00 | The Show Is About To Begin00 | The Show Is About To Begin
Nice to meet
Thanks for taking the time to crack open this eBook about audio for marketing - the next revolution in the world of digital and content marketing. Before we get started, I thought it would be nice to get to know each other a little.
My name is Tal Florentin and for the last decade, I have been one of the leading UX thought leaders in the Israeli market. I’m a published author, winner of the international UX award, and I founded the Israeli UX certification program; training hundreds of students to become UX professionals in the top companies of the start-up nation.
Additionally, I’ve led more than 160 UX design projects for fortunate-100 companies in the local market. My customers include companies such as Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Wix, Payoneer, Coca-Cola, HP and Progressive. After designing more than 5K screens and leading an endless amount of research processes, trying to explore user journeys and meeting points between people and digital products, it all became clear to me.
My Eureka moment
While designing digital solutions for so many companies, it was clear that a big change was arriving. Whilst companies keep on creating more and more content, human beings have less and less time and attention to deal with them. We are already reaching the point where content overload meets cognitive overload. Classic text-based content and video require our full attention, and our full attention is just too much to ask for now. This is where audio becomes the most interesting player; offering a new way to our ears and hearts.
Paying attention to that evolution paved the way for me to move forward and create my own product. I founded Summurai with the aim to help busy people know more with less effort and give companies the tools to communicate in this crowded era.
Audio has already been defined as the fifth digital disruption. While it is on the rise, what we see around us is just the tip of the iceberg. The fun parts are yet to be revealed, especially when it comes to audio taking its place as part of the communication between companies and their customers.
What do we have here?
This document was formed in order to give you the front row seat to the show that’s about to start.
TABLE OF CONTENT
What’s in this book?
In this brief paper, we’ll examine some new trends in the world of audio content and explain why audio is the next revolution. We’ll examine what makes audio so special and give you the tools to explore this opportunity for your business. We have included both theory and case studies in order to make it super practical for you.
1. Content Marketing needs help
2. The formula for great content
3. The fifth digital disruption
4. 10 undeniable benefits of audio
5. 22 ideas to do with audio
6. Summurai - where audio belongs
7. Exploring the content journey
8. Research: Audio is more engaging
9. It’s time for short-form audio
10. The ROI of digital content
11. The sushi of online content
12. Rethink your company blog
13. Finding your tone of voice
14. Audio recording on the fly
15. Case study: LG’s audio launch
16. Final NoteWe just need your phone...
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01 | Content Marketing Needs Help01 | Content Marketing Needs Help
“Content Marketing is the only marketing left” | Seth Godin
Content is ever changing and ever increasing.
The internet’s original basic HTML pages have given way to video platforms, user-generated blogs, podcasts and social media posts; with each new interruption presenting content in a new format that takes a different amount of time to consume. Nowadays, consumers are suffering from content overload, and content creators must think carefully where to place their content and in which format.
Search results rankings always seem to be the most important factor in determining the effectiveness of our content, but the truth is, large corporates have already cornered this market; they can afford to create much more content and they can pay more in order to promote it. Making it to the first page of a search result can no longer be considered an achievable target for most.
Content marketers are constantly concerned with the effectiveness of their content. Statistics show that 81% of B2B marketers and 90% of B2C marketers are concerned with creating content that builds loyalty.
However, only 28% of content marketers find content marketing successful. While everybody creates more and more content, most marketers have no clear figures for how effective their content ultimately is. Rather, they simply keep creating content out of momentum.We just need your phone...
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02 | The Formula for great content02 | The Formula for great content
There is, however, a secret formula for effective content lifecycle. When looking from the audience’s point of view, there are four elements that make content effective.
1. Create really valuable content
It starts with the basic requirement for great content that provides true value for our audience, rather than just what we want to say. Each piece of content has to offer real value for its human audience - rather than for Google.
2. Make the content accessible in various formats
We usually provide content in text-form, requiring our audience to actually read it from start to end and expecting them to do that right now. Providing an audio alternative and offering the option “to listen later instead of read now”, opens the door for a much higher engagement.
