What should a marketer do? –

Art: Morning Sounds (2015) by Nobuko Sugio

With the rapid growth in podcastingthe rapid emergence of smart speakers and listenersand the irruption into the scene of social audio, we can now safely say that audio has become a digital channel in its own right. But becoming aware of a disturbance, a pattern, or something new that doesn’t fit neatly into an existing mix of activity is nothing more than the first step to keeping pace with a world moving. The next step is to take action and answer humanity’s pet question: What is there to do?

For marketing experts, this two-step dance is not unheard of. Some practicing Marketers, many of whom are now in senior positions, have seen this film several times: the arrival of the Web, then that of cell phones and SMS, then that of smartphones and mobile applications, followed quickly by tablets. , then the emergence of social, and in recent years, the rapid integration of voice and audio.

And so, now that audio has passed the No-This-Is-Not-A-Fad test, what concrete actions should a marketer take to start embracing this powerful medium that has indeed gone mainstream?

Since I’m a big proponent of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) philosophy of innovation, I’d like to offer marketers the following actionable steps they can take with minimal risk and minimal hassle. disturbances, for their already overflowing workload plate.

Enable audio on your website
According to a study recently published by Polaris Market Researchthe global true wireless headphones market size is expected to reach USD 14.51 billion by 2028 and register a CAGR of 14.4% from 2021 to 2028. For the digital marketer, this should signal a very important thing : people will listen much more and read much less than before.

Specifically, when someone wants to know more about what you’re doing and they’re mobile and have their headphones on, what would they rather do: scroll up and down a small screen, read a small text and click on little links to understand what you’re doing, or would they rather listen to a little sound bite that will cut to the chase and tell them the end result or, if they can, quickly listen to what you have to say?

More concretely, imagine this: a prospect is mobile and is looking for a service that you can fulfill. Your SEO team did their job and brought you to the first page of Google search. The prospect clicks on the link that was displayed and is redirected to the page that describes the product or service they were looking for. There they see a button they can click to hear what you’re doing and below that button they see the usual thicket of text and images. They perform a quick scan, determine that you pass the smell test, and are intrigued by that “Listen!” button. They click on it and they listen to 60 seconds of audio spoken to them by the voice of a nice person telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. The future, I think, will probably be something along those lines.

Publish a weekly microcast
Here’s another simple one: you have a blog that you make sure to post to regularly and whose articles are carefully written by your team to optimize SEO for your valuable marketing dollars. Why not reuse these blog posts and create an audio version of them that you can publish and make available to millions of people on all major podcasting platforms, in addition to Amazon Echo’s voice assistant platform and Google Assistant?

Publish a monthly multicast
You have customers, partners, staff, who care about your business and engage with it in very interesting ways. Let all these stakeholders be the voice of your business. Engage them. For example, post a “Question of the Week” on your social media every week and give your followers a link to a page where they can answer that question using their own voice. Then collect those audios and publish the top responses once a month as a podcast, distributed across all major podcasting platforms, in addition to Amazon Echo’s voice assistant platform and Google Assistant.

Publish audio testimonials
You have customers who are fans of your products and services. You have partners who enjoy working with you. Why not give them a chance to tell the world how much they appreciate you? Send them a link to a page where they can record their audio testimonial using their own voice. You can then publish on your site the ones that you like the most. People who visit your website will be impressed by two things: (1) that there are so many people who are so happy with your products and services that they are willing to put their mouths where their money is and (2) ) that, by virtue of using this nifty new thing called “Audio Testimonials”, you’re the kind of company that’s creative and up to date with the latest technological innovations.

Audio-Enable bios of your team members
Another easy and actionable low-hanging fruit is giving voice to the team members who keep your company’s trains running on time. Instead of the usual image and text that all companies post for their staff, why not, yes, an image and text, but also a short snippet of about 30-60 seconds of team members talking about who they are and what do they do?

Audio is not video minus sound. Audio is a medium in its own right and should be respected and embraced on its own terms. It presents a real opportunity to deliver significant value to end users and businesses who will take the time to add it to their marketing and communications mix. It’s still the early days – and the early days mean it’s time to be creative, inventive, and ready to open up possibilities that are ours to open up.

Dr Ahmed Bouzidis CEO of Witlingo, a McLean, Virginia-based startup that develops products and solutions that allow brands to engage with their customers and prospects using voice, audio, and conversational AI. Prior to Witlingo, Dr. Bouzid was Alexa’s Smart Home Product Manager at Amazon and Vice President of Product and Innovation at Angel.com. Dr. Bouzid holds 12 patents in the field of speech recognition and natural language processing and has been recognized as a “speech light” by Speech Technology Magazine and as one of the Top 11 Speech Technologists by Voicebot.ai. He is also an ambassador for the Open Voice network, leading their Social Audio initiative, and an author at Opus Research. Some of his articles and media appearances can be found here and here. His new book, The Elements of Voice First Style, co-authored with Dr Weiye Mais expected to be released by O’Reilly Media in early 2022.

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