Messages on Hold are a great way to reach a captive audience, but audio marketing has been used by Holdcom clients in some shockingly creative ways. Expanding marketing efforts by using audio is an effective way to reach your target audience.
When walking through a hospital or medial center, you've probably heard some kind of overhead announcement. You've even heard them in the supermarket ("Clean-up in Aisle 2"). And you've probably noticed that they are notoriously difficult to understand but seem very important. Overhead announcements can be an audio marketing key and are a natural extension of on hold messages, as customers who are in your facility are as captive an audience as callers waiting on hold. Announcements serve as a way to inform employees and customers. A code grey at a hospital will alert staff of a security hazard, while another announcement can target patients and families, telling them visiting hours are over for the evening. In a retail setting, they can be a key sales-booster. According to Dennis Wingent, Director of Internal Communications at Kmart, "We know that when items are advertised on in-store radio, our sales go up." Overhead announcements tell your customers what they need--and what you want them--to know.
Today, music on hold seems like a no brainer—if you are not communicating marketing and customer service messages, you should at least be playing some licensed music so customers aren’t holding in silence. Waiting in silence can be a problem in person, too—the phrase “awkward silence” exists for a reason. Background music, also called overhead music, can play music for your customers without worrying about radio advertisements for your competitors or copyright infringement. Providing your customers with music makes them more comfortable and likely to spend more time in your store. In a retail environment, for example, shopper experience is an important factor. By playing music in a store, shopper experience is enhanced: people are likely to be put in a better mood, stay in the store longer, and come back more often. The music played in a store creates fresh, targeted marketing for visitors. Andy Komack says that background music reaches customers and employees alike, making the entire retail experience run more smoothly. Retail Traffic Magazine emphasizes the importance of using a custom playlist to target your audience and keep visitors from hearing the same song twice.
Almost every business has a website. Website templates can be found everywhere on the internet and some software solutions allow you to build your site without knowing any HTML codes. Website building resources can be great, but they can also make every website look the same. A great way to stand out from the crowd is incorporating audio into your website, using a distinct, professional voice. Merely adding an announcement on the homepage alone, the site becomes "different" and things that are "different' tend to stand out and be memorable. According to 8 Ways Media, "Audio brings countless benefits by adding another unique dimension and making it more interesting and enjoyable." 8 Ways Media recommends incorporating audio to help stand out (giving your website and yourself a "voice), authoritative content (for example, posting a how-to message), and social proof (interviewing an expert).
Social media has become hyper important in the business world. On twitter, you are limited to 140 characters to reach your target market, but by recording audio tweets, you can create an essentially limitless message. Audio tweeting is also more personal than text. It allows you to reach out and give your company a human “voice,” offering your customers another touchstone to relate to. Audio tweeting expands your social media reach and can translate into real world business opportunities. Lynn Walsh of the Houston Examiner has some tips for choosing the right audio tweeting recording service. You can even record audio with your cellphone and share it on twitter, using a few of the apps Walsh mentioned. If you are worried about clarity or don't have a way to record audio tweets yourself, professional recordings can help you get your messages across.
As you incorporate audio into your branding initiatives, keep thinking out of the box to creatively solve audio marketing dilemmas and let us know what techniques you've been using!