audio branding guide

Audio Branding for Content Creators

What is audio branding?

Audio branding refers to the audio aspects of your business and content. It captures how your users hear your content, business or service. Some classic examples of successful audio branding include the McDonald’s theme  “I’m Lovin It” & the Netflix startup logo ident “ta-dum”

Why is audio branding important for your business and content?

The power of music in business and brand promotion is no secret. Many dollars and hours are spent by big brands carefully selecting the music for their latest advertising campaign. The benefits of getting the music right in your advertising campaign are well documented.

Audio branding is more than just picking the right advertising soundtrack, however.

As so many of us are now on our smartphones and interacting with noise and content most of the day, the competition space for our attention is limited and anyone looking to get our attention, big it big tech or individual content creators, are looking for an edge.

Audio branding is one way to get that edge and grab our attention.

audio branding can grab out attention

Therefore, audio branding is not just about your latest advertising campaign or how good your logo ident sounds, it is about thinking about how users and potential customers come into contact with your content (also known as “touch-points” ).

If you can communicate your brand or content elements at every user or customer “touch-point” you will be optimising your brand presence online.

For example,

  • Do you have a logo with sound?
  • Do you use regular sound effects on social media that communicate your brand message?
  • Do you have regular voice overs and what does the tone of those voice-overs say to your audience? 

If you consider all the areas where users come into contact with your business and content, from social media to YouTube and everything in between, and think about how users perceive your brand audibly, you can greatly improve how your audience feels about your brand and how well they remember your brand.

What are the benefits of good audio branding for business and content creators?

If you can get your audio branding right, you improve the audience reach and engagement of your content, brand or business.

#1  Brand Recall

Using some sort of musical “ident” or sound logo to promote your brand or content will help your user recall your business much easier. 

Audio ads drive 24% higher recall on average than display ads, according to a Spotify for brands report. 

It is amazing to think that only hearing a sound or a lyric can bring a brand to the forefront of your mind. 

#2  Motivation to Engage

If your audience likes or even loves your sound, they may be motivated to engage.

If your brand or content sounds good, your brand or content will be perceived as good on a first impression and your audience engagement will increase

#3  Room to Compete 

In an online world where we are constantly being bombarded with images, pop-up screens and signup offers, using music to grab or engage your audience could be an effective strategy to compete in an overcrowded market. 

According to this article by PHMG, “79% of audio consumption takes place while we’re engaged in other tasks.”

So if your audience is reading a book, scrolling on social media, cleaning the kitchen or working, you can still promote your brand to them and not have to compete with the visual content already fighting for their attention. 

multi tasking and audio branding

How can I use audio branding to enhance my content?

There are many ways content creators and businesses can use audio to build their brand and connect with their audience on a sonic level.

Here are a few examples of areas where you can incorporate audio branding into your business and content.

#1  Logo Ident

Does your business or content have a logo?

Logos are not just for big business. Individual content creators can get an affordable logo designed online which is brilliant to use across all your content platforms from social media, websites and YouTube videos.

In today’s world, it is very simple to get quality and great looking logos.

Personally, I recommend Fiverr as an amazing resource for talented graphic and logo designers. 

Not only can you get a fantastic logo designed by a top-class graphic designer but you can also have it animated.

If you get to the stage of having an animated logo, why not place a “musical ident” or audio tag over it?

It would be better to have a custom audio logo as then your brand is recalled, however, if you want an “off the shelf” option, there are many pre-written audio logos out there, for example, this batch from Shutterstock. <Click Here>

Just remember, these are not exclusive to your and can be used by others.

If you are a YouTuber, placing your logo ident at the end or beginning of your videos will help build brand trust and recall in your audience. 

Here is an example of an animated brand logo with a musical ident from Netflix. This level of professional logo creation can be easily and affordably done by individual content creators using the talent pool on Fiverr.

#2  Social Media

It is hard to be heard amongst the crowd on social media these days. It is critical to business promotion and brand success to have your social media platforms looking good – but have you thought about your sound?

Do you have an introduction video on your website or social media platform? If so, have you just picked a generic music track that you like or have you thought about your music choice?

Picking the right soundtrack as background music to any self-promotional videos is essential. 

Imagine if a law firm had a “what we do” video on their website or social media platform and they used POP music as the background soundtrack. 

A typical law firm will want to promote a brand image and feeling of trust and professionalism. POP music is a bad choice as this screams “fun times” and “party”. In this instance, the law firm should consider a positive yet classical music track as it will promote trust, experience and professionalism. 

The music you chose for any promotional content should always reinforce the feelings and mood of the message you want to promote. 

#3  Theme Music

Theme music was once only seen as a tool for big brands and Hollywood films, but it is becoming more affordable and accessible for individual content creators to have their own theme music.

If you want your theme music to be exclusive, i.e, custom written for your brand, it will take more time and money to get right. 

Alternatively, you could use a royalty free music track that you really like, but use it on repeat.

If you chose a smaller or independent royalty free library, like my own (yes, a little bit of self-promotion here 😄 ), the number of users of the music is far less than the major royalty-free music libraries so there is less chance that millions of people will already be using the track online. 

In recent years, big brands seem to have moved away from custom theme music and are using commercial songs for their major advertising campaigns more and more. 

The advantage of this is that they can ride on the success of the popular song – many won’t turn off the ad simply because they love the music, however, this leads to a big reduction in brand recall.

A few years ago a major car manufacturer used “Happy” by Pharrell Williams as their advertising theme tune – I can remember the song, but not the car brand!

Yet, I can sing you countless theme tunes from my youth and recall all the brand names because they used catchy custom theme music. 

Theme music will allow users to recall your brand and content for decades if you get it right.

It is a bit trickier to apply theme music to content creation, but worth considering!

Conclusion

2021 is the perfect time to start thinking about the audio branding of your business or content.

We seem to be constantly consuming audio, be it in the form of podcasts, audiobooks, streaming services or social media.

With so much visual content fighting for our attention, adding an audio element to your brand strategy could be the competitive edge your content is looking for.

Perhaps some consistent intro music on your podcast or audio logo ident on your YouTube channel could help your content stay in the minds of your audience.

You don’t need to go big like using theme music, a simple audio tag over your animated logo could be all it takes to help build trust in your brand. 

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