3. Provide short form content as well as long form
Think about it from a user’s point of view. If you could get the gist of the content in three minutes, would you still read the full piece? You would, only when the content you’ve found is super relevant and valuable. A short summary provides the tools to know if the full piece of content is worth the effort. Content should have a short-form alternative, in the same way websites have a mobile version.
4. Think Of long-term relationship (rather than one-time engagement)
For a long time, the main KPI for content has been the time spent on site. Publishers did everything they could in order to keep you on their page. This is due to the fact that acquisition costs are high and once you left, they weren’t able to get you back. When we offer the chance to listen later, it’s good timing to learn about the user’s preferences and offer the user the option to receive high quality content in audio form, directly to their phone. Think of podcasts becoming hyper-focused and hyper-personal and you getting into the car and choosing whether you’d like to listen to Spotify for your music, or for gaining knowledge and professional updates.
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03 | The Fifth Digital Disruption03 | The Fifth Digital Disruption
Before we were all connected at the hip to the internet, we had print media. Then came radio, then TV, and finally the stand-alone, disconnected and modem-less personal computer. Since the internet revolution, we have experienced four major digital disruptions: the World Wide Web, search engines, mobile internet access, and finally, social media. Each of these have revolutionized the way we access the internet and consume content. We’ve also made the jump from text-based to video-based content, and video content is the undisputed king today, with most online traffic going to streaming websites, and in particular, YouTube and Netflix.
Audio is the fifth and latest digital disruption. It’s also about to overtake video as the next significant content format. It may seem like an unnatural progression, given video is more engaging and significant, but this is actually where the true power of audio content rests; audio is the key that opens the door to a new world of opportunity and future relationships.
Let’s consider how engaging and significant an interaction is with an audio helper such as Siri or Alexa - or rather, isn’t. There is no significant need to focus our attention on them, is there? It’s like they fade into the background. We can interact with this format without it taking up any of our time and without having to stop everything we’re doing in order to concentrate on the audio. The fifth digital disruption does not steal time away from us, but rather blends into our schedule.We just need your phone...
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04 | Ten Undeniable Benefits Of Audio04 | Ten Undeniable Benefits Of Audio
Honestly, it took me a while to understand the real benefits audio has to offer. As you’ll see in the following list, the value of audio grows as you dive deeper:
1. Audio doesn’t require your full attention.
Unlike text and video, which require you to stop everything you do, audio is much more user-friendly and offers the chance to listen, whilst doing something else.
2. Audio can be consumed from any device.
A link to a branded audio player can be sent via email or SMS text message and embedded in any bot communication or automation flow. A web player can be used on any device connected to the internet, with zero barriers in the way.
3. Audio makes it easy for decision making.
Audio can be consumed whenever and wherever you are. The shorter the content is, the easier it will be for your audience to decide to click on the play button. When the right content finds its way to the right timing, you get the highest chances of that content to be consumed.
4. Some people prefer to listen, others prefer to read - and some do both.
Embedding audio within a text transcript will make sure people can consume it whenever and wherever they are. They will be able to choose if they want to listen, read, or do both at the same time (you won’t believe how many of them do that!). Giving your audience more options increases the chances they will actually consume the content.
5. Audio helps people who can’t read.
Whether this is dyslexia, language barriers or a vision limitation, audio provides an accessible alternative.
6. Audio is the perfect time-filler.
Audio turns wasted time into a well-managed time. Listening to content can be a great time-filler while your customers are stuck in traffic; working away in front of their computers; during their commute; while they’re jogging or walking the dog; during cleaning and dishwashing time, and even as they’re ready to go to bed.
7. Audio can find its way into our hearts.
While text is very formal and video is usually too artificial, audio has a much higher chance of affecting our emotions when used correctly. Audio can create empathy, compassion and trust.
8. Audio is much less expensive to produce.
Think of investing the production costs of video only to find out that people don’t find the time to watch, or in the best case – listen to your video, rather than watch it. Audio provides a much cheaper way to produce valuable content even if you make it super professional - and gives you a much more flexible way to deal with periodic content updates.
9. Audio is measurable.
Unlike text, which never provides a feedback on how engaged your reader was, audio can provide exact statistics and tell you exactly how many items were played and how long people listened to each one of your audio clips. You can choose to collect generic stats per clip or personal stats per listener.
