Audio branding plays a major role in marketing. Companies that use music aligned with their brand identity are 96% more likely to be remembered by the consumer.
The right audio content can help to make your brand a lot more memorable, and your content a lot more compelling. And with so many different digital channels available that prioritize video and audio, getting this right is essential.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about developing a strong audio brand. This includes some of the most important audio branding guidelines and considerations you need to make, regardless of where you’re publishing the audio content.
What is audio branding?
Audio branding can help to define, represent and strengthen a company’s identity. This can be done through the use of elements like music, sound effects, or voiceovers.
Just like how brands are represented by visual elements and graphic design, soundscapes can also form an important part of a brand identity.
Many businesses, large and small, use audio branding to distinguish themselves in marketing and advertising campaigns. Brands will typically incorporate recognizable visual elements with their audio branding to create unique and distinct experiences that audiences instantly associate with the brand.
Effective audio branding can help to capture attention and instill emotion in the audience. It’s also a powerful tactic to instantly create brand recognition as soon as your assigned audio is played.
Why focus on audio branding?
Tying audio and music into your brand identity can have a major positive impact on your business overall.
Sound triggers an emotional response, and it’s a lot more memorable than other forms of content. By incorporating the right sound elements into your brand identity, you’ll be able to make your business stand out.
Music has been proven to positively influence consumer behavior. In fact, simply playing slower music in a US supermarket chain helped them increase sales by 39.2%. Audio ads are also more than twice as likely to lift purchase intent and information intent than display ads.
This means strategically using audio to develop and promote your brand can help you achieve more impactful marketing results and generate a better ROI.
In today’s digital landscape, it’s also important that brands make the most of the variety of marketing channels available. By developing an audio brand, your business will be able to promote itself across a wider range of platforms.
A consistent audio brand will also help your business become more easily recognizable across different platforms. This is important for generating more brand awareness and attracting more customers.
Developing your audio identity
When establishing audio branding for your business, your goal is to create audio that really resonates with your audience. Ideally, your audio identity should be easily recognizable, instill an emotional response in the listener, and inspire them to take a certain action.
The first thing to consider when developing your audio branding identity is your audience. Understand the listener and the context that they would be listening. This will help you create audio content that better aligns with their mood and interests at a specific time.
For example, if your audio content is an ad in a podcast, introduce the audio in a way that strikes the right tone and isn’t abrasive. If you’re running an ad on YouTube, you’ll want it to be highly engaging and attention-grabbing from the first second. Your audio should help you prevent listeners from hitting the skip button.
In some cases, you’ll want to use high-energy music and sounds, while other scenarios work better with soft, calming audio. Understanding your listeners will help you choose the best option.
Of course, developing your audio brand also comes down to what your business does. Do you want to excite your audience or develop trust? Do you want to be playful or instill a serious message?
For example, the kind of audio content that an insurance company uses would be totally different from the audio content a fun fashion brand might use.
Align your audio branding with the platform
When creating audio branding, you also need to make sure that the audio content you use matches your preferred platform.
Your business could market itself across various platforms and social networks. As each platform offers something new, people interact with content differently on the various channels. This means your audio content needs to match the intent of your audience on each platform.
For example, audio-only ads on a podcast would be totally different from video ads on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok.
Your goal here should be to develop a consistent brand identity that is recognizable in all the audio content you publish. At the same time, you want to make sure that your audio content is tailored toward each platform.
Think about how people interact with each platform, and ensure you provide the most relevant sonic experience for this.
It’s also important to think about your brand’s desired outcome for the audio content, and how this matches the platform you’re using. What are the next steps you want the user to take after hearing your audio or watching your ad?
Maybe it’s just to spread brand awareness, or maybe you want to direct your audience straight to your website. Whatever the case, it’s essential that you strike the right tone and create compelling audio content to promote this action.
Elements of audio branding
Now that you understand the basics of developing audio branding, it’s time to put your audio content together.
When doing so, there are many different types of audio elements you can use. Each one will play an important role in engaging your audience and establishing what kind of tone, message, and emotions your brand will convey.
