuable for content marketing.
Katie McCaskey is SixEstate's content director. She tests real-world application of content marketing techniques using the cafe she co-owns as a laboratory. She was Tech Editor of Chief Content Officer, 2010-2011, and contributes to the Content Marketing Institute. Connect with her on Google+ or @KatieMcCaskey.