We’ll dive much deeper into some of these benefits later on, but there’s one additional benefit that you just can’t ignore:
10. There is far less competition in the audio world.
Imagine finding a secret path that bypasses traffic. Text and video content are crowded lanes where your message must be incredibly loud in order to be heard, while audio content is kind of a ‘lost highway’ – uncrowded and practically undiscovered yet. It would be a shame to ignore this lane, lacking in content yet filled with customers craving more of it.
Let’s discover a way for our customers to effortlessly enjoy the value we provide.We just need your phone...
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The things audio can do for you and you didn't even think of05 | 22 Ideas To Do With Audio05 | 22 Ideas To Do With Audio
When asking marketers or digital managers about the use of audio for marketing, they automatically replace that with “Podcasts” and refer to the concept of podcasting. It’s high time we moved past the Audio = Podcast equation.
Podcasting is a fairly new concept which isn’t trivial to produce. It requires persistence, and more importantly, it would only work if you hire talent that’s passionate about the subject you’d like to talk about. Podcasting is a form of entertainment and it would be one of the hardest content activities to get a significant return on investment from.
Audio offers so much more, though marketers often miss that, since almost nobody plays there yet. Fortunately, you’ve given us a chance to open this door for you. Imagine the impact of finding a new channel and playing there before the big guys arrive. That’s what audio offers. Audio for marketing is a totally unchartered territory, and you’ll soon find out how it can overcome text and video and reach your audience.
Redesign all of your content with audio
Take a look at all of the types of content your company is creating: Blog posts, eBooks, white papers, one-pagers, brochures, product instructions, user manuals, newsletters, release notes, company updates and investor-relations material. No matter what type of content you create, replacing or repurposing it with an audio-form, placing it on a web-based branded audio player and sending it to your audience is the next big thing.
22 things you can do right now with audio
When you open your mind for audio, you’ll be amazed how many opportunities lay in front of you. Here are a few ideas we invite you to let your mind play with:
Blogging and content marketing
1. Add audio player to your blog and offer readers to listen or email for later.
2. Rethink your blog and replace it with audio summaries.
3. Add the option to listen when you send your next newsletter.
4. Turn your existing blog content into a podcast.
5. Give your company leaders an audio recorder and start a branded audio blog.
6. Turn eBooks or white papers into audio playlists and use them to get leads and track engagement.
7. Host your podcast on your website with a branded player and allow registration.
8. Create podcast-curation content hubs.
9. Send audio instructions to your clients directly after they purchase your product.
10. Add a QR code on your product and invite the buyers to listen.
11. Let your sales team record a personal brief and send to your clients.
12. Replace the monthly report with an audio brief to your clients.
13. Replace sales calls with audio playlist and email them to reduce sales calls time.
14. Reduce support call length by sending pre-recorded audio playlists.
Internal communication and training
15. Start a weekly audio updates channel.
16. Send audio briefs to distributed teams.
17. Create an audio sales kit and send to all of your distributors.
18. Embed audio playlists in your onboarding for new workers.
19. Get the CEO to send a monthly audio update.
20. Keep your team updated with audio summaries for trending web content.
21. Add an audio product description to the classic textual product page.
22. Increase trust and engagement by replacing product recommendations and testimonials with audio on your ecommerce page.
You’ll be surprised to know that each one of these represents a real case we’ve already have running for our clients.
Audio is much bigger than you imagined
In the next few chapters, we will show you how you can explore the customer journey and identify potential opportunities to embed audio. Before that, creating audio simply won’t be enough if you can’t find a way to place your branded content; therefore, we’d like to introduce Summurai.We just need your phone...
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Branded audio content needs a place to be created and managed from, and we think we created it...06 | Summurai - Where Audio Belongs06 | Summurai - Where Audio Belongs
As content marketers, your audio Summies (audio summary clips) – should go on a dedicated platform which can be branded with your own brand identity. Summurai’s platform can be used to create, as well as store all of your content under your own brand; in the same way that WordPress or Wix are used to create websites. Your brand can use Summurai’s platform to create channels; manage content; track and improve stats; manage subscribers; attach it to your newsletters or share your content online; and even embed it on your company website.
