See how changes in consumer behaviors are making marketers re-evaluate the music choices in their content.

Music and audio experiences remain an integral part of consumers’ lives today. Just consider the meteoric rise of podcasts. Research shows that 26% of consumers — or 73 million Americans — listen to at least one podcast a month, compared with just 9% back in 2008. Now most consumers can name their favorite podcast just as they would their favorite TV show. And water cooler gossip is as likely to be about Serial as about Game of Thrones.

Consumers are also starting to diversify where they get their music and audio content from. NPR and Edison Research’s Smart Audio Report reveals that 21% of adult American consumers now own a smart speaker. What’s more, 52% who do own one use it on a daily basis. Between Amazon’s array of Alexa supported devices and Google Home’s speakers and virtual assistants, consumers have many options. And now that both Amazon and Google have introduced ad-supported streaming music services, it’s easier than ever for listeners to find the audio content they’re looking for and gain instant access to it.

For marketers looking to maximize their multi-channel marketing efforts, the music choices they make for  content on both audio-only and video channels play an important role in having effective content. Take the example of startup financial services company Wealth Simply. If you’ve seen their popular award winning digital video spots, you’ll almost immediately recognize the airy synth-tone music at the start of each video “interview.” This video series gives a powerful example of why something as simple as a few seconds of carefully chosen music can set the tone and mood for a campaign and become a critical and recognizable creative element for it.

Lets explore further why music choices are important for marketers to be paying more attention to when developing content strategies.

Changing Behavior Brings Changes in Marketing

The evolving consumer trends mentioned earlier require more exploration, because as consumer behavior changes, so should marketing strategies. You may not need to revisit where you connect with consumers online, but it’s worth considering how you do it. In 2019, growing media consumption means brands will need to produce more audio content. With visually driven touch points like online videos, websites, and smartphone apps, the right music, voice, and sound design can add an important emotional element to your campaigns.

Buoyed by their renewed interest in audio and its various formats and forms, consumers are paying closer attention to the soundtrack of your marketing campaigns. Not only does this have an impact on how potential customers perceive your brand, but it can also improve brand and product awareness and lead to more store visits (online or brick and mortar) and sales.

  • Audio is memorable. Nielsen found that consumers who hear a radio commercial are 35 percent more aware of the ad than those who were only exposed to it on TV.
  • Audio engages consumers. At a Nielsen event that took place last year, one marketing expert and former CEO of Home Depot explained that he always supplemented his TV campaigns for local events with radio ads. Failing to do so reduced the amount of foot traffic Home Depot got to it each of its store in those areas.

Video and Music Go Hand in Hand

Marketers have long been focusing their energies on creating better video campaigns. Hollywood-quality production value (try Shutterstock Select), the use of professional videographers and directors, and shooting footage on digital cinema cameras has dramatically improved the caliber of digital marketing content. The audio choices that marketers make are just as important as the decisions they make about visual content like photos, illustrations, and video. That’s because sound has an all-encompassing influence over other media formats.

  • Investments expected to increase. Knowing that spending on digital video is expected to top $58 billion by 2023 (compared with $69 billion for TV), it stands to reason that marketers should prioritize the music selection process for their campaigns.
  • Marketers already see the potential. Many marketers are already investing in more audio content. Studies estimate that marketing spending on audio in the US is expected to exceed
    $20 billion by 2020.

Picking the Right Music for Your Campaign

The consistent use of music and other audio elements can turn a barren campaign into a branded content ecosystem, with the companies’ visual and audio identities forming a strong relationship. Choosing the right music helps a brand’s messages come across in the right way. But in order to deliver a premium brand experience across every touchpoint, marketers should abide by a proven set of guidelines for selecting the correct music and voice sounds.

For consumers, songs, melodies, and rhythms create connection points to current or past headspaces and emotions. An environmentally conscious brand could use music from folk or classical genres to showcase a softer value like sustainability, for instance. In contrast, leaning toward electronic soundscapes might yield a better return on investment for a cutting-edge tech brand.

Making the right music choices can also help brands come across as an advocate for an idea, lifestyle, or cause. Now that the marketing industry has started to backup the importance of sound for brands, advertisers will have to introduce audio strategies to match the focus they put on their visual channels. More versatility, customization, and localization of music and audio content will help to ensure your brand identity stays consistent.

Royalty-Free Music to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Haven’t you heard? Whether being used in in podcasts, audiobooks, and radio, or providing the emotional charge in videos, games, and event spaces, sound has an uncanny ability to enhance a brand’s performance. Shutterstock Premier has the music and sound options in a range of styles and genres, and for use in all marketing needs.

Check out our vast selection of royalty-free music here.

Top image via Syda Productions.

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