Posted: 28 Sep 2021 Contributor: Ghia Marnewick
Audio Ads Guide: How Can Brands Achieve Supreme Consumer Engagement
Marketers are becoming more creative when it comes to reaching their audience. This is why audio ads have become increasingly popular. For those of you that may not have heard of it, audio ads are ads in audio format. They are primarily delivered through online streaming platforms that include YouTube, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, TikTok, and Deezer – to name but a few. There has also been a rise in smart speaker marketing, where ads are played on smart speakers using Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri.
How do Audio Ads Work?
As the name implies, audio ads are audio-based and use the power of sound to connect with audiences. This form of advertising is closely related to traditional radio ads and follows the same basic principles; however, it has now become a more immersive experience as it leverages digital technology.
The Rise of Audio Ads
The pandemic has forced marketers to rethink their marketing strategy. With more people at home, the means of reaching them have had to shift to meet the demands of a stay-at-home world.
According to Forbes, it’s estimated that:
- In the last year, 60% of podcast listeners followed their favorite stations from the comfort of their homes.
- In 2020 37% of Americans listened to at least one podcast per month
- 100 million people listen to podcasts each month
- This is projected to reach around 125 million by 2022
Additionally, Edison Research has found that most people spend at least 6% of their listening time following podcasts, this figure has increased from 2% in 2014. Of course, as this medium becomes more popular, so does the ability to profit from it.
IAB Price Waterhouse Coopers has estimated that:
- Podcast ad spend in 2020 was $800 million
- This figure is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2024
This industry is booming, and marketers would be wise to look into leveraging the power of audio ads for their clients.
The Benefits of Using Audio Ads
A well-executed audio campaign can do wonders for your brand and convey your message in a carefully crafted manner. It is also one of the more cost-effective marketing methods available – and possibly one of the most powerful. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of audio ads:Impressive reach
If our research proves anything, it’s that you have the potential to reach over 100 million people per month if you were to advertise your business during podcasts. This doesn’t even factor in additional streaming services and even traditional radio ads. There is so much potential for expanding your networking by simply using an audio ad.Selective targeting
Streaming sites and podcasts cater to a select audience. This means that you can select the relevant category to slot your ad into. The same way in which you would set up a digital ad campaign to target the demographic that would relate to your offering is how you could set up your audio ad. As a result, you tag the right people at the right time. For example, you can tailor audio ads for publishers and select the factors that would be most applicable to them.Not bound by location
People are streaming on the go, which means that your ad has the potential to follow them wherever they go. It goes above and beyond people moving through a specific space and instead targets them through their devices.Measurable results
Audio ads often offer a click-through to the offering in question. This means that each website click becomes a measurement of success.Integrated marketing
Audio ads can easily be linked back to ongoing marketing efforts, delivering consistent messaging across the board.
How do I Make a Good Audio Ad?
When you decide to take on the world of audio ads, the first thing you need to do is create a script. To do this, you need to decide if you are going to be focusing on a hard or soft sell. Most audiences respond better to a soft sell, but one truly non-negotiable element is a call to action. You need to give your audience a way forward, a next step on their journey with your brand.
You’ll more than likely also find yourself asking “How long should audio ads be?”, and the answer is in most cases 30 seconds – around 70 words. There are so many ways to proceed with your audio ad. Many people choose to use an audio ad maker that is often available on the platform that you are looking to use. For example, if you are looking to do audio ads on YouTube, there will be guidelines and tools available to create your audio ad.
Different Audio Ad Platforms
We have briefly mentioned some of the more popular audio ad platforms, however, what we have not mentioned is the usage recorded on each platform. This ultimately determines the potential reach of your ads and will paint a more detailed picture as to why so many brands choose to use audio ads.
Top 8 Audio Platforms and Their Number of Users:
- Shazam 13.11 million
- SoundCloud 15.31 million
- Amazon Music 16.46 million
- Google Play Music 21.77 million
- iHeart Radio 25.9 million
- Pandora Radio 31.47 million
- Spotify 44.2 million
- Apple Music 44.5 million
Audio Ads Best Practices
Your audio ads need to be created with your audience in mind while conveying your message in the most concise way possible. To help you do so, we have five tips for creating a good audio ad.
- Keep it short and simple
- Repeat the brand name at least three times
- Tell a story
- Provide a call to action
- Balance the background sound and voiceover
- Keep your tempo consistent
- Create multiple versions that will appeal to different audiences
Audio Ad example
There are so many impressive audio ads out there, however, one that has left its mark has to be a PepsiMax ad that aired on Spotify. This was part of a broader campaign during the summer.
PepsiMax found that most people drink a Pepsi in the warmer months and so they sponsored Summer Events. They advertised locally and used around 650 audio spots that were aimed at targeting people between the ages of 18 and 49. Their efforts paid off and the audio ad campaign contributed to a 155% life in ad recall.
To Sum it All Up…
Audio ads are incredibly powerful when used as part of a broader marketing campaign. As the market continues to grow, brands have the opportunity to become part of a broader network. The next time you are looking to expand your reach in a creative, personalized way, we recommend looking into creating an audio ad or two.