Beyond the Visual: Why You Should Move your Marketing Efforts to Audio

Commissioning a new logo? Investing in a promo video? Visual content is expensive and can become burdensome for a young startup founder or entrepreneur. While visual branding might seem essential, there is another powerful sense that is often overlooked: our sense of hearing.

Did you know that millennials wear headphones for approximately 4 hours every day? Look around you on your commute to work today, what do you see? Everyone around seems to be wearing headphones, listening to something. With podcasts and online radio making a comeback, investing in audio branding and marketing is the perfect solution for a company with a small budget and the hunger to craft a compelling identity.

If you’re struggling to understand what an audio brand sounds like, just remember the last time you saw the HBO logo and heard their iconic TV static sound. Or recall the last time you heard the McDonald’s theme song. It’s impossible to separate these sounds from their corresponding brands. That is a sonic identity.

Max M. Svendsen (composer, producer, sound designer) talks about creating a sound brand on a low budget on LAMA.

Creating a promo video for your brand will usually involve a large crew of people and an investment in expensive camera equipment. On the other hand, a professional microphone, mixer and editing software to make a high quality audio segment promoting your brand is much more affordable. Plus audio can be produced by a small group of people or even a single individual.

A great example of audio marketing by a startup is the online meal kit company Blue Apron. Blue Apron started out with short audio ads with a catchy score (that would be their audio brand) on popular podcasts such as Lena Dunham’s “Women of the Hour.” Now, Blue Apron has moved on to producing their own branded podcast “Why We Eat What We Eat,” which premiered last October.

The attention span of the average individual is only getting shorter, which makes the case for audio branding and marketing stronger. Unlike video content, individuals are usually doing other tasks while listening to audio. Audio is a smaller commitment than video, yet has a strong influence over a person’s psyche.

Streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify make it easy for marketers to target a really specific audience, distributing ads to a local area. Plus if consumers of audio content aren’t paying for it (which they usually aren’t) they will be expecting and open to hearing advertisements. When it comes to marketing and branding, audio offers a flexible medium with a rapidly growing audience.

Photo by Tanner Boriack on Unsplash

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