The philosophy behind Summurai
The name ‘Summurai’ is a merge between a summary and a samurai warrior. 900 Years ago, Samurais were in charge of guarding the assets of their Japanese landlords. Summurai aims to do the same today, where the landlords would be your target audience and their assets wouldn’t be the physical ones, but rather the most valuable asset of them all – time. Summurai was created in order to help busy people know more with less effort by creating audio summaries for online articles. But during our journey, we found out that the audio content we create don’t have to be just summaries. They can be used to create so many other audio-first interactions between a brand and its audience.
As you log into Summurai’s portal, you’re able to create your own audio content channels, with each channel acting as a playlist. You can define all the visual elements of the channel to match it with your brand identity, whether you are an organization, or an independent content creator. You end up with your own branded channel within the Summurai platform which you can host on your own website as an alternative (or addition!) to your written blog.
Remember – your content will be completely branded, Summurai is just the infrastructure. Our player can be integrated into your content pages by adding the proper code into the page source or using a WordPress plugin. No additional involvement is required. For example, you can add a “Listen” button to the top of your content page, or you can add a live player within your content pages.
Alternatively, you can extract your personal link to a playlist or a single Summy and place it in an email, a text message or embed it within an automation process, or even a chat bot conversation. Your customers will be able to open the link from any browser and listen from desktop and mobile, without having to install any additional element.
Design your Summy
Each Summy can appear with its own image; promo text; branded intro; narrator photo and even a call-to-action button, such as “Call us”, “Fill out this form” or “Schedule a demo”.
You can also add locations on Google Maps or links to the full article, in case you are summarizing an online text. You can arrange each item in order, like you would with blog posts. The listener only needs to press Play, and nothing else. We also provide a full transcript of each summary, so your listener can read while listening - or simply read the transcript, if they prefer.
Summurai also offers the invaluable option to “send to mobile”, in case your listener comes across interesting content while at their desktop computer; but wants to listen to it later on their mobile device. They will then receive a text message with a link to the audio summary, which they can listen to on-demand.
Public or private, free or paid
You can make your content freely available for anyone to listen to, or as a lead generation tool available only for registered subscribers. Your channel can be public, private or unlisted; it can be free or paid, opening the door to a new type of monetization channel for creators - either through a subscription or a one-time fee.
Finally, you’ll be able to export your playlists as podcasts and upload to podcast platforms, as well as share your audio content via email, text apps such as WhatsApp, and social media.
Summurai offers a host of stats for your audio, so you can always check which audio content works best. For each item, you will get stats for the number of listeners, listener engagement and burndown, traffic sources, as well as demographics (the listeners’ country(s) of origin), so you’ll always know what works best for your channel.
Don’t be a stranger and come visit us: SummuraiWe just need your phone...
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Finding the right places for audio over the customer's journey07 | Exploring The Content Journey07 | Exploring The Content Journey
Speaking from the world of UX design, exploring the customer journey is one of the most powerful tools you can have. Looking from your target audience’s point of view and exploring what they do, when and where reveals how people interact with your brand.
For example – take that 15-page eBook PDF you downloaded for free. Now look at your customer’s day and tell me – when were you planning for them to find time for that? In their main working hours, while they are in front of the PC, trying to get their work done? Or maybe when they sit in front of the TV with their smartphone next to them?
Different device = different behavior
We all spend our days in front of multiple electronic devices. A typical day is spent with our smartphone within reach throughout every waking moment. We check it about 140 times per day on average, but normally use it for very brief interactions such as checking emails or sending a text message. We have a desktop computer which will grab our attention for around eight hours per day at work, and a tablet which we will use for around 15-30 minutes in the evening. Finally, our Smart TV will occupy a couple of hours of our time each night.
Let’s keep in mind something extremely important and not that apparent - we use our smartphone at the same time as interacting with other devices. It’s with us even while we are working away at our computers or watching TV. The same goes for the tablet, albeit we use it much less frequently. Each device has a different role throughout the day, and they complement each other rather than compete with each other for our attention.
Creating content vs. consuming content
When marketers are busy creating content, they are typically working away on their desktop computers during work hours. But marketers are not the customers, and few of them actually consider the fact that their content will ultimately be consumed on a different device and outside of work hours. We must therefore ask ourselves how our content can fit into the customer’s timeline.
