The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot about the world in ways that seem to be here to stay, including how we view and use audio to create dynamic content. More people than ever are listening to podcasts. Plus, smart speakers are owned by twice as many people as in 2018.
With the use of smart speakers at an all-time high — and thanks to voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google — it’s a good time for businesses to use voice-enabled ads and verbal interactions to market, advertise, and promote their products. However, some are still left wondering, how can voice-activated ads really help?
Why Companies Are Gravitating Towards Voice Enabled Advertising
Our voices have become powerful tools in the world of technology as we interact with current and new emerging voice-enabled tech. Whether we’re performing a simple Google voice ads search, purchasing an essential item on Amazon, or checking the local weather forecast, more of us are using our voices to make these demands. And yet, the world of voice technology continues to expand and evolve well beyond that.
Companies are seeing trends in consumer behavior as customers are increasingly relying on smart devices and audio streaming services. As a result, businesses see just how vital it is to keep up with these trends to appeal to their audiences.
Not only is there a rise in the popularity of voice technology, but voice-enabled ads also help businesses connect on a more personal level. They’re also proven to be more effective than other forms of ad content. Overall, it offers a significant opportunity for brands to engage with their audience.
Here are some other prominent reasons why voice-enabled advertising is rising in popularity:
Increased Adoption of Voice Technology
Voice technology has been around for some time with devices powered by Alexa, Siri, and Google. Mainly people would use these devices to make phone calls, send text messages, listen to music, and receive directions or weather forecasts. But as the world continues to change and evolve, so does technology and how we use it.
Voice technology has risen in popularity over the last few years, with more devices and appliances adopting this type of technology. From vehicles to washing machines to refrigerators and more, the world is quickly becoming more technology-based than ever before.
Creates Deeper Connections With Consumers
Voice-enabled advertisements can help businesses form deeper connections with their target audiences by improving personalization methods and conversational marketing. Voice is one of the most powerful tools to build and maintain relationships. A natural form of communication, talking is fast and seamless. Conversing with your audience is one of the best ways to build connections and rapport and increase customer loyalty.
In addition, customers can talk back to ads, which can help customers feel more connected to the brands they love.
Proves To Be More Effective Than Other Forms of Ad Content
Voice is more engaging than text or visual ads when it comes to digital advertising, according to a survey conducted by Adobe. Since there are no visuals and only verbal engagement with these ad types, businesses can cater to a wider audience, especially if they’re inserted between music or podcasts. With an increase in podcasts and online audio listeners, voice-enabled advertisements have become more effective than other ad formats.
Plus, audio can follow us around everywhere we go — whether we’re commuting to or from work, resting in bed, cleaning our homes, going to the gym, or running errands — the chances of someone listening to audio during these tasks are substantial. This means you’ll be reaching more people who don’t have access to other forms of ad content at the moment.
How To Get Started With Interactive Voice Ads
As technology continues to evolve and expand worldwide, brands must understand the importance of voice ads and how to get started with them. Interactive voice targeted ads, while still relatively new, will likely become more prominent in the future.
To get started with your own interactive voice ads, you’ll need to decide on a few critical factors.
Start With the Right Platform/Audio Environment
First, you’ll want to decide which audio environment and platform are right for you.
When it comes to audio environments, you have a few choices:
- Podcasts: As mentioned previously, podcasts have become a popular source of entertainment, and there’s something for everyone in this space. So, no matter who your target audience is, you’ll likely be able to find the perfect podcast to sponsor in exchange for running your ad. Not only are there a wide variety of podcasts available, but podcasts are also accessible through all major audio streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Amazon Podcast, Pandora, Podbean, SoundCloud, iTunes, and more. This means you’ll be able to cater to a wider audience.
- Music: Between songs is the perfect place to insert your ad. Not only will you be able to reach a wide audience through music platforms, but your ad will be played during a time when emotions are high, as music often brings out people’s emotions.
- Internet radio: Internet radio is still prevalent in today’s age, even with the introduction of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Many users still choose to use iHEARTradio, Worldwide FM, and others. Thus, inserting an ad on this medium will attract an audience you likely wouldn’t have otherwise.
As for platforms, you’ll have an abundance of those to choose from, too, including:
- YouTube: YouTube has around 2.6 billion users monthly, which is an impressive number that you’ll certainly want to take advantage of. While some of those users do pay a premium to have ads removed from their music and video streaming, an even bigger portion of those users likely do not pay for premium services. This makes it a powerful option to host your audio ad.
- Spotify: Spotify has an impressive 365 million monthly users, with only 172 million as premium listeners. This means that the non-premium users will experience ads in between their music. If your target audience is millennials, such is perfect since 72% of Spotify users are millennials.
