10 lesser-known audio marketing platforms for building deep trust on social media

You have probably heard that the medium of choice lately for content marketers and content creators is video. But video isn’t the only medium that you can use to get your audience’s attention and build trust.

Audio is another great medium and has some solid advantages over video. As a consumer, often you can consume audio content while doing other things (i.e. it doesn’t require your full attention). As a producer, there’s lower friction to create audio content, since you don’t need to consider how you look, your surroundings, etc.

While it has been around for a long time, changes in mobile technology and consumer behavior are creating a resurgence in audio marketing.

Why audio?

The purpose of social media is to build trust with your community by, you guessed it, being social. In other words, social media lets you scale up in-person conversations so you can have them with a broader community. What better way to scale up an in-person conversation than to actually have a conversation – with audio.

Here are a few emerging audio-based platforms that you should consider looking at if you want to get into audio marketing.

Anchor

Anchor allows a user to record small audio files (called a wave) and share it much like you would a tweet or Facebook status update. Followers can also reply with their own wave, creating a conversation or a collaborative podcast of sorts.

It offers a great way to build relationships with both new and existing customers, encourage discussion on relevant topics, and is also great way to conduct interviews.

Gary Vee has started using it, and WP Curve founder Dan Norris is using it as well.

anchorfm

Anchor is a great way to get started with audio marketing if you find podcasting to be difficult and a lot of work. You can get going on Anchor in minutes and start communicating with your audience like in a real conversation. The onboarding process is great, and it’s worth signing up just to check it out!

If you sign up, follow @thedannorris and tag Dan in your first wave. Say you heard about it from this post, and he will reply.

SoundCloud

SoundCloud has been and still is a platform that individuals and companies can leverage to grow their audience and influence. For listeners, it is more like an audio based social network.

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Harvard, for example, uses SoundCloud to upload recordings from forums, commencement speeches and even audio guides to campus tours.

PlayStation uses it for its own blog series and for soundtracks for favorite video games.

Adobe, on the other hand, has created audio white papers on topics like developing a sophisticated app strategy and driving mobile digital sales.

SoundCloud has weathered some financial troubles and is banking on a music streaming service to solve the problem. It is worth keeping an eye on because if the streaming service doesn’t fly, then they might be in trouble.

Having said that, SoundCloud does have a big existing user base, so you can push your audio content out to more people via the platform. Also, it solves the hosting problem for podcasters or anyone wanting to develop audio content.

Stitcher

Stitcher is an on-demand internet radio service that streams the show or podcast rather than requiring the media to be downloaded to the device.

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Users can favorite their stations, and Stitcher also offers recommendations based on user listening habits and the listener’s favorite station. Often people who use Android use Stitcher because it doesn’t have a default Podcasts app like the Apple devices do. A number of podcasts are available on Stitcher including Shopify’s TGIM Shorts, Entrepreneur on Fire and Donald Miller.

Consider using Stitcher given its popularity with Android users. It is also now available on iTunes. Deezer, a global music streaming company, acquired Stitcher increasing its audience base. With over 40,000 shows and podcasts, Stitcher could be a great way to gain increased exposure and build your audience.

TuneIn

This is a service that connects users with online radio and podcasts. It has a feature similar to that of a DVR whereby listeners can save shows to listen to later. Navigation within TuneIn is also a lot easier than iTunes.

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Marvel hosts is This Week in Marvel podcast on TuneIn.

With over 100,000 live radio stations and on demand content like podcasts and other shows, TuneIn claims to have an audience of over 60 million. TuneIn also provides tools to help promote your content such as an embeddable player, access to their API, follow buttons etc. All of which make TuneIn worth investigating in terms of growing your audience around audio content.

Whatsapp / FB Messenger

Whatsapp is a service that Facebook acquired wherein users can either text or record an audio message to be sent to another user in their contact list. Your audio messages can be shared with a group of contacts or 1-to-1. It can be a great social way to build relationships with new and existing customers.

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It’s not a marketing platform as such, but we think there is potential for it to turn into one. And even if it’s not a marketing platform, it’s still an awesome way to build relationships with people and connect on a deeper level than text-based options.

A Unilever Mayonnaise brand, Hellman’s wanted to increase usage of its products in everyday cooking. So it offered consumers a 1-on-1 real-time service via Whatsapp that connected people to professional chefs who answered their questions, shared recipes and shared videos of cooking.

The results? Over 5 million people reached, over 13,000 sign-ups for the service, and 1 in every 2 website visitors signed up for the service.

