Advertising has almost no limits. It can hit you anywhere and involves all of your senses. In a world where people try to do as many things as they can on the go, screenless listening is becoming more popular, and voice ads are gaining momentum. They have become a tidbit for marketers who want to engage audiences more effectively. As the Audacy report states, 61% of audio consumers listen to the ads fully because they are less distracted than TV viewers who can just take their eyes off the screen and engage in other activities until the ad ends.
The demand for audio is growing: 90% of US residents listen to the radio daily, almost every second adult listens to podcasts every month, 75% of those working remotely stream music every week and 40% of them do it daily. It’s getting more exciting, and today we would like to dig deeper into the ins and outs of ad audio content and see what it is accompanied by and the potential it has got.
What is audio advertising?
Everything is quite simple – audio advertising refers to voice ads played with music streams, podcasts, or radio.
There are several types of voice ads:
- Simple ads: voice messages that you can hear anytime you deal with a different type of audio content
- Sequencing ads: these are the ads that are delivered in a way of a story and have a certain chronological order. This type tends to grab more attention of a listener as it creates interest and intrigue making you want to know how it will end.
- Skippable ads: these ads can be skipped by the listener, so they can only catch their attention for a few seconds only.
- Conversational ads: they are created with the help of AI and are used to make up a sort of conversation between the brand and the customer. Such ads can gather voice data and let consumers literally express what they need.
How are such ads created? There are several steps you need to take:
- Prepare the script by writing the text of the ad down. Think over the tone of voice, the rhythm, and the style you’d like to express.
- Find the right expert to record your ad, particularly the way you imagine it. Make sure the voice “reflects” your brand image.
- Launch your brand new ad on different music platforms such as Deezer, Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and SoundCloud, in podcast apps, or even on your website.
When you launch your audio ad, you should specify where it will be placed and at what particular moment you’d like it to play, either in the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the audio content.
What makes an effective voice ad? A story that grabs the consumers’ attention and convinces them to choose your brand. Here are a few hints to consider while creating an audio ad.
- Focus on the main point and try to be laconic. You need your audience to catch the main idea but you don’t have much time to express it. So, make sure the plot and call-to-action are clear.
- Don’t be afraid to repeat some significant things. It’s a way to emphasize the key points. Those who listen tend to focus better on the thesis that is repeated. But be careful not to overdo it.
- Always end up with a call-to-action because this is the primary goal of your ad. It should be short, clear, and easy to comprehend.
- Audio ads are not ordinary voice messages, so you should use some background music to make them more appealing. In this case, make sure the music is not loud and doesn’t distract the audience from the key message.
Benefits of programmatic audio advertising
Used as a part of a multi-channel campaign, audio advertising possesses a number of advantages that brands and marketers just can’t ignore. Let’s take a closer look at the strong points.
- Easy targeting
Customers you reach with audio ads are exactly your target audience. If they enjoy certain podcasts or playlists, they are likely to get interested in the offers and products that those ads cover. Audio advertising uses various types of targeting including localization. So, while someone is enjoying a cup of coffee in their favorite cafe, they may hear relevant ads and instantly make the most out of the offer.
- High reach
According to the Statista report, in 2021 53% of consumers took action to find out more information after listening to an audio ad and 29% actually purchased the product that was promoted. Audio ads can reach people much more often than visual ones because they can be listened to even on the go when customers aren’t even looking at the screen which is harder to implement with video commercials.
- Better engagement
When consumers listen to audio content, they are usually more focused and thus more engaged compared to when they watch videos. There is also a thesis that voice messages trigger the imagination, which makes listeners “create their own visuals” and focus on the call to action more.
Digital audio ads don’t require significant investment compared to those on radio or video. It is possible to launch a voice ad spending only $1000 while other types of commercials might cost at least $2000.
- Easy tracking
With audio ads, it is easy to track how many people have listened to your commercial, how many of them took action after it, and what exactly these actions were. Some other data can be also retrieved, such as the time when people listen to the ads and the CTR. In addition, conversational audio ads allow marketers to measure the success of the advertising campaign overall. For instance, you can track the number of replies and review them receiving accurate data directly from your loyal or potential customers.
- Fast creation
It is easier to create audio ads rather than video ones because all you need is to think over the creative side and make a high-quality recording with the help of professional voice actors. Some platforms may offer their services for you to create a top ad. For instance, you can use Spotify AD Studio. When you create video commercials, you need many more resources including time, money, and technical equipment.
