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  • Richard Wardrop

How important is audio in social media marketing?

The role of audio in social media marketing

There's no denying the power of audio in advertising. There are countless nostalgic TV ad jingles ingrained in our minds forever that will attest to that. In traditional forms of advertising such as TV and radio, audio, and specifically music, can have a huge impact on the way we perceive and recall information. In fact, researchers say the right choice of music for your advert can increase attention, enhance key messages and drive sales.

But does it have a place in social media marketing?

With more and more people ditching TV in favour of spending time online, social media marketers must consider how transferable traditional advertising values are and the role that audio plays in the social space.

Using audio on social media

When it comes to using audio and music in social media marketing, it’s important to understand consumer behaviour across different channels. For example, a massive 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off. This fact could easily leave you feeling like it’s pointless to consider audio in social marketing. However, this isn’t the case for all social channels. According to Snapchat, over two-thirds of their videos are watched with sound on and a huge 96% of YouTube viewers will watch with sound on.

Over the last few years there have been major changes in trends from brands and content creators everywhere who have adapted their approach to make audio an optional extra in videos. This shift has been championed by social channels such as Facebook who have brought in new features such as muting auto-played videos and ads, as well as giving viewers the option of adding automatic subtitles.

Optimising content for silent views

Optimising content for silent views

Capturing a viewer’s attention without sound can be extremely difficult. So, if you’re a brand who isn’t considering audio or music in your social strategy, here are the ways we’d recommend optimising your content to have the biggest impact.

  • Use eye-catching visuals

Facebook considers any continuous 3 second watch time as a ‘view’, so it’s important to grab the user’s attention immediately in order to convince them to keep watching.

  • Add subtitles

Adding subtitles makes your video more accessible and can increase view time by up to 12%. Facebook has made this easier than ever by introducing its own automatic video subtitling tool. The results aren’t always accurate, so we’d recommend double checking these before publishing any content!

  • Use a custom thumbnail

Break through the noise by using a custom thumbnail showing the highlight of the video to capture people’s attention while they scroll through their feed

  • Make it text heavy

Promote key points throughout your video using text or add a border to highlight the video topic

Add text to highlight points

In what situations would audio or music benefit your content?

If you’re wondering whether or not adding sound will enhance your social media content, think first about the social platforms you’re using and the user behaviour of your audience on these channels.

We’ve established that viewers on channels like Snapchat and YouTube are more likely to watch with sound on, so this may mean you need to adapt your approach and consider channel specific content in order to engage with your audiences across multiple platforms.

Some social networks, such as Facebook, give detailed insights including stats on lifetime video views with sound on. This will tell you the exact percentage of your audience that are watching with sound on and help you make a decision on how worthwhile it is.

Adding audio to social media

If you’re looking for music to add to your content, it’s important to learn what you can and can’t do. Music licensing can be quite confusing, so it’s infinitely easier if you’ve commissioned an exclusive piece of music for your brand or business.

However, most brands will be working towards a limited budget and will be looking for more cost-effective solutions. This is where royalty free music libraries come in handy. There are lots of great sites where you can get access to quality background music for free or a small fee. If you do decide to add audio to your social content, make sure the genre and tempo reflect the brand and the message you’re trying to convey.

Your brand’s approach to social marketing needs to be consistent with consumer behaviour, so keep monitoring your audience and adapting your approach to get ahead of the game!


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