Written content will probably not be read by our customers during their work hours, when they are trying to be productive. They’re not going to stop what they’re doing in order to read an article. However, once they’re back home, they may immediately turn on the TV and switch into passive mode: they’re no longer interested in focusing their attention on an in-depth text. It seems that there is no right time for the customers to actually consume our content.
If you look at our day, you’ll find that besides the productive hours in front of the PC and the passive hours in front of the TV, we have a lot of small spaces in between. However, nor text neither video can fit into these spaces. There’s only one format that can find its place in between. You guessed correctly - audio!
Placing audio within the customer journey
UX design taught me how powerful the user of customer journey map can be for identifying potential opportunities for technology to meet people. If there’s one exercise I’d like you to take from this document – it is the following one:
Take a paper or clean your whiteboard and draw your customer journey from the earliest stage you can think of until after the final interaction with your product or service. Draw a circle for each interaction your customer has with you on a physical, digital or any other level and an arrow between one point to the other. On top of each ones of the arrows write the time gap between each step in the journey. Once you have this chart in front of you, you’ll find an interesting concept. If you’ll explore most of the steps in your chart, you’ll see that if you count five minutes after each one of them – this would be a great timing to use audio.
Think of a process of purchasing a new Nespresso coffee machine. Once you left the store and placed the machine safely in your car, you are probably heading home, excited to install it and give it a first try. Wouldn’t it be perfect to send you an audio playlist and tell you everything you need to learn more about the Nespresso philosophy, how to handle the machine and get the best coffee experience, how the coffee capsules are produced and what happens with the recycled ones, all on the drive home?
Once this communication was formed, and Nespresso launches their next new limited addition capsule, it would only make sense to send a message with a link to an audio intro to the new capsule and a call-to-action button inviting your customers to order online.
Each customer journey opens the door to different opportunities; when put in the hands of creative professionals, they will turn into inspiring and profitable experiences.We just need your phone...
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08 | Audio Is More Engaging!08 | Audio Is More Engaging!
One recent surprising neuroscience study revealed that audio content is a more engaging medium than video. The study, conducted by UCL Consultants in collaboration with Audible back in 2018, measured emotional responses in the brain to see if there is a difference between consuming the two types of content (1). One hundred volunteers from a wide demographic listen to and watched an excerpt of a dramatic scene in two versions - audiobook and video. The excerpts were taken from eight blockbuster movie or TV shows with a corresponding audiobook version: A Game of Thrones, The Da Vinci Code, Alien, Pride and Prejudice, The Silence of the Lambs, A Study in Scarlett, The Girl on the Train and Great Expectations. Specific shocking or dramatic scenes were chosen especially, such as the alien bursting out of a character’s chest in Alien, or Ned Stark’s beheading in A Game of Thrones (1).
It’s a matter of heat beats
The experiment revealed a remarkably consistent change in the heart rate of the participants when they consumed audio content compared to watching the same content in video format. Average heart rate showed an increase of around two beats per minute when listening to the audio version, whereas body temperature increased for most participants by nearly 2ºC when listening to the audiobook excerpts compared to the video ones, as did their galvanic skin response – signs of cognitive processing and sub-conscious emotional arousal occurring in the brain of the participants (2). Participants seemed to be engaging more deeply in the audio content compared to the video content, suggesting that the body seems to be doing more work when we are listening to audio.
So, the science confirms what we already know: audio is a more engaging medium than video, and listeners of audio content are more focused on the content than viewers are of video format content. Oddly enough, when surveyed, the participants were quite convinced that the video content kept them more captivated than the audio excerpts did. The heart, though, does not lie. As the research showed, the audio format may give content creators much better control over the emotional responses of their consumers than video content ever can (2).
A future project is already under development to measure empathic responses consumers have to audio versus video content. But the existing research is already clear: changing the way a story is delivered from video to audio increases the emotional impact it has on us. Your audience will be able to better interpret and better identify with your message if you adapt it to the immersive medium of audio.We just need your phone...
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09 | It's Time for Short-Form Audio09 | It's Time for Short-Form Audio
When marketers think of podcasts as their main form of audio content delivery, they are ignoring an important trend in the evolution of digital content: conciseness.
