Audiograms: Best Practices
The best practices to implement when creating audiograms include selecting meaningful images, using text with subtitles, and choosing an effective aspect ratio. Adding these features to an audiogram is easily accomplished using a variety of tools and software, many of which are free. Given the ever-increasing presence of social media, audiograms have become an extremely effective marketing tool.
PRACTICE 1: USE TEXT STRATEGICALLY
- According to a survey conducted by Verizon Media and ad buyer Publicis Media, 92% of American consumers watch videos with the sound off on their mobile devices and 83% watch without sound on other platforms.
- Given that 466 million people-are deaf or hard of hearing, information conveyed without sound is also critically important to this subset of consumers.
- To capture the attention of the consumer, text should be inviting, specific and memorable. The text should tell a story and give the audiogram a voice even when sound is removed. This can be accomplished by including insightful comments or references to a comedic moment. Shocking statistics and controversial statements also pique interest and entice listeners to link to the full episode.
- Subtitles, often called captions, enhance visibility through catchy phrases added to the audio clip. A recent Facebook experiment revealed that a captioned video reached 16 percent more viewers when supplemental text was used. Marketing experts recommend using zubtitle.com or rev.com to create professional captions.
- Large Headlines cover one third of the consumer's view. They are easier to read on small screens and should be incorporated into an audiogram when possible.
- WNYC, the trademark of several public radio stations in NYC, uses audiograms with powerful text to market their radio shows. Their success using this medium started in 2016, when the Facebook audiograms for some of their radio shows outperformed photos by 58% and links by 83%, with similar results on Twitter. Examples of current WNYC audiograms can be found on the WNYC website.
PRACTICE 2: STRATEGIC USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS
- Visuals are a key element in capturing the attention of people watching an audiogram on social media. Audiogram visuals should contain individual clips or collages of images from behind the scenes, shots from recording sessions or special guests, or compelling photos that immediately connect with the viewer.
- Surrounding the photograph with a wave rather than a simple linear wave is a creative technique that improves the viewer experience. An example of this practice can be viewed on "Tech Done Right Pod on Twitter."
- Neil Patel, co-founder of NP Digital and a top web influencer, reported that audiograms containing images of people in them can lead up to a 95% increase in conversions. He suggests using an image of the owner of the company/podcast or choosing an image of a group of people that express the brand's message.
- When choosing images for an audiogram, avoid overused, bland stock photos. Pixabay is a recommended free resource for more than one million realistic photos.
- Brand-related assets should always be included in the audiogram images. Specific people, podcast art, fonts, colors, logos, and other visual connections to the brand should be incorporated. Media marketers recommend using the tool Easil, which allows the user to create brand templates for ease of use.
- John O'Leary's podcast, "Live Inspired," is a top 20 podcast on Apple Podcasts and Inc. Magazine for business. He uses images effectively in his audiograms to inspire consumers to listen to his daily podcasts.
PRACTICE 3: CHOOSE THE PROPER LAYOUT
- When working with the audio file being used for the audiogram, it is important that the mp4 file conforms to the specs of each social media platform. For example, Facebook and Twitter require a square layout, while a tall rectangle must be used on IGTV.
- Headliner, Waave, Bannersnack, Wave, and Audiogram are some of the more popular companies offering tools to convert audio to video correctly.
- Experts advise the use of a square aspect ratio whenever possible. Tech company Buffer has determined that the use of square versus landscape yielded a 30 — 35% increase in consumer views and an 80 — 100% engagement increase.
- Social media marketers recommend using templates for each type of social media platform. Once the templates are created, audiograms can be easily generated by updating text and images.
- Examples of different aspect ratios can be viewed on the Polymash.com website. Polymash provides marketing solutions and strategies for podcast creators.
In order to carry out this research, we analyzed data from industry reports and articles published by authorities and key players in social media marketing. We included in our research the broader topic of video marketing, as audiograms are an example of this strategy. Our research was informed by consulting numerous social media marketing blogs, website instructional articles, and software company websites. Because of the wide range of sources, we were able to uncover trends in the best practices for audiogram creation.