We often think of advertisements as something we see, but what about the ones we can only hear?
Audio advertising not only opens up a whole new world of opportunities for communicating your message but has an entirely different impact on consumers in comparison to visual ads. Have you considered audio advertising for your brand?
What is audio advertising?
Everyone knows about those annoying ads that have been blaring on radio stations for decades. But those aren’t the kind of audio ads we’re talking about here.
Instead, we’re going to delve into the less obnoxious and far more effective modern version: Spotify, Soundcloud and podcasts. These platforms allow you to deliver your message anytime, anywhere by leveraging sponsored airtime.
When you advertise on a radio station, you’re forced to pick either a wide-ranging demographic — for example, everyone aged 35-54 — or have your ad heard by multiple demographics, which reduces your cut-through and hits the wrong people entirely.
“Soundcloud alone reaches more than 26% of the mobile population of Australia and New Zealand.”
But audio advertising is even more customised than traditional radio ads. By understanding the exact genre, topic, or artist your ad is associated with, you can reach a more accurate target audience.
While something like a full podcast sponsorship requires a considerable investment, there are far less costly options across all audio platforms. For example, you might opt for a shorter, pre-recorded ad. There’s a range of options to suit any advertising budget.
Spotify and Soundcloud
Audio streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud have become the go-to method of listening to music and even podcasts. Soundcloud alone reaches more than 26% of the mobile population of Australia and New Zealand.
Both Spotify and Soundcloud offer paid subscriptions as well as free versions for members. This means that you can reach members who have free memberships through the ads that play while they listen.
There are a number of advantages to advertising through Soundcloud and Spotify. Here’s just a few:
- Unlike radio, listeners are less likely to switch off during an ad. This is because the ads are relatively short and only cause a momentary disruption from regular listening.
- The ads tend to be less intrusive and irritating than radio ads, so listeners are more receptive to their message
- The ads have a higher chance of sticking in the listener’s memory as they’re not only accompanied by music but music that the listener is interested in. This helps to create a positive association towards an ad.
Podcast ads and how they’re different
Podcasts are nothing new, but they’ve become considerably more popular in recent years. Think of a podcast as a TV talk show without a studio audience. They generally involve one or more hosts who discuss issues relevant to the theme of their show, often involving guests who can lend their expertise and opinion to the discussion.
While it is possible to listen to podcasts through Spotify and Soundcloud, most podcasts contain their own ads. These usually come in the form of an “ad read”— that is, a short script read out by the host, rather than a pre-recorded ad. This is where podcast advertising’s unique advantage comes from.
Some of the benefits of podcast advertising are:
- Listeners are likely receptive to a product or service the host is endorsing, largely thanks to the existing trust the listener has in the host’s expertise. In fact, it’s possible that they’re already taking notes from things they’ve learned or that have been recommended during the episode.
- Podcast ads sound less scripted and more personal, so they come across as more genuine.
- Because of the read-out format of podcast ads, the switch between the podcast segment and an ad read is less jaunting. This flow allows the ad’s message to be more positively received by the listener.