Content has been getting shorter and more concise as the internet has developed. Books, newspapers, long-form blog posts (LiveJournal, anyone?) and lengthy essays on Medium have been giving way to short text in the form of social media posts, taken to the extreme by Twitter’s character limit. It has become essential to be brief and concise, since no one has the time anymore to delve into an in-depth text.
There is also a clear tendency to prefer shorter video content, as exemplified by Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Snapchats, and, most recently, TikTok videos. We consume far more of these per day than we do any long-form video.
And then there is audio: the same trend is happening here, too; though fewer marketers are grasping this opportunity. Audiobooks and podcasts are still the norm for audio content, leaving the world of short-form audio nearly entirely unattended.We just need your phone...
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10 | The ROI Of Digital Content10 | The ROI Of Digital Content
Whenever you decide to digest any piece of content, you measure your ROI. In other words, each time you decide to read an article, watch a video or listen to a podcast or any other type of content, you ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” and try to estimate whether the value is worth the effort.
This is where click-bait plays an important part messing with our minds. A title of “7 Things You Must Do To Become A Millionaire” would try to increase the presumed value of the content, to help you take action, when at the end, you’ll probably find out you didn’t get anything out of it at all.
When we built Summurai - we defined a new ranking method called “Value/Effort Ratio” or V.E.R. - this is our internal terminology. Don’t look it up on the web!
A long piece of text will require your time and your full attention. This is a high cost. It will be defined as a good ROI, if the content you read will be outstanding. Same thing with video. Video can be played in a higher speed, therefore reducing the cost on the equation.
A 45-minute podcast would require 45 minutes of your time, but this time is much less expensive if you are already driving. If the podcast has zero value, at least it helped you get through that traffic jam.
Providing the best value for your time
When we designed our content strategy, we tried to figure out what type of content would have the highest V.E.R rank possible and came out with the model of providing audio summaries for online content.
Imagine an academic study or an eBook you really wanted to read, e.g. “Stanford’s insight document on practical research-based actions that help businesses grow during Covid-19”. The original document is seven pages long. Imagine getting a four-minute audio summary of that report and listening to that on the go. Then imagine finding out that the original article has almost zero added value on top of the summarized version!
Let me give you another example. Think of that marketing conference you wanted to attend to but couldn’t. Imagine you get a free access to all of the videos. A total of six hours of full lectures you will never watch. Right? Now imagine getting an audio playlist with eight three-minute audio summaries, covering the main insights from each one of the talks.
Imagine how you would feel after listening for 25 minutes; eliminating that FOMO and giving you the main insights that you missed.We just need your phone...
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Every great piece of content on the web should have a Summy11 | The Sushi Of Online Content11 | The Sushi Of Online Content
Meet the Summy
We call Summurai’s bite-sized audio summaries Summies. Think of them as the sushi of online content - optimized to be consumed easily and with full flavor. A Summy is typically 300-400 words and three-minutes long.
Much of the content around us is simply not valuable to us. Even an academic article can be full of unnecessary data, and just its mere length will prevent us from accessing it. Such an essay can be summarized by an expert in that particular academic field, who can dilute it down to its core message.
A Summy is the short audio version of any other content piece - an academic study, a conference talk, an online article, a video or a podcast. Longer forms of content, such as white papers or eBooks would usually be transferred into a playlist of multiple Summies.
Three types of behavior
After listening to a short, three-minute summary of any piece of content, there are usually three types of feedback:
• Case 1: “Thank God I didn’t read this!”
In some cases, you’ll find that the article has nothing new for you. This would be calculated as a great ROI. At least you didn’t stop everything and wasted your time reading the full piece, right?
• Case 2: “Nice concept! I should definitely try that!”
In other cases, you’ll find great content with practical insights you can actually put to use right away. In such cases, you’ll definitely want to share the Summy with some of your colleagues and you’ll even find yourself entering the room and sharing a nice piece of information with your team, making you the smartest person in the room. The ROI just got even better.
• Case 3: “Wow. I must dive deeper into that!”
In rare cases, you’ll bump into such a valuable source of content that you’ll feel like you have to dive deeper. In these cases, you’ll want to mark the Summy so you can go back later and read the full source. Knowing that the item is saved and available for you will provide a feeling of security, although in reality, you’ll probably never really go to read that full article. In this case, diving deeper could be translated into listening to more Summies around that area of knowledge and implementing the concept of micro-learning.We just need your phone...
