Voice, Vernacular, and Video are the three Vs changing the Indian technology landscape. But both voice and vernacular has a common denominator: audio content.
The rise of Voice Assistant has put the spotlight back on audio content as well. The number one use cases for people around the world using a speaker built-in with a smart assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant is all about consuming content. From music to jokes to how-to and devotional chants, audio content consumption is on the rise.
We are back to the era when radio was the primary device at every household for news and entertainment, nearly four decades later, audio has a big comeback. And brands that are proactive to tap into the renewed trend of audio consumption stands to gain people’s attention and accrue brand love.
The country’s biggest brand PM Modi has a sustainable and remarkable audio strategy. His Maan Ki Baat airing on AIR and also distributed on Amazon Alexa and NaMo app is a prime example of brand leveraging audio. A survey indicates that 66% of listeners across six cities have heard the show. It the last four years of its existence, over 50 episodes have been aired and also duly translated into multiple vernacular languages to target audience across India.
The award winning Kan Khajura Tesan from HUL, a missed call driven activity that plugged-in brand message in between entertaining content acts as a pole star for brands wanting to tap into the potential of audio driven marketing strategy.
But with technology changing the way people listen to audio content, brands have many more choices to create and distribute their content including pod catcher application, voice assistants, and internet radio, embed a podcast show on brand’s website or app, native ad or sponsored content on audio destinations like aawaz.com and more.
While technology can change the way people access and consume content, what they like to hear does not change much. Hanuman Chalisa and Hindi Jokes are among the top used Skills on Alexa!
Here are some things audio can do that text or video cannot.
Tell real life stories: in any length, in any language. Audio is the most natural form of communication for us. Every time our grandma started with ‘once upon a time…’ our antennas would go up, defences down and perhaps if we were being fed, a couple of roti’s would be gobbled without any resistance as along the stories kept coming.
When people today are plugged into their headphone, brands have an opportunity to recreate grandma stories moment by creating and distributing immersive audio content.
Scale and cost: Videos are great, but to produce videos at scale, the costs and efforts are prohibitive for any brand. While video content is measured in minutes and seconds, audio is measured in hours! The cost of producing a high quality audio will be roughly one tenth the cost of a good quality video production budget.
Sustainability: Social media runs on the age old cliché but true statement, content is king, but to have a sustainable content strategy beyond images and memes brands can surely consider audio content such as podcasts, expert chat shows, infotainment, edutainment and more. This can be distributed on audio first platform like Apple Podcasts or own our homegrown aawaz.com that is first of its kind audio destination with 100% original audio programming content in Hindi.
Increase DAUs and reduce uninstalls: For transaction leads brands like ticket booking, banking, keeping a high DAU (daily average user) can be challenging since people do not transact that often, thus leading to higher uninstalls. This is because user doesn’t derive any additional value by keeping the apps installed on the phone since the usage in sporadic. A sustainable audio content strategy can change this by giving a reason for people to open the app daily and check for new content.
Jukeboxes in BookMyShow or Inbox by Paytm are prime examples of content integration with a non-OTT environment.
Get more bang for the buck from your brand ambassador: Got a celebrity endorser and paid them a bomb for one day call sheet? At best you got a 30 second TVC and 20 still images. And we all know how much time is lost in travel, makeup and set preparation. With audio content, none of that counts.
A thirty minute ‘recording session’ with a celebrity may dole out a 10 second video, but can yield more than 1200 seconds of audio content!
The drive time strategy: People on an average commute anywhere between twenty minutes to two hours a day. Whether they are driving or taking a crowded public transport, it is unfeasible to watch a video or read text but possible to plug-in a pair of earphones and binge on audio content. Beyond self-help and music, there is a latent need for audio content during this time. While local FMs are great, there are too many interruptions. In a world where on-demand is toppling appointment viewing, it is for brands to tap into this vast potential by creating compelling audio content for bridging the drive time gaps.
Amplify your KOLs voice: Key opinion leaders or influencers are people with powers vested in them to shape public’s opinion about your brand. On social media they can share and image or write a few lines, but in an audio first strategy, a brand can get an influencer to elucidate about the subject, interact with fellow experts and drive home the salience of a brand with subtilty and finesse.
2019 is the year when audio and voice will reach an inflation point; can’t wait to hear it.