When looking at social media marketing, we all tend to concentrate on the main forms of content that can be produced: Text, Photo, and Video. Obviously there are others, such as Presentation, Discussions, etc., but one important form that is missing from many social media strategies is Audio based social media.
The Ease of Audio Content Creation
Are you a natural speaker? Do you often explain products and services to your customers? Ever wish your CEO’s “voice” could be directly expressed to your potential clients? Compared to the challenges of managing a CMS like WordPress for your blog and teaching your content contributors how to use it, or asking for a blog post in Word which makes it feel like “work” to your contributor, a podcast can be created by virtually anyone using the audio recording software that comes standard in most smartphones. My own podcast, Maximize Your Social, began by recording it on an iPhone 5, which thereafter I switched to a Samsung Galaxy S4. The technology exists to create an intro and outro and mix it in to each of your recordings. And the quality, while not CD quality, is certainly high enough to satisfy most ears, especially if you are providing useful content. If you’re a natural speaker, Audio content might just be the quickest and easiest type to create.
The Potential Audience for Your Podcast
Just as Video can be a powerful medium in that it engages the eyes, Audio can be as well as it engages the ears. One easy way to leverage Audio based social media marketing is to create a podcast and simply register it on iTunes. Doing so makes your audio content accessible to any of the 500+ million users of iTunes. It also gives you an excuse to remind others of your podcast once you publish a new episode, and often when a new subscriber encounters your content, their podcast player will download all of your previously published content by default.
The Creation of Embeddable Content
One of the beautiful things about creating a podcast is that, if you use a supporting technology, it becomes an embeddable form of content. This means that not only can you embed it into one of your own blog posts, as I am doing below with a recent podcast, but that others can embed it into their own websites similar to embedding a YouTube video. This makes your content all the more shareable. Plus, if you transcribe the audio content into written form and make a blog post about it, you have now “double dipped” and created two different types of content for two different audiences, all enabling you to improve your SEO as well as cross-fertilize your blog and podcast audiences!
Why Stop at Podcasting? Audible is Audio Kindle
Companies create ebooks out of content that they have published elsewhere and now see a potentially lucrative marketing by formatting and then uploading those PDFs to Kindle to take advantage of the enormous number of Kindle devices and software users that exist. Similar to Kindle, there is an e-audiobook platform called Audible which Amazon bought out several years ago. While it’s hard to say how many Audible users there are, many popular books sold on Amazon that are available on audio book are done so through the Audible platform, which now provides more than 100,000 titles.
In fact, just as Amazon is encouraging others to upload content to the Kindle store, Audible has launched the ACX, or Audiobook Creation Exchange, which in 2012 was responsible for the creation of more than three times more titles than through any other source. The ACX allows you to find contractors who can record and package your entire audio book for you without you having to do anything. Truth be told that I worked with an ACX partner, eBookIt!, when I created an audiobook version of my second book Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing – and it remains a constant generator of royalties, proving that a robust community of readers for audiobooks exists.
Just as you can create a Kindle version of your ebook or whitepaper, have you considered doing the same with an audio version that you can upload to Audible?
A Free Example to Consider
I am actually going to be presenting at the New Media Expo (NMX) in Las Vegas on January, 2014 on this very topic of Making Audio Books With Audible’s Audiobook Creation Exchange. As a special bonus, I have teamed up with NMX to give away free audio recordings of the first several chapters of my aforementioned book on LinkedIn. This giveaway is only available during the 12 Days of Giveaways (translation: you can probably only download it over the next week or so), so if you’re interested in learning how to maximize your presence on LinkedIn, grab your free audio downloads now by clicking this link (note: requires registration).
Has your business leveraged audio content as part of your social media marketing? Have you been successful podcasting?