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Why starting from scratch if someone else already wrote that?Creation vs. Curation: Rethink your company blog
Curation vs. Creation
Let’s say you plan to launch a new blog. Let’s ask a few questions:
• What would be easier? Creating blog posts from scratch or finding the best articles on the web and creating summaries for them?
• Which type of content would have a higher quality? An item your bloggers created based on keyword research to make Google satisfied or a summary of an article defined as a masterpiece?
• What would make your brand look better? A classic textual blog post or an audio playlist?
• Which type of content would be defined by your customers as higher ROI or V.E.R?
Well, you get the point…
Someone already wrote it
Audio summaries are the new alternative for content marketing; you can use them for many different types of content; and making branded content accessible via audio is a perfect fit for the current state of the internet, which is on the verge of this new digital disruption. For content marketing, audio summaries are the new and improved alternative to classic blogs.
Getting loads of content fast with OPC (Other people’s content)
Creating a content hub with the top articles on the web and providing the easiest way to consume them and stay up to date is an approach worth considering. Doing this will provide a much shorter TTM (time to market) and help you go live with much more content, much quicker. In addition, if you are looking for brand awareness, it will be considered by your customers as a much more innovative and valuable service, letting you enjoy the fruits of that.
The process of creating audio summaries
Creating your Summy channel – an aggregated page with audio article summaries – requires 4 steps:
In this step, you have to find a professional with the relevant knowledge, who would be able to spend time and find the best articles on the web. It wouldn’t be enough to read the titles. This person would have to actually read them in order to make sure that they have real value for human beings, rather than just for Google.
This is where the same professional or another one will have to step into your audience’s shoes and figure out what they would try to take out of this article. Creating a valuable summary that’s not shallow is not an easy thing to do. Another thing to keep in mind is making sure you rewrite the content and stay away from any plagiarism (although Summies should always include a credit and a link to the source article). Another important element is the need for the text to be written in a form that makes it easy to narrate. Text created for reading is different from a script created for narration.
Now, your Summy gets a voice. Besides the actual recording process, you’ll have to decide who is going to narrate it – a female or male? Young or mature? Will they use a Native American accent or an international UK tone? Would it be formal or informal? Different types of interactions require different types of narration.
4. Packing and delivering.
Now that you have your audio ready, you’ll have to find a place to host it. Placing your branded audio in Spotify or SoundCloud will make the content theirs. If you’d like to create your own branded audio content channel, Summurai is the place for you.
Each one of these steps can be done within your content team or by your content service provider. At Summurai’s content agency, we provide the full service for some of our clients. This could be a great place for content agencies to expand their offering.We just need your phone...
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13 | Finding Your Tone Of Voice13 | Finding Your Tone Of Voice
Human voice artists are used to narrate the Summies. Text-to-speech technology has come a long way, but even the most natural sounding text-to-speech narration sounds fabricated and requires a lot of cognitive effort from the past of the listener. We recognize that an artificial voice is inauthentic, and that listeners cannot listen to it in an absorbing manner; they tend to concentrate on the speech itself, rather than the content. It becomes even more of an issue for non-natives speakers of English, or whichever language our audio content is in.
Human narration, therefore, is the logical way to go, as it requires little cognitive effort on our part. Together with a human voice, we should also give our text a human touch. After all, narrating a piece originally written as text content is different to narrating pure audio content – we simply don’t use the exact same language when writing and speaking.
Summurai incorporates voice art into all its narrations – this means the transcreation of written text into audio content and narration of that content in an appropriate way for our target audience. The important thing is for the narration to require as little cognitive effort as possible, so that it’s easy to consume the audio as a secondary activity, while doing something else.
A narration aimed at young adults would be much more informal than, say, content from an insurance agency aimed at seniors; just like a delivery meant to sound professional would be different to one intended to sound like your friend from school.
The question to ask, therefore, is which shoes should the narrator be wearing while narrating a piece? You can be sure that at Summurai, we have every shoe in our closet you could possibly think of.We just need your phone...
