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Why Ages-Old Audio May Be the Next Hot Marketing Trend

David Bosley

People say that all trends come back around in time: tight-rolled pants, backpacks, and mirrored sunglasses are some recent fashion throw-backs that are rearing their heads again. The latest trend in marketing is going waaay back . . . all the way back to the 1920s when the first commercial radio station hit the airwaves. These wireless waves of sound were the basis for many of our modern-day communication options such as television and even cell phones. You might be surprised to learn that audio is one of the hot “new” ways to get your message out to audiences in 2018 and beyond.

Podcast Revenues Soar

Podcasts are content gold for creators — they are relatively low-cost and if you’re distributing them correctly you can gain a huge audience over time. Discoverability is a problem, however. There are more than 525,000 active shows on iTunes according to Fast Company, broadcasting in over 100 languages across 18.5 million episodes. That’s an overwhelming variety of content available and the numbers are growing exponentially.

Content creators and marketers alike are seeing the value of providing audio-only content to supplement users’ need for constant information and entertainment. Along with these massive numbers come some good ol’ fashioned revenue: a projected $659 million in revenue by 2020 to be exact. Much of this revenue is attributed to advertising within the episodes. The most popular types of ads are those that are read by the host or the personality of the show — content marketing at its best.

Knowledge of Podcasts by Professionals

Twitter Adds Audio

Is audio the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Twitter? Probably not, which is why it’s a bit surprising that the tweet-based platform is responding to user demand for audio by creating audio-only broadcasts on Twitter as well as on their popular iOS app: Periscope. Users are extremely comfortable “going live” on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and other social media platforms. The difference with this update is that the “live” is minus video: making it easier to listen in to your favorite brands and content creators even when you can’t see the video. For now, the functionality is only available on the iOS apps, and not from the platform websites.

Replay As Needed

One of the big benefits of audio marketing is the length of time that it stays around after being recorded. Podcasts, in particular, have an exceptional shelf life, allowing listeners to discover the content long after the original date of the recording. Marketers can see key metrics such as live listeners, individuals who have replayed the episodes or audio as well as the amount of time that each broadcast is listened to. These metrics can help marketers determine the engagement value for each piece of content over time — incredibly important as marketers attempt to determine ROI and see what has the biggest impact on their unique audience segments.