Recently, the folks at Social Media Examiner published a “study” on the coming trends in Social Media Marketing. They apparently did this by asking marketers what they are looking to do next. You can see it here.
What struck me was the fact that so many marketers seem to have a renewed interest in audio content. Given that Social Media – and the web in general – is not exactly user friendly for audio content this is somewhat surprising. Sure, like blogs, there are countless podcasts floating around the digiverse but there really is no centralized way of organizing it all. This makes finding content about specific topics a challenge for consumers. It makes it even harder for marketers to use it as an effective tool.
I’ll leave aside the fact that when it comes to audio, the web and Social Media are really about music. Even though NPR and Adam Corolla have great success in terms of podcasting, it has lagged as a marketing tool.
But who am I to argue with this study. If brands and marketers see audio content as the next great opportunity – I’m all in favor of it. It is cheaper to produce than video and can be consumed more readily via mobile devices.
The real question is – how are these marketers going to proceed? Where are they going to find the talent to produce worthwhile content? Today’s digital producers are consumed with video. Taking the sound track off a video production is not the same as producing quality audio content. Audio has true theater of the mind capabilities. In the hands of a gifted producer it can paint a picture – and engage a listener – more effectively than video or print.
Fortunately, I have a solution. It comes from what is supposed to be a dead medium – radio. There are literally thousands of under employed producers, writers and performers out there who cut their teeth in radio. I know. I am one of them. These are people who revel in audio production. And, more importantly, they know how to write for the ear.
This is a distinctly different style and approach from any form of visual writing. If you’ve ever been to a presentation where the speaker was simply reading from a page (and bored you to death) – you know what the difference is between audio copy and any other.
If this is truly a new (old) wave in marketing I urge those who are considering it to enlist the help of seasoned audio (or radio) professionals. These people will give you ideas on content, rhythm and production that will make whatever audio content you are trying to create resonate with your audience. As with all forms of content production there is a level of art involved that is not attainable by the inexperienced.
If you – or someone you know – is truly interested in exploring this field please contact me.. I can point you in the right direction.
Social Media (and Audio) Specialist