The Keys to Optimizing Your Digital Audio Advertising

More people are consuming audio content today than ever before. As social distancing, lockdowns, and work from home protocols became the norm over the past few years, entertainment like podcasts or music streaming services have drastically risen in popularity. The percentage of Americans who have listened to online audio rose from only 27% in 2010 to 68% in 2021, signaling a trend that shows little sign of slowing. This growing interest in passive listening has created renewed momentum for digital audio advertising as brands seek new ways to connect with their audience. 

But, what is digital audio advertising, and how does it work? Read on to learn more about effectively engaging prospective customers with audio advertising, including helpful tips to remember along the way.  

How Advertisers Are Using Digital Audio Advertising

Advertising through audio was largely relegated to radio broadcasts in the past. Today, advertisers are also using digital audio advertising to reach customers on music streaming platforms like Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio. By placing a brief ad in between songs, advertisers can convey their message to a growing cohort of eager listeners without needing to expend a tremendous amount of money on commercials or video production.

Thanks in large part to the emergence of podcasting in recent years, digital audio advertising continues to grow in size and scale, encompassing virtually every aspect of musical or conversational entertainment. 

Today, there are thousands of podcasts available, and many of them have dedicated sponsors covering a range of products or services. To improve the targeting of digital audio, advertisers often seek out podcasts that touch upon topics related directly to their brand. For instance, a home and garden podcast may contain an audio ad promoting a new type of fertilizer while a podcast discussing economics or inflation would pair well with an audio ad that discusses investing in gold or silver.

Essential Keys to Optimizing Your Audio Ads

With so many companies vying for market share in the digital audio advertising sphere, competition can be fierce. Although it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd, there are several ways you can enhance your digital audio ads for optimal engagement and return on investment (ROI). Here are some helpful tips for creating digital audio advertisements that will have an impact.

Include a Call-to-Action within Your Audio Content         

The best digital audio ads include a strong call-to-action that compels listeners to purchase a product, sign up for email updates, or navigate to your company’s website. Once someone clicks on your ad, they should land on a separate webpage that provides more detailed information about your brand and offering. Try to keep the call-to-action in your audio ad concise so that listeners don’t become overwhelmed with too much information at once.

Hone in on Frequency

Your audience may need to hear an audio advertisement several times before they decide to learn more. With that said, interrupting a listener’s playlist with the same ad over and over can have a detrimental effect on how they view your brand. Evaluate the analytics of your audio ads to find the ideal frequency of ad placement to generate maximum interest. Dig deeper into metrics like listen-through rate and conversion ratios to determine the average number of times a prospect needs to hear your ad before they become a customer.

Keep it Short For Audience Retention

Remember, people don’t stream music or podcasts to discover new and exciting ads. If your audio advertisement is too long, many listeners may simply skip the ad or remove their headphones until the ad is over. 

You can avoid this problem by creating ads that grab the listener’s attention in under 6 seconds before they have the option to skip the ad entirely. To keep your audience interested, aim to create digital audio ads that are informative, exciting, and to the point, removing any extra information that could complicate your message. After listeners navigate to your landing page, you can provide them with additional selling points or caveats associated with the offering.

Identify Ideal Audio Format

Depending on your preference, you can choose to place ads before, during, or after streaming a song or podcast. These ads typically only run from 15 to 60 seconds. For longer streaming sessions, some brands may tell a complete story across several advertisements. 

For shorter messages, advertisers may focus on creating skippable ads that aim to grab the listeners’ attention within seconds. You can also explore paying for ad placement during a live podcast stream by having the host promote your product or service directly. Doing this creates a bridge between your prospective customers and the podcast’s audience directly, ultimately establishing trust in your brand.

What Can You Expect From Digital Audio Marketing?

When you engage in digital audio marketing, you’re tapping into a ready-made audience of attentive listeners. The sheer volume of active podcast fans or music streamers gives your brand access to a global marketplace of potential customers, allowing you to cultivate brand recognition faster and easier than ever before. In addition, it’s relatively simple to create targeted programmatic digital audio advertisements based on the age, demographics, or location of your target audience. The ability to cater content to specific listeners is one of the main reasons why digital audio ads are so effective at converting listeners.

How Does This Compare to Traditional Radio Ads?

Since people tend to listen to radio primarily in their car, ads placed on AM or FM broadcasts may not always reach their intended audience. This makes it critical to select a timeslot for a radio ad when people are most likely to listen in. 

With digital audio ads on a podcast or music streaming platform, timing is less important. People will often replay podcast episodes they missed or listen to music on their phones as they go about their day. This ensures your ad is heard by your target audience no matter when they tune in.

When Should You Utilize Audio Advertising in a Campaign Strategy?

If your marketing budget continues to climb but you’re not seeing consistent results in the form of customer conversions, it may be time to augment your marketing campaign with digital audio advertising. Using audio to deliver ads to listeners is also a good idea if you’re in a highly competitive industry and struggling to gain greater market share. 

For emerging brands, audio advertising offers a more affordable alternative to professionally-produced visual advertisements like TV commercials, allowing even the smallest company to stand out from the crowd.

How to Measure the Performance of Your Audio Ads

To track how your audio ads perform over time, it’s necessary to evaluate key metrics throughout the course of a given campaign. These vital indicators include the number of people exposed to your ad, how many times a person hears the ad, and the percentage of listeners who allow the advertisement to play in its entirety. 

By comparing this data to your in-store or eCommerce sales, you can begin to recognize patterns connecting audio ad engagement with your brand’s overall growth. When key metrics fail to meet performance benchmarks, you can evaluate engagement data to find ways to improve the impact of your content. For example, a sudden drop in an ad’s listen-through rate (LTR) could indicate a need to adjust the frequency of the advertisement or shorten the ad for brevity. Likewise, if individuals are consistently listening to your ad from start to finish, you may want to reuse the same targeting parameters for future audio advertisements.

Where Programmatic Audio Advertising Comes Into Play

Today, programmatic audio advertising works to streamline ad placement by automatically selecting audience parameters based on demographics, interests, or time slots. This makes it possible for brands to distribute targeted audio advertisements over multiple podcasts or streaming services at once, improving the efficiency of marketing efforts while reducing overall ad spending in the process. In other words, programmatic advertising takes all the guesswork out of your audio marketing strategy by finding the most popular and relevant publishers to convey your message. Instead of wasting time and resources hunting down a single podcast or playlist loosely connected to your target audience, programmatic audio ensures your digital audio advertisements engage individuals who are most likely to convert.

At AUDIENCEX, we make it easy to automate your omnichannel audio advertising by bringing many of today’s most popular digital publishers into a single, comprehensive marketplace. Our integrated omnichannel platform includes programmatic access to over two dozen DSPs, search and social advertising platforms to ensure your audio ads always reach your target audience, no matter where they are.

Our digital audio advertising solutions include proprietary reporting tools to track all your most important KPIs and automated recommendations based on millions of data points collected from all your campaign channels. When you’re ready to discover the power of programmatic digital audio advertising, contact our team at AUDIENCEX to learn more.