Digital is making audio advertising better and more relevant
New technology tools are making audio advertising more effective than it’s ever been before. More and more brands are discovering that audio advertising is the secret weapon they’ve been looking to add to their omnichannel campaign.
Brands are using digital’s strengths to take audio advertising to the next level. Platforms like Spotify have log-in data that allow marketers to target specific groups of users based on their age, gender and listening habits. Not only does digital allow advertisers to know they’re reaching the right people, but its reporting tools can help them understand exactly how many of those people actually listened to their ads and if they took action.
In early 2016, Kia became the first company to beta test Spotify’s playlist sponsorship advertising program. The South Korean auto manufacturer used Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist. It had a weekly listenership of millions. Hence was a great launching pad for its 2017 Kia Sportage.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Digital Audio Buyer’s Guide – 2.0, Kia’s tactic ended up paying immense dividends: “The campaign generated 10.5 million impressions and resulted in a 30% lift in brand awareness, a 100% lift in brand perception, and a 700% increase in brand consideration.”
Results like these encourage marketers’ to target customers with digital audio advertising. What better and popular platforms than Spotify and Pandora. But again it’s also adding yet another layer of complexity that marketers must quickly specialise in.
Benefits of digital audio advertising
As the digital audio market grows, we also see a demand for podcasts. Influential brand extensions are showing their worth with massive opportunity for advertisers. Podcasts can speak to niche and specialist audiences due to their fluid set up and production. Allowing advertisers to build a relationship with a passionate community by giving them content they can access whenever they like. This market growth is driven by the increasing demand for multimedia content. Podcasts are slowly moving back into the mainstream.
One way podcasts can deliver this deep audience connection is via the curation of playlists, putting the trust customers have in brands at the forefront of their listening decisions.
Should you be interested?
A Las Vegas casino once decided to silence its slot machines, temporarily. It turned off every satisfying beep, ka-ching and bop to see what the effect would be. The result? A 24% loss in profits. The casino discovered that sound truly does matter! For brands too, audio engagement has always done well when it comes to creating a meaningful context. It is believed to create meaningful one-to-one relationships with listeners. It’s truly immersive, with a native and direct feel, as the user only hears one thing. You have their 100% attention on the audio content. It unlocks a two-way relationship, and the popularity of mobile phones has only strengthened this, with everyone now having access to a radio at any time.
The growth of mobile devices is at the heart of this.
Dynamic purchase of audio advertisement
Programmatic ad buying typically refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising dynamically, as opposed to the traditional process. Lately, digital audio providers are beginning to allow marketers to access their inventory with the same programmatic buying tools they use to buy digital video and display. For Spotify, this means giving brands the chance to target users listening to individual playlists in almost real-time, allowing for extremely relevant advertising messages. For instance, a coffee shop can now target someone listening to their ‘Acoustic Chill’ playlist with an ad encouraging them to step out of the office for a coffee break at their coffee shop.
The development of programmatic audio buying tools will make it much easier for marketers to reach their audiences at scale. In addition to being able to extend their terrestrial radio buys online, marketers can automatically purchase user segments across video, display and audio inventory all over the web. As more and more inventory becomes available for programmatic buying, it will only become that much easier to include audio in your real-time media plans.
Raise the volume folks!
Contextually appropriate advertising still seems to be the most common approach. Canada Dry launched a campaign focused on relaxing harder, where the company aimed to get its message across by targeting people listening to Spotify’s “chill” playlist with audio, display and video ads, as well as commercial-free sponsored sessions. It is early days for delivering audio ads in a more automated fashion with targeting. Still, nearly half of all impressions sold on Spotify last year were bought programmatically.
The company is banking that its ad tech will increasingly attract marketers searching for new innovative ways to reach consumers. Listeners now use their phone to stream during any time and place of their choice, the company says. Spotify can target ads based on everything, from the music genre and listener gender, to location.
“First, what is the optimal mix of ads to audio content? This has not yet been established—too much or too little won’t work and we need more experimentation. Second, how much time and in what blocks do your listeners engage with your platform? Craft your marketing and ads with that knowledge so listeners get the right exposure. Third, there is a science to humans needing a mix of new and repetition to really ‘hear’ anything—what does that really look like in different digital environments?” Vickie Nauman, founder of CrossBorderWorks Consulting
Some wise words there.
Here are some of the new audible trends:
Podcasts and streaming
It is expected that the audio rebirth will continue strengthening its position as an influential part of the marketing mix. While advertisers will leverage terrestrial and satellite radio opportunities, a significant boost will come from the rise of podcasts and streaming. After all, the proportion of Americans listening to podcasts has nearly doubled, and for the first time, on-demand audio streaming now accounts for a majority of total audio consumption. As advertisers look ahead, podcast and audio streaming opportunities should be at the top of their priority list.
Podcasts nurture relationships with audiences
The continued growth of investment in podcast advertising provides brands with real opportunities to create audience engagement. Radio listeners, often skip ads by changing the channel. Podcast listeners tend to hang on to every word of the show, including ads. Podcast listeners tend to have deeper respect and trust for the host. They are therefore more receptive to the brands that these hosts endorse.
Digital consumption of audio
Digital consumption of audio is growing rapidly, as more than half of audio content will be shared digitally by 2020. This is due to the growing number of streaming services and voice-activated devices. The targeting capabilities of the digital audio channel are very attractive to advertisers. They also prefer the ability to use dynamic creativity, like changing parts of the message based on a listener’s location or other contextual data, as an added benefit.