How to make audio more sharable in the internet age
You’ve created your beautifully crafted piece of radio. Or perhaps you’ve got a killer clip of the phone call where the little girl saves her mother’s life.
Or some unusual sound effects.
Whatever it is, you’re proud of it. You want to share it. You need others to hear it.
Sharing audio on the internet
Making audio go viral (horrible term) is the current holy grail for station marketers.
How do you cut through in a world that seems to demand videos, rather than pure audio?
There are no guarantees. But here are some ideas to consider.
1. Don’t make something rubbish
Let’s get the basics covered first: who wants to listen to something bland, dull and pointless?
Don’t waste people’s trust and time with content that you don’t care about.
2. Don’t try to make it go viral!
Counter-intuitive, but caring too much and forcing it won’t work. Just because you labelled the file ‘viralaudioclip1.mp3’, does not make it so.
Let go of the outcome. If it’s good, quality of listener response is more satisfying than quantity.
3. Put it somewhere that’s easy to share
A page of its own, an embeddable player on your site or a service like Soundcloud… make it easy for people to find, link and share.
4. Keep it short!
Research from Belgium suggests that younger listeners find anything more than 30 seconds in length too long.
5. Provide a transcript
This is probably the most important point.
Not everybody has the time or speaker set up to listen to the audio.
(Perhaps they are on a noisy train, or at work, or somewhere with a poor internet connection).
Not everybody can hear.
Google can’t identify the content inside an audio clip.
Providing a transcript for a short item doesn’t take long to create, is good practice for Accessibility purposes and gives you text that search engines can crawl.
It makes everyone happier, and helps more people enjoy your content.
What’s not to like?
6. Add a picture
The pictures are better on the radio. We know.
But an image at the top of the page or added to the embeddable player is more likely to grab people’s attention and result in click-throughs.
7. Consider turning your audio into a mini-video
This may sound like sacrilege, but can be very effective.
It can be very powerful to have the words floating along with the text, to aid anybody who can’t hear the audio very well and keep the attentions of those who can.
This clip of Ira Glass’s wisdom went round the internet.
Could you use a similar technique?
8. Put it on YouTube
If you have gone to the effort of getting a strong image, or making a mini text video, you may as well put the clip on YouTube.
YouTube is owned by Google and is ranked highly in searches.
It is also easy to embed and link items posted onto channels.
The easier you make it for people to share, the more likely that they will.
Many of your audience members live on YouTube anyway.
Why not show up there?
9. Marvellous metadata
Pay attention to the small things – what is your filename? Does it make sense? Is it rude?
Have you put a copy of the transcript into the show notes?
Do people know where the audio is from? If they love it, how do they click through to hear more?
10. Prompt people to share
Your listeners are busy. Ask them to share, if they liked your content.
And remember: don’t ask others to share something you wouldn’t recommend yourself.
If you don’t care about your ‘viral’ clip, why should anyone else?
Got any other suggestions for making audio easily shareable? Had a successful radio clip which went wild? I’d love to hear your story – just pop a comment below.
Photo credit: StockMonkeys.com.