Sound, especially in video, has been a part of digital marketing for some time now. With the rise of audiovisual content, it has long been thought that video was/is the most effective way to tell your story in the digital world.
Well, for the most part, that’s true.
But given that podcasts have now risen in popularity over the last couple of years, Siri has become a thing, and the introduction of the Amazon Alexa, the question has to be asked: is sound going to be the next big thing in digital marketing?
You’d have to say that yes, it is.
Let’s take a look at podcasts for a moment. By simply having a look through iTunes or Soundcloud, you’ll quickly see that there is an abundance of podcasts to listen to. Whether it be business, self-help, comedy, interviews, sport, or whatever it is you’re interested in, there will be something for you to listen to on your way to and from work or during that spontaneous road trip.
Why are they so popular? Well, with sound, you hit play and listen to it. This is why they are so popular among commuters or on long distance trips. You can kill time during that car ride to your holiday destination by listening to, for example, the Hamish and Andy podcast. It’s even more convenient for drivers as they are able to consume content without having to take their eyes off the road; something that a video requires you to do if you want to properly consume that form of content.
So, how do podcasts help business owners?
Its all about where the attention is and how they can best convey their message to their audience. Now, we wouldn’t advise business owners to go into pure selling mode in their podcast. We’d highly recommend business owners talk about various topics related to their industry. Especially, if it is relevant to the services they provide and even more so if they are giving you a blow-by-blow solution to a problem that said business owner solves with said services. It’s all about adding value to your audience through education.
Furthermore, if you truly believe you are an expert in your field, we’d recommend including a Q&A segment or interview others in your field. Collaborations are a great way to gain exposure to your respective audiences, and this can certainly be achieved through interviews.
While podcasts are here and now, one aspect of sound that business owners should start turning their attention towards are Alexa Skills via the Amazon Echo. Alexa is Amazon’s voice search service; much like Siri is to the Apple iPhone. In short, Alexa Skills are similar to apps. You can disable and enable skills using the Alexa app itself or a web browser much like you would install and uninstall apps on your smart devices.
You might have a weather-related Alexa Skill, created by an umbrella company, installed on your smart device that is paired with the Echo, and ask it a question such as ‘Alexa, what is the weather going to be today?’. It will then tell you that it’s going to be raining all day and then ask if you would like an umbrella. If you happen to say ‘Alexa, order me an umbrella for today’ it would bring up the company selling the umbrella who also happened to be the company who created the app. In short, this is effectively voice SEO.
Now, while all of this being the norm is a few years away, it’s important that all business owners are at least learning what an Alexa Skill is and what one they can create for the benefit of their own business.
Furthermore, there are a number of existing Alexa Skills that can be used within your business that can assist with a number of tasks such as calculating business taxes, editing documents and adding events to Google Calendar.
Is your business on the podcast train yet?
Have you started looking into Alexa Skills and what they could mean for your business? If not, we would highly recommend that you start, at least, doing some research into both.