As the name suggests, an audio blog is a vocal recording of a blog. Rather than being an alternative to traditional blogs, an audio post is designed to complement the written word and offer your target audience another content medium to discover your brand.
If you're thinking: surely an audio blog is simply a podcast, here's how they differ. Although both are generally scripted, podcasts tend to be episodic with a repetitive structure and a regular broadcast schedule. Audio blogs, however, are usually standalone, with a bespoke structure, and no set structure as to when they are released.
There's no denying the effectiveness of blogging.
Blogs are a great way to:
So, it's no wonder that no less than 72% of marketers say that creating content such as blogs is their most effective SEO tactic.
Another benefit of blogging is that you can re-purpose the content to share on your social channels, with one blog being the source material used to generate numerous tweets and posts.
The topic of reusing blog posts to produce a stream of new content neatly brings us to today's topic: Audio blogs.
Read on to discover how audio blogs can supercharge the re-purposing and effectiveness of your blogs and the many reasons why you should be including audio blogs as part of your marketing content strategy.
Thanks largely to the ever-rising popularity of podcasts, audio listening is at an all-time high. Between 2015 and 2020 there was a 20% increase in the number of people who listen to spoken-word audio and the trend is set to continue over the next few years.
The outbreak of COVID-19 also led to a marked increase in audio consumption with 76.2% of people listening to more audio content than in pre-pandemic times.
According to Jim Bodor, managing director of digital product strategy for the Harvard Business Review, "Audio has kind of quietly emerged...as kind of the preferred way for people to consume content. If audio does become, maybe not the dominant currency of the internet, but if it becomes an even more significant piece, then we have to be prepared for that."
An analysis of 170,000 blog posts has shown that people prefer to read blogs between the hours of 7 am and 10 am, which is a relatively small window of opportunity to capture their attention.
With spoken word audio listeners tuning in for two hours and six minutes each day, adding audio blogs to your marketing repertoire almost doubles the opportunity to get your content noticed.
Spoken word versions of your blogs also make your output more accessible to more people, such as those who are visually impaired, dyslexic, or auditory learners (those who learn by hearing and listening).
While it is possible to express your brand's tone of voice through your choice of vocabulary and grammar, hearing your words being spoken aloud helps to highlight the human side of your business, which can lead to a greater connection with your target audience.
Audio blog posts literally showcase the voice of your brand. The audio experience gives customers a reason to emotionally connect. And an emotional connection leads to brand loyalty - consumers who are more likely to buy from you and spend more with you.
We touched upon it earlier, but, broadly speaking, learners fall into two camps: Those who prefer to gain knowledge by sight (visual learners) and those who favour learning by sound (auditory learners).
Studies have shown that whether you read something or listen to something, your brain interprets it the same way and both methods are equally as memorable.
So, if you provide customers with a way to read and listen to your content, you're catering to both types of learners and widening your potential prospect pool.
We're a nation of multi-taskers. Whether it's listening to a podcast while running, replying to emails whilst watching TV, or speaking on the phone whilst cooking, people like to optimise their time.
Reading isn't a multi-tasking task. To be truly effective, it requires concentration and an absence of distractions. Listening, on the other hand, is something that can be done simultaneously with another task.
That is why offering audio blogs increases your potential audience. It gives multi-taskers a mobile-friendly opportunity to tune in to your content at a time to suit them.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Michel de Montaigne, philosopher
The spoken word can connect with your audience more than the written word. Hearing a human voice humanises your business and gives them a person to connect with. This, in turn, helps to instigate feelings for your business.
That's not to say you should replace traditional blogs with audio blogs, but that offering both options gives your customers more content to explore and more opportunities to engage.
The audio blog benefits we've highlighted so far don't just apply to your external audience, of course. Audio blogs can also be used for internal communications.
Whether distributed via email, chat, or your intranet, audio versions of your internal comms can help bring them to life by letting the people involved speak the words and give your employees the option to listen to them at a suitable time for them.
As we mentioned in the introduction if you want to maximise the reach and organic traffic for your content you need to add audio blogs to your marketing strategy.
If you're lucky enough to have a library of blog content, repurposing it should be high on your agenda. As well as reposting the blog content on social media, you can update your old blog posts to create new written content, and create audio versions.
That's a lot of fresh content from source material that you've got sat in your archives.
As well as creating audio versions of your blogs, another option is to create audio soundbites to help bring your blogs to life. For example, if a blog features quotes from key figures from your business, you could get them to record their quotes and make them available as audio snippets in the blog.
Not only does this help bring your articles to life but it also helps bring some personality to your blogs, which is a vital ingredient if you're positioning your key figures as thought leaders.
Are your competitors already producing audio blogs? If not, you can beat them to the punch and give potential customers something different.
With websites influencing 97% of peoples' purchasing decisions and you having just 15 seconds to grab their attention, it's never been more important to offer your potential audience a reason to choose your brand.
After all, if you don't, your competitors might.
As a content creator, before you set about recording your existing written word blogs into audio blogs, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Firstly, consider the differences between the written and spoken word. For example, your blog is quite likely to have numerous headings and subheadings and possibly some bullet points or step-by-step pointers, which don't always translate well into spoken word.
For this reason, you may want to give your blogs a 'spoken word polish' and re-write them slightly to reflect how we speak. This means ensuring that the narrative clearly flows from one sentence to the next as your listeners won't be able to re-read paragraphs to double-check the context.
To help with this process, read your blogs out loud. If sentences don’t flow naturally when spoken, add punctuation or break long sentences into shorter sentences to create an easy to listen to rhythm. In fact, this is a great writing tip in general, no matter what you’re writing.
Secondly, think of your audio blogs as conversations with your target audience. As such, it’s vital they have a conversational tone. Keep in mind, the one central message you want to communicate and eliminate anything that might detract from your central theme.
As well as ensuring your blogs are audio blog friendly, there are a number of other things to consider to ensure your output is broadcast quality.
From your voice cast and audio software to editing facilities and publishing outlet. If that all sounds a little overwhelming, never fear. We're here to help.
As experts in audio blogs and the audio format, we've got a little black book of voice-over artists with years of experience recording audio content for online use and a studio primed to record your content.
In fact, you can leave everything to us and sit back and enjoy the finished product: a sound file to add to your blog or website.
Are you looking for SEO support for your business? Get in touch email@example.com or 07477987943.