There is a hell of a lot of content out there right now: blog posts, social posts, images, videos, whitepapers, guides… you get the picture.
But there is one type of content that is missing from that list and it’s one that is missing from most content strategies.
Lots of studies have discovered that listening to audio awakens a network of activity in the brain, and it’s been found that people can remember audio for longer than any other type of content.
The vast majority of people will listen to music and audio on a daily basis, so why are only a handful of marketers capitalising on this channel for their own content strategies?
The answer could be to do with people not having the knowledge or equipment to make this type of content. But believe it or not, it’s actually a really simple process.
So how do you do it?
How to set it up
Setting up a mini recording studio isn’t as daunting as you might think and it can cost you next to nothing.
You can record audio on pretty much any sort of device, so if you have a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet with an internet connection, you are off to a good start.
Next you need some sort of audio recording software or app if you are recording on a mobile device. The most popular free audio editing software is Audacity. The user interface might look a little complicated but it’s fairly simple to get to grips with and it allows you to easily record and edit audio. If you are on Mac then you can also use Garageband to record and edit audio.
If you have an iPhone then it comes with a built in app called Voice memos which is perfect for on the go recording. You can literally just plug in the apple headphones and use the microphone in them to record anywhere.
Next you need a microphone. You can get some great deals on the regular mainstream online stores and a level of spend can return good results. It does typically follow with microphones that the more expensive the microphone, the higher quality sound you will create. Alternatively, you can just use the built in mic in your headphones, but you will notice the difference if or when you upgrade!
When recording, find a quiet room so you don’t get any external noise.
And that’s all you really need to get started with audio. The next step is to create the content.
The most popular type of audio content out there are podcasts.
Podcasting is great because you can build up a listenership with regular episodes.
Most people will associate podcasts with big media outlets and radio stations, but it can be valuable for any B2B or B2C company.
First of all, decide exactly what you want to podcast about. You need to offer some sort of knowledge, insight or entertainment to your listeners to keep them engaged and coming back for more. Pick something niche that is relevant to your audience, and think of it just like any other piece of content.
For your first few podcasts you will probably want to create a script or put together prompts, just to help you keep the podcast flowing smoothly. You may want to record it in sections and then edit it together afterwards. Maybe try repurposing one of your blog posts?
You can host podcasts in a number of different ways. A great free website to use is Soundcloud. Once uploaded, you can embed Soundcloud streams into your own website or wherever you choose. You can also upload your podcasts to iTunes free of charge.
The key to making podcasts successful is in producing them regularly. Treat it like a TV series: how disappointed would you be if your favourite show abruptly ended halfway through a season. The same can be applied for podcasting.
Doing a Q&A is an easy way to get your audience involved and to provide insights into your industry.
A great idea is to get your MD or senior member of staff to be involved with this. Either develop a list of questions yourself or invite your social audience or customers to send in questions.
Again, you can turn this into a regular piece of content or just a one off.
Guides and ‘how to’ audiograms
The internet is littered with ‘how to’ videos for pretty much any product or subject you can think of.
But one area that isn’t as saturated are audiograms.
An audiogram is simply a piece of audio overlaid onto an image. These can be a great way to train and teach people specific things in your industry while still giving people a visual stimulus.
Audiograms are for sharing on social media channels and on your website as they have that slightly more visual element to them.
They can be especially useful for longer pieces of audio to keep the audience's attention. If you are looking for an alternative to a podcast then Audiograms are a good call.
Hopefully we have shown that it’s actually not as daunting to create audio as you might think.
It is just another channel, another angle you can use to target your audience. Just remember to treat it the same as any other piece of content, keep it engaging and original and, if you are going to go down the audio route, keep it as a regular feature.