Listen up: the rise of audio content in marketing

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In days passed by (ie pre-pandemic lockdown) the workplace ‘water cooler second’ was usually used as a sign of what was sizzling on this planet of common tradition, media and advertising and marketing. Whether or not it was chatter concerning the newest episode of Love Island or shared suggestions on one of the best new locations to eat out, must-see movies or must-have merchandise, this type of phrase of mouth has at all times been a robust device for measuring the success of promoting campaigns or monitoring the newest traits.

If the modern-day equal of the water cooler second – the primary jiffy of chat in the beginning of workforce Zoom calls – is to be believed, then there are few issues getting colleagues and shoppers extra excited proper now than podcasts. And it’s not simply rising comedy stars and little-known musicians dominating the world of podcasting because it was within the early days – increasingly family manufacturers, from Sephora to Vodafone, are beginning to launch their very own podcasts, looking for new methods to create deeper engagement with prospects.

It’s hardly stunning that manufacturers are eager to capitalise on the rising reputation of podcasts whenever you take a look at the statistics. There are presently greater than 850,000 energetic podcasts accessible to take heed to, and 6.5 million or 12% of adults within the UK take heed to podcasts each week (Podnews). That’s an terrible lot of ears doubtlessly open to receiving data and messaging about your services or products, if you may get the content material excellent.

It’s not simply podcasts which can be having a growth second on account of the pandemic – business radio noticed listening instances improve considerably within the UK in the course of the first few months of lockdown, with 38% of listeners tuning in for an additional hour and 45 minutes every day in April (Radiocentre) as folks adjusted to life working from house.

The advertising and marketing business was fast to determine and react to those adjustments in viewers behaviours, serving to shoppers to create a variety of audio content material from Spotify and radio adverts, to completely branded podcast collection as all of us started to tune in to the advantages of audio in our new methods of dwelling. Then, in fact, there have been the sensible advantages of making and producing audio content material throughout lockdown – normally, a course of way more simply managed remotely than for video content material.

We spoke to a number of Mission companies about how they’ve been working with shoppers to supply artistic audio content material throughout lockdown and the place they suppose the long run lies for this space of promoting as we begin to return to earlier routines.

Jim Gillingham, manufacturing editor at Velocity Communications:

In a world the place video content material has been largely decreased to folks taking pictures themselves on cellphones (generally effectively, generally very, very badly) or display screen recording Zoom calls (shudder), then audio has unsurprisingly change into a really engaging possibility. For audiophiles, the enjoyment of listening to content material fairly than watching it’s hardly a revelation, however when nobody is commuting any extra, when home lives are stuffed with bored youngsters, video conferences and quite a lot of fear, would there be any urge for food for podcasts or different types of audio content material?

The reply is, in fact, sure. After which some. Within the months of lockdown, we’ve produced three podcast collection for 3 completely different shoppers at Velocity, with extra scheduled for the approaching months. All are recorded remotely by way of some very nifty software program and all of them produced, edited and distributed from my eating room. The USB mic I grabbed unexpectedly when packing up my workplace desk all these months in the past has been used virtually every single day, whether or not it’s to report numerous voice-overs and introductions or to transient podcast company forward of recordings.

Whereas video will certainly change into a pressure once more as soon as the present scenario is over, I can’t see audio slipping again to its earlier function of video’s nerdier, much less profitable sibling. The extraordinary connection that audio creates between the listener and the content material is a marketeer’s dream with one essential caveat: your advertising and marketing shouldn’t sound like advertising and marketing. However that’s a distinct dialog: I’m positive there’s a podcast on the topic.

Assume BDW:

Over the previous few months, Assume BDW has created a product – Assume VC (or Digital Advisor) – in response to members of the general public presently having to go to present houses unaccompanied, and due to this fact not having a gross sales individual with them extolling the virtues of the home/residence they’re taking a look at.

It really works by us recording the gross sales messages and embedding these in a tag that’s readable by any telephone with a NFC (close to subject communication) chip. The tag is positioned behind a distinguished vinyl sticker inside related rooms or areas within the present house, with the message ‘scan right here’.

The customer then holds their telephone to the sticker and an Alexa-type voice then talks concerning the room in query, declaring options and advantages. It might discuss concerning the views, the pliability of the house, the home equipment, the specification or finishes, any expertise featured… something the consumer thinks is pertinent.

Whereas it is a product born out of sensible necessity in the course of the present pandemic, there are such a lot of ways in which audio can improve the house purchaser’s expertise and the vendor’s advertising and marketing exercise, and I’m sure we’ll proceed to see many extra improvements on this house sooner or later.

As an business, it’s our job to foretell, adapt to and create new traits in client habits and calls for, and the rise in consumption of audio content material throughout lockdown has introduced marketeers and our shoppers with the chance to discover new methods of speaking with prospects that will not have in any other case been thought-about. With shorter manufacturing instances and decrease content material creation prices typically than video, together with the flexibility to inform compelling tales in bite-size codecs and on the go, we could be tuning in to the beginnings of an audio revolution in advertising and marketing.

Cat Davis is the group advertising and marketing director at Mission.

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