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Programmatic audio advertising: What is it and what are its advantages?



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July 8, 2022 | 6 min read

The way we listen to content is ever changing

Over 39 million people in the UK listen to digital content, with over 18.1 million podcast listeners alone. With rapid growth the streaming platforms are building out their ad models which presents marketers with a unique opportunity for eardrum-oriented content. The fight for attention is on.

There are more than half a million podcast shows on topics to match any interest. As consumers move from radio to digital audio, advertisers should look to maximize budget by turning to digital audio to extend their audience reach and increase message frequency, with the implicit efficiencies that programmatic advertising offers.

What does programmatic audio mean?

Programmatic audio advertising is an extension of the online ad ecosystem. It uses the same automated systems for buying ads in audio content such as podcasts, audio articles, digital radio, and streaming music services. It comes with all the efficiencies you’d expect from programmatic buying, with advertisers seeing better targeting, measurement and retargeting to execute campaigns with confidence.

Having audio inventory in the mix has opened up a new way for brands and publishers to connect with audiences. With the near omnipresent connection to the internet, and the proliferation of the internet of things (IoT) in our lives, users are ever closer to being online 24/7. In times where audiences can be oversaturated with visual advertising, programmatic audio is important as it allows brands to evolve their marketing and advertising strategies in a natural way. It offers the ability to reach a highly targetable and mobile audience in a brand-safe environment where screens are simply not an option.

Delivery and targeting capabilities

Audience targeting on programmatic audio is similar to other channels you’ll already be familiar with. You can use the same audience targeting solutions from display, video, mobile, and multi-channel campaigns, or use audio specific data to target genres, playlists and demographics to match the mood or topic of a campaign.

With programmatic audio, you can target premium digital audiences against traditional broadcast parameters, such as day parting, geo, and format, measured against familiar tGRP and CPP KPIs. You can also retarget those people who have listened to an audio ad to keep them moving further on the customer journey.

  • IP-based targeting
  • Geo-fencing
  • Content and behavioral
  • First party Targeting
  • Contextual (keywords and topics)
  • Dynamic triggers (location, demographics, temporal, music genre, device OS, weather)
  • Technology based (browser, wireless carrier, listening platform, device OS)
  • Sequential (introduce & reinforce, prompt & inspire, attract & direct, engage & differentiate)

What are the benefits of programmatic audio?

Digital audio can be used in cross-device campaigns to generate brand awareness or part of the funnel for general prospecting used alongside display, video, mobile, OOH or CTV.

Highly engaged audiences: Audio is engaging, emotional, and a different experience for consumers. Due to the nature of the listening experience, ads, which blend with the content, are more welcome and effective, with Nielsen finding that host-read ads drive a brand recall rate of 71%.

Precise targeting: There is a full-suite of targeting capabilities, including: audience targeting, geo targeting and device targeting.

Frequency control: You can manage how often ads are served and reduce wasted impressions with frequency control.

Data decision intelligence: Using first-party data alongside mobile network data you can improve effectiveness and performance.

Efficiency: Gain maximum reach with focused targeting, effective discovery and execution.

Dynamic creative messaging: There is capability to deliver 360 binaural ads and utilize data and context for personalization. Research shows that dynamically personalized creative delivers on average 52% uplift in ad recall, along with a 2.4x increase in conversions.

Real time optimization: Deliver creative which can target, refine, and expand on a variety of specific parameters to reach the pre-established KPIs (e.g. universal campaign management, setting filters for devices, frequency etc).

Reporting & attribution: Get insights on the entire customer journey, including audio activity to optimize and attribute conversions.

Audience targeting solutions

Programmatic audio allows advertisers to access inventory at a much higher scale, but it’s important to ensure campaigns are well targeted. Using audience insights from mobile network data you can intelligently inform the entire media stack.

Data driven audience expansion: Using data modelling you can identify prospecting efforts, and influence publisher deal setups, which can be overlaid with audience insights within the DSP.

Sequential messaging: With cross-device targeting and attribution, you’re able to serve sequential messaging across all channels and devices while managing a frequency cap across the entire buy.

Extend CTV buys to digital audio: Extending connected TV reach via digital audio is one approach some advertisers take. And it’s a sound one, considering in the US digital audio listeners will outnumber connected TV users by 9.7 million this year.

Add audience data: To ensure a cohesive cross-channel experience, consider integrating audio, video, and display with first and third-party data targeting, measured against digital KPIs including uniques, capping, geo, and demo across media and devices.

Diversify your programmatic budget: Use the same targeting and reporting tools from your video, mobile, and cross-device campaigns.

Get your brand heard

Digital audio is a huge opportunity to brand build with an audience of engaged listeners. It complements other programmatic advertising tactics to help increase the reach of your multi-channel campaigns. But attention must be earned. Brands that embrace the medium as a soundboard for creativity will thrive, by cutting through the noise.

If you are looking for more information about how programmatic audio or podcast advertising can help your company grow, contact us. We’re here to listen.

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