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The sound of authority

I predict that one thing we’re going to see a lot more of soon will be audio alternatives alongside web articles (“click to listen to this article”). Text-to-speech has been around for years, but it’s always been a little too robotic. That’s changing fast, and there are now website plug-ins that can offer really good audio reading of articles for users. The option to listen to anything on a site can be added quite simply, and I think a lot of sites will offer it.

For most of our businesses, this may not seem a priority, as we probably don’t have that much substantial written material which prospects might prefer to listen to while they’re doing something else. But it’s worth bearing in mind. One organisation I know recently got enthusiastic about offering this, then realised they only had half a dozen background articles that had sufficient depth to be worthwhile. Undaunted, rather than skip the idea, they got a member of staff to read out the articles to camera, and put them on their website as video and audio versions. Sometimes the old manual methods are quite adequate.