Apart from the points mentioned above, we’d like to emphasize the ubiquity of digital audio advertising. It is screen-free and can be accessed even offline. Moreover, there are no ad blockers. The listener assumes that there might be ads but the desire to access the desired audio content prevails, so the commercial you place will be listened to anyway. Brand safety is also an important benefit. You always know where and when your ads will be played. There cannot be any misleading or traffic issues because the whole process is transparent.
Why marketers should invest in digital audio
According to IAB, digital audio advertising has grown by 57.9% and reached $4.9 billion in 2021, and 85% of ad revenue from voice ads comes from mobile devices. However, it still takes up only 2.6% of the overall market of digital advertising where video value has hit $39,5 billion and social media advertising has grown to $57.7 billion.
Music streaming platforms are getting more popular, podcasts keep proliferating, and more audiobooks are being downloaded. Because it saves consumers time, it gives them a choice to listen to what they want anywhere they want no matter what they might be doing.
Well-known audio brands introduce new ad formats, improve targeting and measurement options, as well as create live audio content investing in digital audio advertising more and more. When podcasts became one of the most powerful trends in the digital audio world, companies such as Amazon and Spotify became involved in the podcast market in 2021 by purchasing podcast hosts and networks. In 2022, Spotify went even further and acquired Whooshkaa – the company that deals with audio on demand. It means that the phenomenon of podcasts will only grow stronger and will develop, making a difference in the digital audio advertising market as well.
Why should digital marketers invest more in digital audio advertising? These campaigns can significantly boost brand awareness and customer engagement. In addition, automated buying and selling as well as programmatic audio advertising keep on developing. It is expected that 21% of digital radio ads will be bought programmatically during 2022.
It is explained by the fact that programmatic advertising:
- provides advanced targeting with the segmentation of audiences according to their preferences, demographics, location, and buying habits
- is more personalized and contextual and able to reach an audience that is potentially interested in the promoted products based on the content that is being listened to and used for ad insert
- allows you to gain a great deal of insight from the data that is gathered during the campaign. Marketers can implement tracking, measurement, and campaign optimization in real-time.
Digital audio advertising does not depend on cookies and their disappearance may mean many advertisers have stumbled upon problems with accurate targeting. Most audio platforms get users’ first-party data because the listeners log in to their accounts to access the content.
Attention has the most value in audio advertising. 61% of listeners do not skip ads and listen to them actively, so the chances they will hear your brand are very high, 45% of podcast listeners visit the website, 42% consider a promoted product, and 37% search for more information about a product after hearing an audio ad. Even when you are on the go, e.g. jogging, driving, taking a bath, or preparing lunch, listeners are immersed in what is playing, so when your ad appears they will still listen to it attentively because that was the reason they tuned in. So, smart brands actively implement the best practices to leverage the power of audio advertising.
Audio advertising provides opportunities to deliver relevant and even personalized content at a time when consumers are focused on what they listen to. New tools for the measurement and analysis of audio campaigns are being regularly introduced. These factors make sure advertisers are investing more in audio ads because their effectiveness is obvious. If you create ads that resonate with your audience you will be able to make them take action here and now. The chances are high that they would like to buy your product or service, or at least would get more interested in it. Of course, it might take some time – we recommend marketers test different tones of voice, approaches, and creatives as well as reach the audience on multiple channels to find out which message is most efficient and develop a winning strategy. But one thing is clear – digital audio advertising has become a necessity for all smart brands that want to be heard in every sense.
Audio ads are an effective and powerful tool to promote products and services and boost brand awareness and sales. But there is one more thing that matters a lot – emotional resonance. Audio content develops the imagination and might evoke more emotions that trigger listeners and encourage them to act. If you not only describe your product but tell customers a story and explain how it is going to help them solve problems and make their lives better, you reach out to their feelings. If your audio ads resonate with listeners’ feelings, moods, and desires, they will be up for buying what you sell.
Words can motivate customers and make them believe that a particular product or service is exactly what they need. For this, we recommend that you study the target audience’s preferences, choose the right tone of voice, and deliver the right creative that might influence the further actions of a consumer. Nowadays digital audio advertising almost has it all for marketers to succeed. It offers lots of options to gather first-party data, target the audience with the most precision and track their activity in real time. Just use all the tools, combine them with perfectly tailored creative ideas, and see what happens. Spoiler alert: apart from making your customers happy you will get a higher ROI as well.