- Pandora: Pandora is known as one of the original internet radios and has been around since 2000. With 52.3 monthly active users in 2021, it’s a great opportunity to run voice mobile ads and appeal to users who prefer Pandora over other streaming services.
- WordPress: Aside from audio streaming services, WordPress can be a powerful tool for hosting your audio ad. Whether you have your own website or are sponsored on someone else’s site, you can embed audio directly into a site’s content or place it in other audio content already on the site.
Choose Your Voice Ad Format
Your second step is to choose the type of audio format you want: long-form or short-form. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and whichever you choose will depend on various factors to determine which is right for your brand.
Long-Form Voice Ads
Long-form voice ads are not necessary under most circumstances but can be beneficial in some cases. If your product or service is new and/or complicated, it may be best to run a long-form voice ad that explains your product or service in-depth. Customers interested in your product or service will be eager to learn more about it and how it works.
Other advantages include:
- You’re able to tell a story and engage more with an audience
- You can address more questions
- You’re able to add in more testimonials
Long-form voice ads aren’t for everyone, especially those with short attention spans or who want something straight to the point. Unfortunately, these ads may drive away some customers, so it’s advisable to use long-form voice ads when necessary.
Other disadvantages include:
- You have to spend more time, money, and resources on longer ads
- Some platforms may have a limit on how long an ad can go on
- Potential customers may be turned off by long voice ads interrupting their activities
Short-Form Voice Ads
Unlike long-form voice ads, short-form voice ads are better suited for most situations. These ads help with customer retention and keep customers engaged.
Other advantages include:
- You can easily grab the attention of your audience
- Easier for your audience to consume
- Production time is faster, and the content is easier to plan and produce
Still, short-form voice ads may not be appropriate when more explanation, data analysis, or testimonials are needed to sell a product or service.
Other disadvantages include:
- Lack of information
- Limited storytelling and engagement
- Inability to answer more questions
Target Users Based on Listening Preferences
Audience targeting is essential in reaching groups of consumers and being able to personalize the ads they hear. There’s no doubt that music is a powerful instrument, so you’ll want to ensure that your ad fits in with the music your audience is listening to. You can determine this based on what your audience is listening to, whether it’s seasonal music or music that helps them to work out or chill.
Once you’ve determined your audience’s listening preferences, you can create ads personalized to their listening experience.
Test and Tune Your Voice Strategy
Creating a voice strategy isn’t easy. However, it’s necessary to create good voice content. You’ll want to understand how, where, and why your audience uses voice so you can form natural connections between their needs and your brand. Since voice ads are still a new concept, there’s no right or wrong answer on how to conduct them. Plus, you’ll likely create several takes to test the waters and see which yields better results.
If you want to create a good voice strategy, you should determine what the best qualities of your brand are, what makes your products or services stand out, keep your content consistent, and understand who your target audience is.
Examples of Major Brands Taking Advantage of This Form of Advertising
Voice-enabled ads are everywhere nowadays, and they’ll continue to grow well into the future. Many big-time companies have used this form of advertising to promote their products and services with great success.
Here are just a few examples of some major brands that have used this type of advertising:
- Uber: The Uber app had worked alongside the voice assistant Siri to allow users to request rides and receive real-time updates. But, it now also works alongside Alexa and Google Home, expanding to a wider consumer base and offering a better user experience.
- KFC: KFC, or Kentucky Fried Chicken, has started using a voice-based chatbot in India. Through voice commands, customers who use this chatbot can place orders and receive details about promotions and offers. They can also request details about menu options.
- Walmart: Walmart has introduced AI and voice-enabled technology as a virtual assistant for their employees. The app, called Ask Sam, allows employees to ask questions about product prices and locations.
- Spotify: This year, Spotify introduced voice-activated ads in the United Kingdom, allowing any listener to ask Alexa or Google Assistant for free samples from a cosmetics firm to be delivered to their homes.
- Dominos: Dominos offers an efficient way to order your pie — by using a voice-ordering system that works alongside their virtual assistant, the Dru Assist.
- Burger King: Burger King took advantage of voice-enabled ads by using Google Home in conjunction with a TV ad. When the TV ad would say, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper Burger?”, the Google Home app would respond accordingly. Google voice functionality has allowed them to promote their infamous Whopper sandwich and drive organic online social activity.
Invest Your Efforts Into Interactive Voice Advertising
It’s safe to assume that, while it is early on for the format, interactive voice advertising will continue to evolve in the near future. If you want to keep up with the trends and connect with your audiences in new and intriguing ways, adopting interactive voice advertising into your marketing strategy could work for you.
If you’re struggling to get started with voice advertising, AUDIENCEX’s omnichannel programmatic solutions can help with strategy development, integrated technology, and data access to help you reach the right person at the right time. To find out more, contact us so we can discuss your vision and how our integrated platform and expert teams can help you achieve it.