But the two core reasons why it’s on the ascendant are: People want to hear authentic content (they are tired of hashed and rehashed celebrity tinsel) and they want to do it with minimal effort and have access to it no matter where they are or what they are doing.
One interesting manifestation of this is the seemingly out-of-nowhere arrival of social audio.
To many, this going back to plain old audio and the enablment of any old person on the Interwebs to express themselves felt like a puzzling step backward. Because: hadn’t we agreed that the secret sauce to success is highly polished, decidedly visual content that was carefully crafted by people who knew what they were doing, and delivered by performers who were exceptionally talented, and worked very, very hard to delivery fresh quality every time?
Well, apparently we were wrong about the winning formula. Or at the very least, we hadn’t gotten to the essence of it.
Socia audio, at least when one is told what it is, is un-sexy, sometimes the quality of the audio signal is at best decent, the content is certainly not carefully crafted, and the vast majority of the people who are delivering this content are not startlingly talented (although many actually are) and by and large don’t work very hard to deliver such (although many actually do) — especially those members of the audience who are called upon to speak — unless one calls sharing your opinion on the spot about something hard work.
So, something interesting is happening here.
Another one is the emergence of audio testimonials.
1. Asking customers for an audio testimonial is an easy ask. As in: ‘Please go to this page, click the button there, record, and that’s it — you are done!’ No launching software to record, no saving audio to a file and then emailing it. Click, record, and you are done. Some have mentioned that it’s even easier than writing a testimonial because all they have to do is talk, which comes to most people more naturally than writing.
2. What they say comes across as more genuine. What they say comes across as less stilted and formulaic than written testimonials, and there’s less staging than when they record a video testimonial.
3. It’s easy to curate. You, the Marketer, will get an email notification that someone has published an audio testimonial. You can listen to the testimonial right from the email: if you like it, accept it, if not, archive it for later.
5. Free User Generated Content (UGC). Also, you get automatic transcriptions of the audio that you can use in your blog, newsletters, etc. All of which will do your SEO good and will bring you closer to your customers.
6. Nice bells and whistles. You can add background music and you upload a photo if you want for the audios you publish.
So: it feels like what has been happening all along is this: people want to get to meaning — something that was not crafted to bamboozle them — period. And meaning is truth. In other words, meaning is what is authentic, or the saying of something in an authentic way. That would explain, for instance, the attraction of the lone Youtuber who is who they are and are not afraid to speak their mind or do whatever they feel like doing. That would also explain why those who fail fail: they betray their core identity and start becoming what they think their audience wants, forgetting that what the audience wants is not a complicated thing: they just want the truth.