Harish Patel is one of the co-founders of Logicloop, a leading digital solutions company in India which have helped 100+ brands to scale exponentially through data-driven strategies and high-impact digital solutions. Prior to this, he co-founded the successful start-up Reality Redefined which went on to become the largest software solutions provider for Real Estate companies in India. After scaling operations to 8 cities in India and building a team of 250 employees, the company was sold to the Indian online classifieds major Quikr.com. A Computer Science graduate from Mumbai University, he comes with a long 15+ years of experience in the tech world and he has worked in leading multinational companies like GE Consumer & Industrial, Amdocs, and Lehman Brothers astutely handling different functional areas.
Last year, the unprecedented pandemic accelerated the growth of digital marketing in India. Numerous established businesses and small brands have explored and embraced digital platforms and allocated a large chunk of their budget in online marketing strategies.
Correspondingly, audio platforms enjoyed a massive surge in popularity as the lockdown measures forced a diverse audience to tune into audio content. It has undoubtedly become a rage today, especially among the millennials and Gen Z. For these obvious reasons, audio platforms such as podcasts and apps like Clubhouse are aiding digital marketing agencies to boost audience engagement.
In addition, digital content has shifted from stills to Audio/Video in the past few years to make it more appealing to the audience. However, audio content has become the favourite since video content involves high cost and long production processes such as shooting and editing, which is not a viable option.
Rise of Social Audio Platforms
According to a KPMG report 2021, India has become the third-largest podcast-listening market worldwide, and the numbers are predicted to grow exponentially in the near future. It is not a surprise since India has always been obsessed with audio. It is a personal and integral part of the culture to listen to stories, songs, and experiences in India.
Visual fatigue – Amidst the pandemic, people are spending too much time in front of the screen due to video conferencing and zoom calls. Besides, watching videos on a smartphone or other devices requires a lot more attention and physical engagement, which is leading to visual fatigue. Audio platforms, on the other hand, are a breath of fresh air. The platforms like podcasts are an aural pleasure that takes you and your imagination on an exciting journey through the power of spoken words.
Diverse content genres – You can find a wide and diverse range of content genres and niches in audio platforms. In apps like Clubhouse, there is room for every topic under the sun ranging from self-growth, spirituality, motivation, lifestyle, politics, fashion, music, cinema, gaming, etc. This is an advantage to the listeners.
Personal – Most of the people in India, without a doubt, have grown up listening to stories from parents and grandparents. Podcasts are not too different as they are very personal. Those consuming audio content often feel connected to the host as if the person is talking to them.
Easily blends with daily routine – Audio platforms are quite liberating in the sense that they easily blend with your daily routine. You can easily engage in tasks like cooking, eating, or driving, and at the same time, enjoy a podcast on your favourite topic.
Regional languages – Major podcast hosting platforms are developing audio content in regional languages now. Gone are the days when the English language was only used. This has opened up opportunities for digital agencies to tap regional markets easily.
Social Audio Platform Trends in 2021
It is interesting to note that the rise in popularity of social audio platforms has shaken many businesses in the digital and tech industry. Clubhouse app, the audio chat app, and its rapid growth have been one of the defining points in social audio platform trends.
Podcasts were in the mix for a long time. However, they became extremely popular and reached great heights only recently. Since then, Twitter has launched a live audio room – Spaces, and social media giant Facebook is already testing audio features integrated into its platform. According to reports, LinkedIn is conducting early tests to develop an audio experience for its users. Additionally, Spotify acquired Betty Labs for the social audio app Locker Room focused on sports.
The recent trends stress the fact that audio platforms are on the cusp of redefining how people consume content online. The live social audio has further powered the voice-only content among the customers. It has opened a plethora of marketing opportunities for businesses and digital marketing agencies.
How Social Audio Platforms Help Digital Marketing
As it turns out, social audio platforms with so much potential cannot be ignored by marketers in 2021. Find out how these are upping the digital marketing engagement game.
Brand stories – As podcasts and audio platforms are very personalized, brands have the unique opportunity to share their story, cause they are involved in, vision and mission of the business, etc. in an engaging manner. It also helps in building the brand image. Moreover, you can directly get customer feedback about brands, products, and services and develop real-world connections with your loyal customer base.
Customer retention – One of the key parameters that contribute to any business growth is customer retention. Audio content has the capability of retaining customer attention for longer periods than any other platform, and they are a convenient medium as well. Thus, brands can utilize it effectively to reach their target audience, influence the buying decision and achieve customer retention goals.
Low cost – As mentioned before, churning out audio content or podcasts means a lower cost of creation, than say videos. You can create a podcast from the comfort of your home, studio, or anywhere. Conversational live social audio channels do not even need the script. It drastically reduces the expenses and directly improves the budget too.
Broader amplification – Once customers are subscribed to podcasts or your social audio channels, the chances for content amplification are very high. It will give a major boost to your marketing and maximize reach as well. You can engage the customers with valuable, knowledgeable, and helping content in different audio platforms and reach a new audience.
More transparent – It is easier for customers to engage with a brand in an audio-chat room than anywhere else. Developers, content creators, and designers can share their inspiration with customers, which in turn, helps in developing trust and rapport.
To sum up, audio platforms today are one of the best methods to maximize customer engagement. According to experts, the market for audio platforms is set to grow in the future. Thus, exploring and utilizing the social audio trend can help brands gain a competitive edge over competitors.