4 Ways to Develop an Effective Audio StrategySeptember 17, 2020
The World Is Going Mobile – and So Is Audio
Mobile content has gradually become an integrated user experience focusing on diversity, engagement, and quality. The hardware has taken similar steps forward to allow for enhanced experiences. One of the elements that have undergone a significant transition on mobile phones is music, which is increasingly becoming a central part of smartphone users’ customer experience. Instagram Stories feature enables users to add music to their videos and photos. This means a billion global users with access to audio content and information whenever they want.
Add to this development the growing worldwide popularity of other sonic mediums like podcasts and audiobooks, fueled by smartphone usage. Audio is more important than ever, especially when it comes to advertising. Instagram is one of the most important marketing platforms in the world right now, and this position has only been strengthened through the newest development. Thanks to mobile phones, users can consume audio even when their screens are off. Research shows that 53% of Americans are streaming audio every week. Smartphones have expanded the playing field for audio consumption. Audio quality is shown to influence how credible the content is, and with the latest development, no marketer can afford to neglect the quality of their audio production.
Audio hardware might also be the new selling point for smartphones. Where higher megapixel cameras are used to create a buzz whenever a new phone hits the market, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Now, Nokia believes that audio enhancement could replace cameras as the main element to spike smartphone sales.
Of course, this won’t come easy. As consumers have gotten used to high-quality phones, the audio experience will need to match the screen quality. Smartphone brands are now preparing to engage in a race for kilohertz and bits, while phone speakers are getting better and better. Consumer expectations will rise with them. But since video and audio combined drive the highest rate of content interaction, there shouldn’t be too large a gap in quality between the two. This holds true both in terms of content and production.
1. Customize Your Audio
To bridge the gap between audio and visuals, not just any kind of audio will work. The audio that will adapt to the new possibilities has to be customized, both in terms of content and quality. With custom-made audio, brands can control the production quality from beginning to end. They can work directly with the composer to create a unique branding sound rather than just downloading a standard library track at a fixed price. Stock music and quality don’t go hand in hand, while customized audio content allows you to get exactly what you need to meet your marketing goals and give power to your branding.
2. Consistently Test and Validate Your Sounds
Custom sound production provides you with the opportunity to test and improve your audio’s durability over time. Especially when it comes to the mobile environment and product sounds for games, SaaS, and life enhancement apps, this can prove valuable in the long term. Sounds that are frequently heard by a large group of users can be worn out, so it is essential to ensure the audio replay value. Stress testing your product sounds can help to safeguard your audio and prevent user dissatisfaction. Going with stock music will be a cheaper option. Still, you will be left with a static, uneditable product that, unlike custom sounds, can’t be tweaked and perfected for a better user experience.
3. Align Music With Your Brand
Another vital part of testing your customized audio is to check whether it fits your purpose. Music is a highly subjective experience, but you must ensure that your audio fits the mood and tone of both your visuals and your brand in general. It won’t do with music, which only matches the producer, product manager, or the production team’s personal preferences. When you have music created to suit the brand, your marketing efforts will have a more significant impact and resonate with your audience.
4. Put Guidelines in Place
It is just as important to set guidelines for your brand audio as it is for your visual branding. Whereas the visual instructions will include pixel dimension and color codes, you need to establish the aspects for your audio use. For your audio to produce a full sound in large sound speakers, you need high-resolution audio files with a bit depth of 24-bit and the sound resolution to be 44.1 kilohertz. Which already is playable in our smartphones, just like video cameras have been squeezed in there. For that reason, it is best to prepare and make sure your sound quality can stand the test.
It is important to remember that the match between audio and visuals will only work as long as your quality lives up to expectations. When more and more mobile brands start investing in sound, the content producers will hurry to match the new hi-tech framework with equally high-quality productions. To avoid being left behind, you need to jump on the audio train before it leaves the station.