The Grava guide into digital audio

Digital Audio, Digital Campaigns
B2C, B2B2C
Reach, Brand Awareness
De Grava gids voor digitale audio: Spotify, Deezer en meer

Audio is one of the most underestimated as it surrounds us in our daily life throughout most of the day. Everywhere we go, we take music with us as it can very often be linked to lifechanging events. Think of moments such as your wedding dance or the song that was playing when you first met your partner. Even in bad times, music can be comforting. What all of these examples show is that music has the power to build lasting emotional connections. That same power can be used to build strong relations with clients in both an authentic and contextually relevant way.

Programmatic is once again as in many other types of media, a catalyst in making digital audio ads available for a broader type of advertisers. No longer do they require 5 or 6 digit media budgets to (hopefully) reach their target audience. Programmatic audio democratizes media space and allows for more granular buying methods which in return reduce budget waste.

As most Digital Audio platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, and Soundcloud require a user log in, more audience data is available to play with. Whether you wish to target specific demographics or just everyone who is listening to upbeat music, you can reach them with just the click of a button.

5 reasons to include digital audio into your marketing strategies

1. Easy-to-Track

Just as with regular display campaigns, Digital audio allows you to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. It will give you detailed information on questions such as:

  • How many unique profiles did your audio ads reach?
  • How many people were exposed to my audio ads and decided to visit my website afterward?
  • Which audience targeting was most successful in reaching my campaign KPI's?
  • Which ad variation brings the best result?
  •  ...

2. Hyperlocal and Hypercontextual Targeting

Just like with other programmatic media buying, hyperlocal targeting allows you to support local advertiser campaigns by targeting up to 100m accurate. This means even very local initiatives such as 1-store businesses can benefit from digital audio ads. When potential clients are in the vicinity, try to vary ad messages during and outside of opening hours.

Platforms such as Spotify also allow to target genres of music or specific playlists. When someone is listening to their 'morning chill' playlist, advertisers will be able to adapt and offer a customized ad experience by using ads that match with the playlist atmosphere.

3. Build a bridge for other ads

Make a first connection by using audio ads. Bring your first message across in a moment while users are jogging, driving or just listening to their favorite podcasts in the comfort of their home. By having a first touchpoint with audio, chances increase that they will recognize your brand when following up with video, native or display ads.

4. Cost-efficient Creatives

Although Audio spots also require an investment that's not to underestimate, it still differs from the efforts required to make a video ad. As long as you have a recording studio/equipment and a production team you're set. No actors, video shoots, extensive montage is required. And while you're at it, why don't make assets for dynamic audio in one go?

5. Increased customer engagement

Just like classical ad types such as (Digital-)Out-Of-Home, Radio, Live TV ... Digital audio is non-skippable by definition which means your audience will sit through the entire ad experience. A study from Nielsen in 2017 shows digital audio ads drove 24% higher recall than display ads, and were twice as likely to lift purchase intent.

Another study from the IAB shows increased direct response actions for podcast listeners. They often react to hearing a sponsorship message or advertisement during a favorite podcast, including:

  • Visiting a sponsor’s web site (45%)
  • Considering a new product or service (42%)
  • Gathering more information about a product or company (37%)

However when working with podcasts, it's important to keep in mind that there is a link between your brand/product and the content of the podcast target audience. Advertising targeted at the elderly within a podcast aimed at expecting parents won't yield the same results.

How do you build effective audio ads?

Brand Placement upfront

What's more important in creating an impact: mentioning your brand name in the first three seconds or the last three seconds of an audio spot? Just as with video ads, the first three seconds make the better choice. Ad recall is significantly bigger in the first part of your ad compared to and the end.

First impressions last, keep this in mind when building audio spots. Use the intro to introduce your brand or offer in a creative way. This will allow you to capture a listener's attention for the rest of your ad.

Preferably use short-form audio. Snack-size audio spots allow for more variations within the same production budget. This will also enable you to experiment with what ads work best.

Match ad style with music genre

Does matching your ad style with your listener's music genre work better or not? Pandora  tested this and showed a 22% drop in performance when not matching ad styles with the music genre that someone is listening to. If you have this information at hand and it's within budget, create variations so there is consistency between ads and songs in the playlist.

Keep the good vibes going

When your ad puts listener's in a good mood by using "feel good" music, they're more likely to be receptive to your ads. An IPG study even shows a 35% increased chance to react positively towards your brand afterwards.

Does it matter who is talking?

According to some studies, the gender of a voice makes a difference in ad effectiveness. Both males and females prefer female voiceovers. Research from Pandora showed that female voiceovers outperformed the mail voiceovers when looking at Purchase Intent and Ad Recall.

Repetition works

Is there a magic formula on how many times do I need to mention my brand? The answer is simply "no". However, repetition won't harm ad recall as long as you don't exaggerate. It's more important to make sure the brand name is naturally woven into your ad copy. That way even a single mention can yield great results.

Find your tone of voice

When building ads, always keep in mind who you will be targeting. Talking to the baby boomer generation will require a different tone of voice compared to talking with Millenials and Generation Z. One will require a slower pace while the other will respond better to more upbeat and snappy ads. Just as with the "good emotions", the advertiser is in control over making listeners feel a certain way, for example, mellow vs energetic.


Attention span for audio ads


Hopefully you've got a good idea of why Digital Audio can be a valuable addition to your marketing mix. With ever-shorter attention spans, it's harder to reach new or even your existing customers.  As a final insight, please take into consideration that it only takes 2 seconds on average for listeners to recognize and recall ad content. Capturing attention as soon as possible is what makes consumers decide to tune in or tune out. So you need to optimize those first seconds and keep them interested afterwards with your story.

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