OUR THINKING/ARTICLE

Audio content activation: Don’t let great conversation go unheard

Sean Kearns

There could be close to 20 million podcast listeners in the UK by 2024. That’s a lot of ears.

And that rise will be matched by the number of new shows launched, on topics niche, novel and necessary.

It’s not easy to get heard amid that noise. But you stand a much better chance if you take as much care with how the story reaches the world as you do with crafting it in the first place.

With a lot of thought leadership, the quality of thinking is let down by the promotion and curation of the content itself. Audio content is no exception.

According to Edelman, 55% of buyers say that if a piece of thought leadership content doesn’t grab them within a minute, they move on. With limited time to pique the interest of potential listeners, you need to help your audio to be heard.

What does your audio content activation strategy look like?

Audio content activation: how to do it well

Do your research

Don’t ask how long the piece should be. Instead, ask: “What does the listener need?” Audio is a critical part of your output, so give it the due diligence it deserves.

As with any campaign, you need to know who you are speaking to and why, and understand their context:

  • What else are they listening to?
  • How are they listening – on mobile, smart-speaker, desktop?
  • Who are their trusted sources?
  • What motivates them?

Whatever the context, be respectful of the listener’s time: it’s often about what you cut as much as what you keep.

Share quotes on social

You’re proud of a revealing, powerful, nuanced interview. So make sure you capture the very best soundbites and make them shareable. Create these snippets with as much care as you edit the audio track.

Be smart with supporting copy

Make sure the copy surrounding the audio is complementary – pull the listener in and show them the value of listening. And keep the copy concise: make it easy for them to quickly digest the conversation and choose related content on subjects that matter to them.

Trail what comes next

If your piece is part of a series, create a sense of anticipation and continuity. Make your listeners aware that there is much more where this came from.

This isn’t a hard sell. Instead, it explains why your audience should invest their time, and helps them to discover other experts you’ve spoken to.

Make the most of your guests

If you have built a genuine connection with a guest, ask them to share your conversation with the people that matter to them. Over time, this will have a multiplier effect on your audio brand.

There are many activation tactics, from SEO to paid promotion, but without a strategy for word-of-mouth recommendations, your audio will become just another conversation that goes unheard.

Turn on the video

We know how popular video podcasts are on YouTube. If guests agree and the format is right, then use video to engage a broader audience – and share video clips on social media to increase awareness.

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About the author: Sean Kearns

As Longitude’s editor-in-chief, Sean helps ensure that we create thought leadership campaigns with influence and impact. As well as delivering high-profile programmes for our clients, he advises on thought leadership strategy, helping brands reach the audiences who matter.

Sean has 20 years’ experience of creating strategic content across a range of sectors and senior editorial roles.. Before joining Longitude, Sean was Editorial Director of communications agency Bladonmore.

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