Social Audio Storytelling: The Power of “Spoken Word” Content

This is an amazing video emphasizing social audio storytelling.

Most of my close friends and connections on social media know how much of a Kobe fan I am. I’ve been a Lakers fan since I was a little boy. And even today, as I write this post, I still feel a tight knot in my stomach when I think about Kobe’s death. Sometimes it’s still hard to breathe.

But this post isn’t about his death. It’s a story that highlights Kobe’s legacy as one of the greatest basketball players to have ever played the game. The GOAT.

The video below shows no highlights of Kobe scoring 80 points against the Raptors. There’s no video of Kobe posting up Michael Jordan or his head fake into his signature fade-away jump shot. There’s no highlight reel of Kobe scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz when he played his final game in the NBA. And there’s no 15-second clip of Kobe accepting an Emmy award.

There is no video at all. It’s social audio storytelling through a series of audio recordings of Kobe’s most significant achievements as an athlete. I would suggest closing your eyes, pressing play, and listening. If you’re a Kobe fan like me, you might get a little emotional as you think back to what you were doing during each of these milestones throughout Kobe’s career. This is spoken word content.

While not the same as social audio apps like Clubhouse, this is a good example of social audio storytelling and how spoken word content can create emotion and tell stories that create an emotional affinity.

There has been a lot of Clubhouse news over the last several months, but social audio storytelling isn’t new. Talk radio has been around since the beginning of time. Ok, well, not that far back. Science-fiction radio programs started to air in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, but Dimension X took it to a new level. Dimension X was an NBC radio program from the 1950s that offered a variety of stories about future technology, focusing on space exploration and alien invasion. Listen here to some of the old recordings.

And we all know that podcasting has seen a resurgence over the last decade, thanks to the release of the first season of Serial in 2014.

The only real difference is that social audio apps are real-time. There are no do-overs. No double-takes. No rehearsing. And no post-production. It’s also community-driven, meaning it’s not just one person talking to an audience but everyone talking with everyone else.

Last week I wrote a post about the need to diversify brand storytelling to reach audiences in the channels they prefer – see below. Social audio is just one component of a much bigger content ecosystem.

Social Audio Storytelling

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Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.