If I say the blogosphere (and every other content creator out there, for that matter) is involved in a constant and ruthless competition for the time and attention of visitors, I’m not saying much.
But, if I say there is a way to increase the amount of time people spend on your blog, my guess is you’ll be interested to find out if I’m onto something.
I think I am and I have numbers to back me up. The solution? Adding audio to your blog (I like to use the term ‘audiofy’) through the power of text to speech technology.
For starters, things have changed in the past few years when it comes to content consumption. As someone who is offering a reading experience only, you have to meet your readers where they are. Right now, they are listening more than they are reading. Your readers (soon to be listeners) are largely on the go, consuming content while doing something else.
Something else = everything.
Audio as a technique to improve user experience
Thanks to rapid developments in voice technology, there’s more convenience present in the everyday user experience. Techniques to improve user experience are expanding. Life as we know it is now more streamlined toward efficiency than ever before, extending the reach of multitasking. As a direct result, readers-turned-listeners are spending more time in one specific content consumption area which you and fellow bloggers and content creators are still not taking advantage of, even with the opportunity right there.
We’re living in exciting times of an exponential audio technology revolution. Some call it audio renaissance as the medium has been around for a while, and I think it fits. But whatever you decide to call it, the fact remains – audio is stronger than ever before.
Edison Research has an extensive collection of studies pointing audio content is in a constant increase. Whether it’s in the form of podcasts, spoken word, streaming audio, or any other format, the usage is up across the globe – not just in the US.
I caught a glimpse of a rather interesting stat in my Twitter feed about the advance of audio: about 90% of smartphone usage falls on apps, and digital audio accounts for the biggest share of that time spent, with social media and digital video following. I would have never imagined audio would be the driver of action on smartphones but that just shows once more where the world is at.
A listening experience means new opportunities
It’s an online world where more and more content creators looking to increase user engagement on website are choosing the most straightforward way of not only engaging but also monetizing their audiences – audio articles. Through realistic text to speech technology, audio provides a way to engage with visitors across different devices while they are out and about, at their work desk, while driving or commuting, at the gym, and so on, while enabling to monetize them via audio ads inserted into the content
He’s engaged, all right.
The audiofying process is very easy and only takes a few minutes. It consists of placing a piece of code (which magically turns into a built-in audio player) anywhere on a blog. It seamlessly blends with the existing surroundings and is typically customizable to include different looks, languages, playback settings, and such.
For instance, we just announced a WordPress plugin that audiofies any WordPress blog and turns readers into listeners with just a few clicks. And all of it is free – there is no cost to create content and generate engagement out of it. If your blog is hosted on WordPress, that’s definitely something I recommend you check out and give a try.
In the fight for eyeballs, content becomes more and more expensive. As a blogger, all you need to do to maximize it is to convert your new and old articles to audio and get an audio version ready for immediate use, narrated with lifelike sounding voices (if you don’t believe me,try listening to this article). Hence, you can effectively publish content at the convenience of your audience.
The beauty of it is that the playback continues in the background, allowing your visitors to browse through your other content while they listen. The native audio player can engage your audience in a new yet familiar and absolutely natural way so they stick around longer despite the declining attention spans.
Along with the cheap cost of entry (if at all), contech (content technology) will further expand the level of convenience. By complementing the listening experience and adding more value through content aggregation and recommendation, contech will increase engagement through top trending and related content based on continuous learning of visitors’ behavior. They will spend more time on your blog, combing through and exploring more content, text and video included.
See? Everybody’s happy.
All aboard the audio train
The audio revolution/renaissance is a fact. People are increasingly demanding and relying on immediate content consumption, and audio perfectly solves that challenge. In order to stay in the game and have a healthy page on time metric, you need to be where your visitors are. You need to tailor your content to their evolving needs and interests. It’s a matter of adjusting: the rate of change is so fast I predict that soon it will be inconceivable to offer a screen-based experience only – much like offering a print copy is a thing of the past.
To be clear: I’m not bashing the written word. Reliance on it is understandable for various reasons, starting with text being the predominant way to make websites indexable for people to find them through search engines to the proven way how people absorb information.
But we all do it in different ways, and if audio’s comeback has shown anything, it’s that audio content is playing an increasingly larger role in our everyday lives. By being progressive and giving people an additional (different, if you will) means of engaging with your content, you are delivering wherever your readers are hurting with eyeballs. Instead, you are relying on their eardrums, at a time, place, and device that makes sense for them.
With everything I’ve written, I think you’ll agree it also makes sense for you.
Make sure you’re following me on Twitter for ongoing updates, tips, and industry takeaways!