Periscope, Blab, Snapchat, Vine, and other apps are making it easy to create and share video clips.
But if you try watching a Blab while you’re jogging, you might end up eating pavement.
Allow me to propose audio as a great addition to your marketing content tool kit.
Audio clips and podcasts have some advantages over video:
- Multi-taskers love to listen to audio (think treadmill, commute)
- You don’t have to be “camera ready” to record audio
- People learn well by listening, reinforces message
- Intimacy, being in someone’s ear is a very distinct connection-builder
Audio also has a few drawbacks:
- Can be harder to find via search (make sure you post a transcript to alleviate this issue)
- More difficult to repurpose
- Works best with special equipment (sound leveling, microphone)
- Might be hard to monetize, need sponsorships
- Some audio platforms don’t provide embed code for easy sharing
If you’re ready to give audio a try, here are some tools that will help you record and share.
Anchor is like an audio social network, where members can post audio messages and receive audio replies from others. Consuming the content is like listening to a never-ending interactive talk show that covers a lot of random topics. The platform is still fairly new, so there’s lots of opportunity to get creative and become an “Anchor star.”
Once you’ve recorded a clip, you can share it to Facebook or email a link to yourself, but there’s no embed code as of this writing (which makes it harder to incorporate Anchor clips into a blog post or other content).
AudioBoom is a global, streaming audio platform with a wide variety of content, from small local podcasters to big brands like the BBC. It’s mostly geared toward those big podcasters, but with a free account, you can still upload audio files and share them to Twitter and Facebook. If you upgrade to a paid account, you get access to all of the bells and whistles of a professional recording platform, with ad support, distribution, and social sharing tools.
Clyp is a very lightweight, intuitive way to upload and share audio files. There are some social networking aspects, like voting up other members’ clips, but the thing I like the most is the ability to just drag an audio file onto their home page and instantly get a shareable link. Warning, since it’s free to upload, the list of popular clyps can be NSFW.
SoundCloud is the granddaddy of audio sharing sites, and has more recently skewed toward musician uploads, but still has great tools for uploading and sharing other audio files. What I like the most about SoundCloud is the nice embed code you get for each clip, making it super easy to incorporate sound clips into your blog or other web content.
You get up to three hours of free space to store your audio files, as well as the ability to engage with comments on your audio. Upgrading to a paid plan gives you more pro tools including analytics and unlimited space.
- You don’t have to launch a major new podcast in order to take advantage of audio options. With some of the tools I mentioned, you can just record a quick 10 minute audio note and include a link in your next newsletter. You can start engaging and interacting via audio on some of the social tools, to get used to the idea.
- Remember that you still need to pay attention to your tone of voice, your enunciation, and make a good impression. It’s OK to use the microphone from your earbuds for those short, casual clips, but if you plan to routinely record audio, invest in an external microphone. They’re not that expensive, and will sound much more professional. Here’s a fantastic episode from the Content Pros podcast that will help you get started.
- If you’re recording for business, try to find a space where there will be minimal ambient noise. Hearing your dog bark or your phone ring in the background will undercut your message.
Are you currently incorporating audio into your marketing outreach?
Feel free to share your handle or podcast name in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.
Featured image via Flickr CC: Patrick Breitenbach