Life science marketers are facing some tough challenges. One is capturing an engaged audience. Typically we rely on content or events to make that happen. Events are expensive, but producing enough content presents challenges of its own.
Fortunately, audio can help solve both of those. And you don’t have to publish content in an audio format to take advantage of some of the benefits.
Let me explain why you should consider including audio in your life science marketing mix.
Audio is Intimate
Audio is an intimate form of content like no other, even beyond video. When you are listening to an audio program, it feels like it’s happening to you right now. It’s a very one-on-one experience. If you’re listening to a single person speaking, you feel like that person’s talking directly and only to you.
If you happen to be listening to two people having a conversation, or an interview through an audio program, you might feel the same as if you were in a coffee shop eavesdropping on a couple of people sitting next to you.
This is how we humanize content. It’s a conversation. It’s a differentiating experience. Having someone’s voice in your ear is a very powerful thing. Because your image of the speaker is part of your own making, it becomes more believable, a more trusted source.
I recently attended to a podcasting conference where I met a woman named Rupa Shenoy. She has been a journalist at many large media companies whose names you would recognize. She has covered stories that you know about and had recently started a podcast called Otherhood. It is about the first generation children of immigrant parents in America.
When I met her, she had only published seven episodes. But she said that she felt like, and she was confident of this, that those seven episodes of her podcast had made more of an impact on her audience than all of her years as a writer. Seven episodes- more than all of her extensive experience as a writer!
I wasn’t sure I heard it correctly. So I went up to her after her talk and I said, “Is this what you meant?” And she confirmed what I had heard. Audio is powerful content.
You’re not going to get the biggest audience with audio content but you’re going to get a very engaged audience. These are the people who want to interact with you, who are going to be your advocates. These are the people who are going to be champions and you want to reach out to them.
Capture Listeners When They’re Open to New Ideas
Audio content is portable and it’s available on demand. You know that you shouldn’t (hopefully you can’t) watch a video while you’re driving a car. Reading a document either on a screen or a piece of paper while you’re walking the dog isn’t really happening either.
With a smartphone, we can store audio content and listen to it whenever we want. It’s very easy to listen when you’re mowing a lawn, commuting or doing some other routine chore.
Because we know that our audiences are busy scientists without a lot of time, this becomes the time when you can reach them. They can’t do anything else, for example, but drive and listen. And they’re in a free thinking, creative space.
This is when new ideas come to them. When they’re open to those new ideas and they can process them.
Imagine a person in their office watching a video on their computer or reading a PDF. It’s highly likely that they’re going to be interrupted by a phone call, an e-mail or someone asking a question. And even if they manage to get through whatever it is they’re watching or reading, it’s also probably true that they’re going to rush off to something else as soon as they’re done.
There’s not a lot of time to absorb what they’ve just heard or watched or read. But if they’re doing some routine task when the mind flows freely and they’re not in a rush, they are able to capture your message and your ideas and turn them into something that they can use.
That’s hugely valuable.
Ideally they’d be listening to our audio content in the shower because that’s where the best ideas happen, right? C’mon. You know it’s true.
Using Audio to Create Other Content
Imagine this scenario. As marketers, we all rely on subject matter experts. Maybe it’s a scientist in R&D or a product manager or even a busy executive, to create some of the content we need for our marketing programs. The last thing they want is for someone to come to them and say, “Hey, can you write three or four pages about this topic?”
That’s not their job. It’s not what they enjoy doing and everybody, even professional writers, fears the blank page. It’s hard. And no one wants to hand over a written document that isn’t really well-thought out, with i’s dotted, t’s crossed, and laid out nicely because they’d feel the same as they would if you were evaluating a painting they made. It’s personal.
Yet that barrier doesn’t exist if you were to just have a conversation with that person. The busy executive and the R&D scientist have a lot of information sitting right behind their eyeballs, in between their ears that you could easily get out through their mouth by sitting down with them at lunch, for example, putting your phone on the table and pressing “Record”.
If you know the right questions to ask them, you can get all the information you want. In fact, you’ll probably have a hard time getting them to stop talking about it.
This is an overlooked opportunity to gather content without relying on a keyboard. Joe Pulizzi has talked about this for a long time, I’ve heard Jay Baer say it as well. Think content first, format second. You don’t care how you get the information you need. You just want to get the information. Then you can do anything you want with it.
Plus, there’s no travel required for production. I know many companies will send a crew across the planet to Europe, for example, to get a video testimonial about their product and those are hugely powerful. Those are very effective, but not every company has the budget to do that.
But there’s no reason why you need to be stuck with a written testimonial that someone sent you through email. As an alternative, call that person and record their voice. It contains so much more richness and real information conveyed by their tone and the words they use to describe their experience with your product. It becomes more believable when you hear the person speak and the inflections that they use to tell the story.
Nothing stops you from taking that and using that in print wherever you need to. Where you have the opportunity, why not give prospects the choice to listen to your actual customers?
Then repurpose it. I’m all about repurposing and there are so many ways to do it. This blog post and probably a couple others came from a webinar.
I stripped out the audio from the recorded movie, a very easy thing to do (30 seconds), and turned that into this podcast.
I sent the audio file to an online service that sent me back a transcript (for a dollar/minute) and because the webinar is broken into three sections, I am using that transcript as starting point for creating three separate blog posts. This is the first. I’m creating seven pieces of content out of one webinar. I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of it and it’s easy to do.
And because I started with audio, this blog post was the easiest I’ve ever published. I estimate it took me one tenth as much time as a typical post.
What could you do with a 10-fold increase in your content productivity?
If you’re interested in getting started with audio content and have a few questions, contact me for a free, 30-minute consultation.