How to Use Audio in B2B Marketing
Yeah, we know. Audio? Didn’t that die out when we all started carrying the internet around in our pockets? In a sense, you’re not wrong — nothing makes us close a tab faster than an autoplaying video with sound — but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for audio in the world of B2B marketing.
Remember, there are still a few areas where audio is having a heyday. Podcasts have never been bigger, dominating people’s workouts and commutes all over the world. Streaming music has completely wiped out the market for buying individual songs. Youtubers are making more than professional athletes just by whispering into your ears.
Besides, there’s something about audio that just sticks with you more than reading the words off a page. One study showed no loss of retention in people who listened to a section of a book versus people who read the same section off of the page, and some people report that they actually retain more. Marketers are taking notice and starting to create branded, audible content for the B2B sector. Here’s how you can get involved.
Create Branded Podcasts
Podcasts are generally thought to be consumer-facing, but don’t forget that your B2B clients are still run by human beings who use treadmills and drive to work just like anyone else. The tech-savvy and well-informed among them put significant effort into staying abreast of the latest developments in their field, so it’s worth your while to get out there and get noticed.
Lots of B2B marketers bring up the same objection to podcasts: “we don’t know what to talk about!” Well, chances are good that you’ve got a company blog. You probably have a few pillar pages. You’ve probably seen a recent news item about your industry and had some thoughts about it.
Start with those! Not only can you offer your own perspective on your company and your industry, but you’ll add the personal touch of your own voice. Hearing your voice will humanize you in the minds of your listeners, reminding them that there are real people behind the website and the ads they’ve seen.
Turn Blogs Into Podcasts
One of the problems with creating a podcast episode that’s just a stream of consciousness is that you’ll come off as disorganized and not worth listening to. But you already have a great source of high-quality, carefully crafted content: your blog posts.
By adding a short introduction, maybe some music, and then dictating the full text of your blog like an audiobook, you can create an easy, bite-sized piece of listenable content that people might prefer to the written version. A blog like this of around 700 words should only take about ten minutes to read out loud, so it’s not a huge time investment, and it can really help you stretch the usefulness and reach of your content.
This is a term that lots of people aren’t familiar with, but it can be incredibly useful. An audiogram is simply a short audio recording — usually a minute long or less — laid over a still image or a few still images in a slideshow. It’s essentially a really easy way to make a video that you can share on your website or social profiles.
The content of the audio is completely up to you. Thank your customers for a great year. Explain a difficult concept briefly and succinctly. Announce company news or a new hire. Create content that accompanies a new campaign. Remember to add captioning in case people don’t have headphones in, but otherwise, go nuts!
Dictate Your Other Content
Your audio doesn’t have to stop at blogs — you can read an entire whitepaper or case study out loud to bring some extra life to an in-depth topic. If you do, consider hiring a professional. Listening to 15 or more minutes of someone who stumbles over their words or doesn’t inflect with emotion can be a real chore, and people won’t stick around until the end. Instead, find someone who can make the content engaging and exciting.
Turning your marketing content into audio doesn’t have to be a major chore. Start small with a few 30-second audiograms, put them out in the world, and see how they’re received. If they’re getting engagement and conversions, then up the ante with a few blog posts.
“There are no rules for how much of your time and energy you have to spend on audio, but if you put the work in, it can be a very versatile tool in your marketing toolbox.”