Here are some of the key elements of audio branding. You might want to use a combination of these elements to help you establish powerful audio content.
Finding the right music to match your brand is one of the most important considerations to make with audio branding. There are various options you can include here – like using a popular song or creating your own unique jingle.
Whatever option you choose, it’s vital that you understand any copyright restrictions around the audio you use.
This is why many brands use royalty-free music libraries to find music for their ads. These music libraries include enormous selections of different music clips to match different moods and environments.
Many popular brands record their own unique jingle, which is a nifty way for the brand to spark interest.
As mentioned, using music in your audio branding is one of the most powerful ways of generating an emotional response from your audience. Music sets the mood and often stays with listeners longer than the actual content in your ad.
You could use music in various ways, such as introducing your ad or playing as background music beneath a voiceover.
Voiceovers are the best way to convey a message in your audio content. There are also many different ways you can use voices, with different types of voices having wide-ranging effects on your listeners.
The tone, accent, and emotion of the voice play a major role in how your brand comes across. Some big brands use recognizable celebrity voices as part of their audio identity, while others find specific voice actors or narrators that match their brand identity.
Try recording the same script with two different voices, and you’ll see just how much of a difference the voice you use makes in the delivery of the audio content.
Again, go back to your target audience and the platform you’re using to establish the best type of voice required. Perhaps you want a conversational voice, something that’s upbeat, or something that’s very serious.
Take time to choose the right voice, as this has a major impact on how your audio content is delivered and received.
3. AI voice options
On the topic of voice, one of the greatest developments in audio branding is synthetic voices. AI voice generator tools open up a whole new world of possibilities for brands creating audio content.
With advanced AI voice generators, you can create completely realistic voices, and choose from a wide range of tones, styles, and emotions.
All you need to do is feed the AI voice generator your script, and it will generate human-like voice content for you. This can be an absolute game-changer for companies creating voiceover video or audio ads. Although, there’s so much more you can do with voice AI than just this.
One of the best reasons to use AI-generated voices in your audio branding is that you have total control over how the voice comes across. Besides being able to choose between a wide range of voices and speaking styles, you can also fine-tune the audio wave to make sure the audio content is delivered perfectly on-brand.
With voice AI platforms, brands now have a whole new world of opportunities for easily creating unique branded audio content.
Various sound effects can also help you create your audio branding. This could include all kinds of noises or unique effects to make your company stand out.
You could play a two-second sound effect at the start of your ad, or have a short and sweet trademark sound that your brand is known for. These are some of the effective tactics for making your audio branding more unique and memorable.
You can also use sound effects to make your audio content feel more alive and engaging. This could help you advertise your product in a more compelling and interesting way.
5. Pace and Pauses
It’s not only the sounds and music that make your audio branding, factors like the pace of your audio content or pauses in your audio play a big role.
Don’t just consider how the audio content sounds, but rather, understand the varying options for how it is delivered.
The same voice could come across completely differently with a few strategic pauses or a slightly slower delivery.
When developing your audio brand, experiment with a range of audio styles and formats to help you understand just how much of an impact tweaks in audio can make. This is also why it helps to use an audio tool that provides detailed editing capabilities.
Using audio in your brand
So, how exactly do you apply audio to your brand?
There are many different ways that you can apply audio to your branding and marketing strategies. Some of the best examples include:
- Creating podcasts as part of your content marketing strategy
- Running audio-only ads
- Refining your audio branding in video ads
- Using your audio brand in your social media content
- Creating audiobooks and videos that incorporate your audio brand identity
And any other type of content that your brand publishes that involves audio. Developing consistent audio brand guidelines can help you achieve better results across all of these channels.
By including strong audio elements in your marketing campaigns, you can make your brand a lot more recognizable, impactful, and engaging.
This can help you increase the ROI of different campaigns, and boost brand awareness. In a world where we are faced with so many videos and ads each day, getting this right is incredibly important, and can have a lasting impact on your business.