Why Your Brand Should Be Audio Blogging

This post is also available in audio form by subscribing to The Tip Jar Podcast.

I love reading the Atlantic, New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. There’s something special about tucking into a great, well-written, well-researched long-form article. They are “meaty” and take some time to get through them.

But I WANT to get through them.

Which is why we aren’t surprised to see the media world start to embrace audio (beyond just traditional podcasting). More and more we are seeing media brands supplementing their long-form articles with an audio version.

The New York Times recently purchased Audm, which takes long-form articles from WIRED, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, plus many more) and offers audio read aloud word-for-word by celebrated audiobook narrators. The New York Times has already rolled out audio offerings with some of their articles, but we predict that, soon, all of their articles will have an audio option.

So why did The New York Times buy Audm? With 1 million active podcasts, are consumers going to want to listen to someone reading an article?

To put it bluntly: yes. More and more publishers are experimenting with audio versions of their articles and stories, and many have been surprised by how quickly their audiences embraced these products. In 2018, for example, Bloomberg Media made audio versions of stories available on its app, and within a few months, it was the second-most popular feature. The Economist started offering an audio version of articles back in 2007, and The Financial Times began doing so in 2017.

So what does this mean for you and your brand (especially if you aren’t a publisher)?

With the rise in podcasting more and more brands are needing to have an audio strategy. But what if your brand isn’t ready for a podcast? This is why JAR Audio is rolling out our Audio Blogging service.

We’re working with brands to convert their blog posts and turning them into high-quality, studio-produced podcast audio. Your organization puts so much effort into your blog posts. They have tremendous value and are great for SEO, so why not extend it’s use through audio?

Here are a few examples of JAR’s Audio Blog Posts, which can be accessed at the top of the post, or through The Audio Blog podcast.

We can turn your blog posts into audio, which can then be launched as a podcast and/or embedded in your blog posts.

Audio Blogging has so many benefits:

  • They increase engagement (JAR Audio’s podcasts see a 95% listen-through rate)

  • Audio Blogs are portable. Audio allows listeners to time-shift and consume your content on their own time, and in their own environment (on a run, in the car, washing the dishes)

  • Reach a new audience who might not already be engaging with your blog

  • Test out podcasting (wade into it without producing a full show)

  • Improve your content accessibility (to serve customers with visual disabilities)

JAR Audio has developed an easy process to turn your blog posts into audio and bring them to market:

  1. You identify a blog post and send it to JAR

  2. JAR reviews the post and creates a script (written for sound). In a piece written for the ear, sentences tend to be shorter, concepts are explained more conversationally, links are called out in the show notes, and information is presented in a way that acknowledges the audience can’t glance at a previous paragraph if they feel lost.

  3. JAR offer you voice-over options

  4. JAR records the audio blog

  5. JAR Audio sets up and uploads the post to our preferred host server which distributes it as a podcast to all podcast directories (Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, etc.). We’ll give you the embed code to also use as a player on your blog post page. And we can provide you with MP3 files for use elsewhere.

Here are some of the business categories that we think audio blogging might be best suited (but are not limited to):

  • Tech

  • Government

  • Travel

  • Non-profit

  • Banks and Credit Unions

  • Retail

  • Unions

  • B2B

Audio blogs are also great for organizations whose internal communications team relies on staff to read blog posts or long-form articles. Do you want Gen Y/Z to engage with this content? Give it to them as an internal podcast.

To learn more, the most comprehensive analysis on text-to-audio adaptations came in a Nieman Foundation report titled “Audio Articles are Helping News Outlets Gain Loyal Audiences.”

We’re all in at JAR Audio and can’t wait to work with some exciting brands to bring their content to audio.

Roger Nairn is the Co-Founder and CEO of JAR Audio