Snapchat

While SnapChat is often thought of as a video sharing platform, businesses and artists can use this platform’s audio to engage their fans and followers as well.

How?

By posting teasers of upcoming announcements and releases, exclusive content such as behind the scenes recordings, talks or presentations, and other every day events.

You can also increase engagement by responding to fans’ Snapchats. Snapchat is thought of as being an app for close friends and creates a sense of connection that is unique compared to other social sites.

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Snapchat recently announced the release of chat 2.0 which is largely audio based and allows you to communicate almost like you would when meeting a person face to face. This release allows users to seamlessly transfer from text, to stickers to pictures to audio to video, all while communicating with their Snapchat audience.

Follow Dan on Snapchat @thedannorris. Tell him you read this article and he’ll snap you back.

Unmute

Unmute is a platform that allows one to make phone calls through the app, though the calls are publicly broadcasted. Listeners can interact with the callers in the conversation by commenting and sharing photos. The phone call host can “unmute” the listeners, so they can also participate in the conversation much like a radio show where someone calls in. The phone sessions are recorded and can be shared later on other social media platforms or made into podcasts.

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This leaves the possibility open from just a group of friends having open phone conversations to celebrities or social influencers with tons of followers having an interactive phone conversation. Businesses and brands can build trust by allowing a more interactive and collaborative approach to phone calls. Celebrity endorsements or participation coupled with this approach will grow your followers.

Bellamy Young, the actress from “Scandal,” has hosted Unmute calls with thousands of her fan base. With a focus on audio based conversations, this app offers a great way for influencers with a following to talk to their followers without having to be camera ready. Hosts can also tweet out a link to the broadcast that allows anyone without the app to listen in to the live call.

The engagement and direct interaction between the host of the broadcast and their fans helps build a connection and trust. This is also a reason as to why the creators of the app managed to secure $2.2 million in seed funding.

Odibly

What appears to be an app to organize and share photos on mobile phones also incorporates adding audio descriptions. Odibly encourages its users to accompany their photos with audio instead of text, and friends/followers can leave audio comments. There are also messaging capabilities between contacts using photo and audio. This platform builds upon personal relationships and sharing experiences as captured through video and personal audio descriptions to promote trust and make the app successful.

odibly

At the time of writing, Odilbly is an Android only app. While there are a large number of Android users that you could potentially connect with, those whose devices use other operating systems would miss out. Odibly would therefore have to be part of your overall marketing strategy that could work well with some of your Instagram and or Snapchat audience.

Peach

Peach is a new, trendy mobile app that allows one to blog/journal like Tumblr and also allows a user to share audio, video, photos, GIFs, and text status messages. However, it is a very simple platform with the flair of using “magic word” lists of options to document a specific post, if one cares to use the feature.

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The simplicity of this app draws appeal from its user-friendliness to gain a sense of trust among its users, though it is limited to just friends to see a profile, no one can publicly follow a user.

While there has been some talk of this service going the way of Ello, a social media platform that was considered a Facebook alternative only to disappear into relative oblivion, it still has a core group of avid users like Choire Sicha, co-founder of the Awl media network, who use it regularly.

While there are risks with going with a new social media platform, for example they could cease to exist in 12 months, there could be huge rewards as well. Early Twitter users were rewarded by being featured as suggested users to follow and grew their audiences into hundreds of thousands of followers. Gary Vaynerchuk for example got on to Youtube and Snapchat early on and was able to build huge audiences.

ZCast

ZCast utilizes Twitter to share podcasts that are recorded on a smartphone and are easily published. Others can listen and respond with other audio clips recorded on a smartphone. The idea is that it is supposed to be a more interactive approach, instead of a podcast being a one-way publisher-to-listeners approach, podcasts will be have a community participating rather than just listening.

zcast

As with Twitter and many other social media platforms, one can subscribe to a user’s account. Currently, there are updates pending on the platform to allow for wider growth, increasing number of listeners/collaborator and wider sharing. The focus of ZCast to build trust is by allowing a more collaborative approach to podcasting. Current limitations should allow for more follower growth.

It has only been a couple of months since Zcast has launched, however a number of upcoming casts are featured including one by the Digital Coffee Podcast.

zcast for audio marketing

To get you started with using audio marketing to build trust on social media, we have compiled an audio tool set list that comprises of free and paid tools. Download it below.

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About

Vinay is the content marketing manager for WP Curve. Follow him @wpcurve

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