Opinion: All ears on you with the sound of your brand

The author shares how audio is an important factor in the marketing mix through relevant contextualisation

Jul 04, 2022 03:01:00 AM | Article | Arjun Kolady

Have you ever noticed how quickly our reflexes respond to sound? From a call on your mobile phone to the sound of cutlery dropping on the floor - the brain and body react to the slightest sound. And then, there are more immersive sounds such as music, ASMR content, and podcasts that go beyond our reflexes and connect deeply with our hearts, minds, and bodies. 

 

The importance of sound in our lives is indisputable, and it’s a sense that content creators and brands have often used to engage with consumers. 

 

You may think that using audio to create an impression is nostalgic and links back to the golden days of radio jingles, but today, brands and audio streaming platforms are changing the game. By leveraging audio streaming platforms, brands are able to reach very specific consumers, engage with them in a relevant context, and sustain the conversation beyond just another ad. 

 

A majority of the listeners who stream music and podcasts do so because they are seeking personalised, intuitive audio experiences for different moods and moments. For brands, this is an opportunity to connect with their consumers when they are most connected to themselves.  

 

So, what can brands do to ensure that all ears are on them when their consumers are tuned into audio? 

 

Soundtrack the lives of their consumers 

 

The increasing amount of content available on social media and video platforms means that visual fatigue is only getting accelerated. Consumers are turning to audio to break away from screen time. From the time they wake up until they go to bed, consumers are listening to music actively or passively to accompany their chores, work, and relaxation time. Audio marketing during these times and with the right format - sound/voice only, or a combination of sonic and visual content - will enable a brand to build their narrative into the lives of listeners.  

 

Leave an impression through audio 

 

Catchy tunes, quirky videos, pointed memes - this is the content that resonates with many consumers today. Brands can use a smart combination of these elements to increase awareness and recall. 

 

In fact, digital audio is scientifically known to deliver an elevated experience over visual elements, making for more memorable content. By combining what’s trending in pop culture with the values that are unique to the brand, it is possible to make a lasting impact through audio advertising. 

 

Create a memorable, distinct brand identity  

 

As consumers of content also become its creators and curators, they are adding audio elements to their visual communication, to ensure the stickiness and virality of the content. This gives brands an opportunity to own sounds, jingles, and other forms of audio that evoke emotions, link to something topical, or are simply catchy and stay with the listeners. Using audio streaming platforms to build, test, and repeat that sonic identity can establish a strong connection that goes beyond audio and into the wider pop culture. 

 

We live in a busy world dealing with constant time and attention deficit. Brands have only a few seconds to 'pitch' themselves to the consumer and given the immersive behaviour of listeners on audio streaming platforms, it is one of the most effective ways to deliver a message through multiple formats, in different moments, and across demographics. 

 

It’s about having not just all ears on the brand but all the ears that actually matter hearing about the brand.

 

The author is head of sales, Spotify India.