But audio content marketing is more than a simple podcast. According to Colleen Fahey, the US Managing Director of Sixieme Son, audio branding needs to be crafted like any written tone or voice on your website. What’s more, your audio content should match the written content in pitch and tone to instill a cohesive, emotional response from your target market. Fahey states, “Audio branding’s approach uses unique and proprietary sound and music to convey a brand’s essence and values. It provides a consistent system of sound that connects people with a brand at a profound level.” That audio DNA is represented in the sound effects, brand music, and video content used across a brand’s entire marketing campaign. As people begin to shell out major coin for noise-muffling headsets and 3D (that’s right, 3D) audio headphones, it is no wonder music in marketing is taking on a life of its own.
Unlike flat audio content, music has a powerful effect on content consumers; it creates an emotional, physical, and mental response in the listener. In fact, a study conducted by the European Journal of Neuroscience revealed that “brain regions involved in movement, attention, planning, and memory consistently showed activation when participants listened to music—these are structures that don’t have to do with auditory processing itself.” This not only insinuates that content consumers react differently to music than they do with regular audio content, but it also makes a direct correlation of music with memory and engagement.
With music tied directly to memory, attention, and emotion, it’s clear that it can be a powerful enhancement to content on websites and in video campaigns. Take the Volvo video campaign with Swedish singer Robyn, for example: The stunning visuals, combined with a contemplative, yet dance-inducing beat, makes the content seem more like a music video with subtle product placement than a commercial featuring Robyn.
Your Web content is sacred. You put time and effort into the visuals and written words. Music may complement, or even enhance, content consumption, but the balance can be tricky. There are content marketing campaigns out there that utilize this strategy effectively, promoting independent musicians and their personal stories. For example, Red Bull’s Music Academy Radio (RBMA Radio) spotlights music from across the world, interviews, and live events. The music is offered through a small player on the left hand corner and flows continuously as you move from page to page, reading content on the musicians. Best part? No autoplay.
Music in marketing has a time and a place, so if your audience member navigates to a page that automatically plays music, your perfectly crafted music becomes little more than noise. It creates an immediate disturbance and disruptive force for the content consumer who may have been listening to other audio content, studying at the library, or browsing on their phone during a meeting. The trick here is to make your music an active choice on the part of the consumer; let them choose to enhance their content experience. Blake Boldt at AudioTheme put it best when he stated:
“Audio and video content has consistently been proven to increase engagement and on-site conversation rates. In order to ensure that visitors still receive the message, draw attention to audio and video capabilities as they navigate your site at their leisure. Clearly mark all player controls—volume, stop/buttons, etc.—so that visitors find them to be easy and accessible . . . It’s important to give your visitors the ability to check out your audio or video at their own discretion while creating a comfortable online environment.”
Your audio content marketing strategy says a great deal about your brand. Like the colors you choose for your visuals or the words you craft in your writing, music adds an emotional appeal to your creative content and perpetuates your core values. But for a select few, silence is still golden, so be sure to leave that audio enhancement as an active choice on the part of the consumer—at least for now.
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