It seems that marketing and communication are becoming increasingly visual. Advertisements, social media updates, and websites are meant to be seen, and they bombard that one sense with information. Using audio is a way to break through the clutter of the visual-centric world and reach people on another, perhaps deeper, level.
According to Julian Treasure, sound affects us 4 ways: Physiologically, psychologically, cognitively, and behaviorally. Sound affects our bodies, thoughts, and actions. Treasure says we’re 66% less productive in a noisy, open-plan office than we are in our own quiet space. Likewise, almost 1/3 of shoppers will leave a retail store if it has an unappealing soundscape. Bad sounds can actually hurt your business, so focusing on how to make your world and marketing sound better is a key strategy for business success.
Using audio for your phone system is a natural first step. In your on hold messages and IVR system, audio is the way you can personally communicate with people. Outside of your phone, incorporating audio allows you to bring that same personal touch to any marketing campaign. The internet and social media websites provide ideal canvasses for using audio to highlight your brand. Some considerations:
- On Twitter, for example, you can link to an audio file within a tweet. This process, known as audio tweeting or micro-casting, allows you to send a message beyond Twitter's 140 character limit and give your tweets a personal, branded touch.
- For your website:
- Record client testimonials for greater impact.
- Greet visitors with your audio logo or a message from your CEO.
- Enhance navigation by incorporating audio for key components.
- Highlight important information by reading it, instead of just writing it. Even if people aren't listening actively to the content, their brain is still processing the audio message being presented.
- Play appealing background music to keep visitors on the site longer.
- Make sure that audio can be disabled, if someone does not want to hear it.
- On Facebook:
- Install an audio player app that lets you stream a pre-recorded playlist for your followers.
- Post audio files for fans and followers to listen to
- Create exclusive content, such as videos with professionally produced audio, that can be accessed only after "liking" your page.
- For your Blog
- Record blog posts as Podcasts for people who like to listen
- Take your post popular posts and create an audio follow-up
- Including a quote in the blog article's text? Also consider including an audio file of the quoted individual.
Audio has a way of reaching people in a different way than media that appeals to other senses. Music, for example, can greatly affect our moods. If it's too fast, we get jittery. When it's too slow, we're bored. Minor keys make us depressed. Over time, we learn to associate sounds with other factors, like movies or brands. Jingles and sonic logos are memorable sounds that allow us to connect to brands. But most sounds are accidental: dragging your feet, typing on a keyboard, breathing. A lot of people don't like these common, accidental sounds, which is why it's important to always consider the sounds your brand is making. In person, on the phone, or online, you could actually lose business because of the sounds you're making. So when you're putting together your marketing and customer service strategies, remember that your audience will be looking... and listening.