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Professional audio production? Maybe there's another way to look at it14 | Audio Recording On The Fly14 | Audio Recording On The Fly
A different approach to audio recording
Creating audio has never been as simple as it is today. Microphones are cheap and offer good value for money, so there’s no need to invest top money in creating a professional studio. But for some people, getting into audio is a barrier.
That’s why we decided to take one step forward and make audio content creation even simpler than that with our new app: Summurai Recorder, available through the Google Play and the Apple App Stores. The Summurai Recorder provides around 80% of the noise filtering and audio enhancement benefits that recording studios offer, but with zero effort and at no cost, when recording with your existing headphones (Airpods are great!). This is the quickest way ever to create audio content; replacing hours of work needed to deliver a typical blog, vlog or podcast episode.
The fun part is that besides the straight-forward audio recording process, after completing the recording and adding a photo, title and caption, your recorded Summy can then be upload directly to your branded content channel; in less than a minute, your content is live. A textual transcript for the audio content is created on the fly and you get a unique URL you can share to social media or send in a text message.
Even independent content creators who are currently bloggers should make their content easier to consume by adding an audio layer. But it doesn’t stop there: audio-first content, originally created as short-form audio, is entirely virgin territory right now, and Summurai is the perfect platform to utilize when developing your audio blog.
It’s time for Captain’s log and audio stories
At the beginning, we tried to make audio recording as good as studio recording, but then we found out that we were missing the whole point. Recording in a natural environment, with background noises, without editing or saying the perfect phrase creates a new opportunity to produce much more authentic and trustworthy content, rather than an overproduced studio piece.
It’s about time Star Trek’s vision of the Captain’s Log will provide a real solution. As we delve into the fifth digital disruption, we no longer have to adhere to the constraints of professional podcast recordings, and our content no longer needs to sound completely ‘polished’ before publication.
Instead of trying to imitate podcasts, we will mimic real-life interactions, where even some background noise is completely normal. It’s time to add “Audio Stories” to the list of content types.We just need your phone...
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How audio turned to be the saver of LG's Covid-19 launch?15 | Case Study: LG’s Audio Launch15 | Case Study: LG’s Audio Launch
Launching a new product during Covid-19
One of the things Covid-19 changed for us all is the way we communicate. I’m talking about sales communication. While avoiding physical contact, it seems like Covid-19 has also promoted new digital opportunities for effective communication.
A few weeks ago, LG launched a new smartphone device in our local market. While having strict limits on public gathering, there was just no way all sales agents of the different resellers would be informed on time.
LG’s audio sales training playlist for resellers
Here’s what we did: We took all of LG’s marketing material related to the new device and edited it into a nine-minute audio playlist - which sounds just like the sales training manager’s pitch. The playlist was made out of seven short audio items – each explaining a different aspect of the product. In some of the Summies, we added a short video to show the relevant feature in action.
The branded playlist was sent over to a few hundreds of sales agents – directly to their phones, allowing them to listen during their daily routine. The thing with audio is that is allows to listen spontaneously, without the need to “find the right time”. The playlist required a short registration, allowing the local LG distributor to track performance and see exactly who listened to what. The engagement was outstanding, allowing to get the sales teams on board just in time for the product launch, with minimal budget and almost zero in-person interaction.
Getting information out there in time
Sales teams these days find less time to spend together. Providing audio briefs can make information move faster. These can be professionally edited and recorded product brief playlists, ad-hoc recordings of sales managers sharing instructions with their own voice, or industry news and trends digested and sent to your sales teams. We believe sales communication can work differently.We just need your phone...
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16 | Final Note16 | Final Note
Will you join the party?
The audio revolution has already started and it’s here to stay. We all know that those who arrive early, get the front seat and enjoy the biggest show. Like any other digital revolution, when you discover it, you have to decide if you’d like to take the early train - or wait for the next ride.
We invite you to join audio revolution in its ever-growing transformation and create your first audio channel with Summurai. After all, who knows when the next revolution will show up?
We've put a lot of work into this eBook, ensuring that we meet our own standards of super high value - with the lowest effort! If you have any comments or ideas, or simply want to get to know us a little better, let's talk. Don’t think twice and write to me at tal at summurai.com.We just need your phone...
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