Make no mistake about it: when it comes to the Internet and how you interact with your audience, content is still king and likely always will be. It’s just that over the last few years, the way we think about “content” has changed in a few interesting ways.
One of those directly coincides with the emergence of the podcast. According to one recent study, roughly 60% of people in the United States over the age of 12 listen to podcasts on a daily basis. They don’t necessarily have the time or even the desire to get their information “the old-fashioned way,” via text alone. They’re turning to audio-based content to fill that need and they’re doing so in larger numbers all the time.
This is a very successful approach for large enterprises in particular. Think of the WebMDs and the ESPNs of the world – organizations of that size are prime candidates. But what if their content creation teams are already spending countless hours on keyword research and other tasks, crafting finely-tuned articles for consumers. They don’t have the time or budget to create a podcast out of every written piece of content. No one does.
But, in minutes, you can convert millions articles to audio, of course.
Indeed, small businesses and major brands alike are embracing this important trend. There are a number of core benefits to doing so that are more than worth exploring.
Here are top 7 compelling reasons to convert articles to audio
1. It Can Bring the Content of Your Web Pages to an Entirely New Audience
Maybe the most important reason why you should convert articles to audio has to do with how it can open your content up to an entirely new audience – one with visual impairments that may make reading traditional text-based pieces not just difficult, but in certain situations impossible.
According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, there are no less than 285 million people across the globe who have some type of visual impairment like low vision. Of that total, 39 million of them are completely blind and cannot process any information visually at all.
When you convert articles to audio, you’re giving them a chance to enjoy and interact with the content that you’ve worked so hard to create. Essentially, you’re taking an important step towards being more inclusive – creating a superior user experience that doesn’t just reflect positively on your articles, but on your brand as a whole.
2. It Gives People More Options When it Comes to Content Consumption
The decision to convert text to audio also gives people more options when it comes to how and where they choose to consume it.
Not everybody has time in the morning to sit down with a cup of coffee and peruse their favorite websites. Some people prefer to get their information via podcasts on their morning commute to work, or while they’re exercising in the gym. Audio articles are a great way to give people more choice when it comes to how they’re interacting with your brand.
It’s something that we’ve already seen a lot of the major news organizations embrace with open arms. Many like CNN with their audio content and The New York Times with their podcast “The Daily” understand that the reading habits of everyday people have changed dramatically over the last decade. Converting your articles to high quality audio is your chance to take full advantage of that.
3. It’s an Opportunity to Improve SEO
Also called search engine optimization, SEO is a term referring to your rank in search engines like Google. When you consider that the lion’s share of people will encounter your content for the first time via a Google search, it’s easy to see why search engine optimization is such a big deal.
If people find your audio articles useful, they’re more likely to listen to the entire file than they are to read the entirety of something like a blog post. This is true even in situations like when you convert articles to audio, where both the blog and the high quality audio would be conveying the same information.
That means that you’re not only increasing engagement with your content, but people are more likely to recommend it to others. That in turn will increase traffic to your website and other domains, which will directly benefit your search engine optimization efforts.
4. When You Convert Articles to Audio, It’s An Opportunity to Increase Ad Revenue
Converting articles to audio is also a great way to not just increase ad revenue, but to also potentially add new revenue streams to your current efforts.
Case in point: audio ads placement. Most people ignore pop-up advertisements or banner ads on a website, which is likely what you’d be running on text-based content depending on the ad network. But with a high quality audio file, you can inject ads for products or services at strategic points throughout the content. You could run ads at the beginning, end or even in the middle depending on how you want the audio article to “flow” when someone is consuming it.
As you begin to build up a larger stream of content over time, you could even experiment with a subscription-based revenue model. New content would always be free but you could eventually put the audio versions of those articles behind a paywall. Monthly subscriptions could be used to gain access to your entire back catalog, or you could even use a pricing model where you charge for individual pieces. It opens up a new set of doors in terms of how you make money from ad revenue – something that is hugely beneficial for small businesses in particular.
5. Your Content, to Go
It’s also crucial to remember that without audio, your audience members need to have access to a dedicated device like a computer, smartphone or tablet in order to read your content – not to mention the time in a day necessary to fit it in around their understandably busy schedules.
With audio articles, you have the ability to turn literally any piece of content you’ve ever created into a podcast – allowing your audience members to listen when they are working out, when they’re taking care of their landscaping, when they’re walking through the grocery store and everywhere in between. The number of potential use cases are practically endless.
Notice the “Listen to this story” button at the top? Many of our readers consume this blog while working out, walking the dog, hiking, grocery shopping, or even while commuting to work.
You can try it, too.
6. It’s Easier to Do Than You Think
Finally, one of the best reasons to convert articles to audio has to do with the fact that it is far, far easier than most people realize.
There are a huge number of options out there when it comes to article to audio converter tools. Speechify, for example, is fast, efficient and accurate. It’s easy to integrate with just five lines of code. It’s a solution proven to boost not only customer retention, but engagement as well. It also offers all API integrations that feature Speechify’s highest quality, natural-sounding voices. It can even read content in more than 20 different languages.
When you consider how easy and inexpensive the process is, not to mention all of the other benefits outlined above, there really is no reason to rely exclusively on text-based content any longer.
7. It’s Cheaper Than You Think, Too
Large enterprises and smaller businesses in particular will also benefit from the fact that converting articles to audio is a lot less expensive than most assume. When you weigh the modest investment against all of the other benefits – like the fact that it can help attract a larger audience, a more engaged audience and a more loyal audience in addition to the aforementioned new ad revenue streams that the practice brings with it, those advantages quickly outweigh the initial cost of getting started to begin with.
One of the most crucial things to understand about all of this is that audio content is absolutely the way of the future.
More people than ever own a smart speaker, allowing them to get their information via audio instead of text alone. Sure, those blog posts and other types of content will always be there for those who need it. But by converting the written word into high quality audio, you’re not just increasing engagement or improving your standing with popular search engines – you’re going a long way towards improving customer retention as well. That in and of itself may be the most important benefit of all.
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