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Using audio advertising to enhance brand engagement and drive consumer connections

By Garrison Dua, VP of demand

AdsWizz

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June 24, 2024 | 6 min read

Sound can evoke emotions, create memories, and build brand identity, says AdsWizz's Garrison Dua. Here he shares insights on the rise of digital audio listenership, the effectiveness of personalized and interactive ads, and the role of innovative automation in optimizing audio campaigns.

As the Cannes Lions festival fades into the background, what better time is there to reflect on the trends in marketing and advertising that are driving consumer engagement?

One standout medium is audio advertising, which can enhance brand identity through immersive experiences by utilizing advanced tools. So, let's explore the current trends, technological advancements, and strategic approaches in audio advertising that are setting new standards in brand storytelling and consumer engagement.

The resonance of audio

The power of audio evokes emotions, creates memories, and strengthens brand identity in ways that transcend visual mediums. From jingles to podcast ads and interactive audio spots, sound can instantly evoke nostalgia or make an ad feel like a conversation with a trusted friend, highlighting its transformative impact. 

According to the SiriusXM Media report Digital Audio vs, digital audio listenership has surged by 92% over the past decade. Streaming audio is now considered twice as authentic as TV, and podcasts are seen as nine times more trustworthy. 

Audio enhances brand storytelling by adding emotional depth and immediacy, enabling brands to forge personal connections with their audiences. With 74% of listeners aged 18-34 consuming more audio content due to its accessibility and 79% of audio consumption occurring when visual media is unavailable, audio proves to be perfect for immersing multitasking consumers.

Advertisers and agencies have taken notice. The financial outlook for digital audio advertising is strong, with global ad spending projected to reach $11.78bn in 2024 and 1.56 billion users by 2029. This growth, combined with high trust and authenticity of audio content, highlights the medium's vast and ongoing potential.

Innovation in automation

Innovative automation technologies have revolutionized how brands speak with their audiences, enhancing the creation, distribution, and optimization of audio ads. These tools streamline processes, allowing marketers to refine strategies and maximize ROI, making digital audio advertising more precise and impactful.

For example, dynamic ad insertion (DAI) exemplifies this transformation. DAI uses real-time data to deliver personalized ads based on factors like location, time of day, and weather. It can swap ads in real-time during a podcast stream, preventing repetition and providing detailed analytics on ad performance.

Over 50% of listeners trust their favorite podcast hosts to choose worthy sponsors, and more than 40% are likely to make purchases based on these ads, demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach. Automated host-read ads further elevate advertising by merging the personalized touch of host-read ads with the accuracy of programmatic techniques. This solution allows advertisers to precisely target audiences, receive detailed reports, and maintain control over campaigns. Leveraging data-driven strategies, these ads ensure a seamless and efficient advertising experience.

Setting a new standard of brand storytelling

Ongoing innovation in automation is enhancing the precision and impact of audio advertising, enabling brands to explore new immersive approaches and set higher standards in brand experience. As advanced audio advertising technologies mature, they optimize ad placements and revolutionize how brands tell their stories and connect with audiences.

These advancements are best illustrated by a variety of innovative ad formats and technologies currently transforming the audio advertising landscape:

ShakeMe (motion-activated audio ads)

These ads leverage motion sensors in mobile devices to create interactive audio experiences. When users shake their phones in response to a prompt, they trigger additional content or actions, creating dynamic and memorable interactions with the brand.

Interactive voice ads

These ads enable listeners to interact in real-time conversations with the brand using voice commands. By responding to questions or prompts within the ad, users can receive personalized content, offers, or information, creating a highly personalized experience.

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO)

DCO technology tailors audio ads in real time based on various data points, such as listener location, time of day, weather, and user behavior. By dynamically adjusting ad content to suit the listener's context, brands can deliver highly relevant and personalized messages that resonate with their audience.

Mood targeting

Mood targeting syncs ads with the vibe of the music you're listening to, creating a more meaningful ad experience. By placing ads between tracks with similar moods, brands can enhance relevance. For example, an ice cream brand could target "happy" and "celebratory" moods, placing ads between upbeat songs to present its products as the perfect treat for joyful moments.

Steps for brands to explore audio advertising

To fully leverage these advancements and set new standards, brands need to adopt strategic approaches and best practices tailored to the audio advertising landscape.

Here’s a guide for creating impactful audio campaigns:

1. Understand your audience

Conduct research to understand the preferences, habits, and behaviors of your target audience. This helps in creating audio content that resonates with them.

2. Choose the right platform

Choose a scalable platform that supports precise audience segmentation, innovative features like in-platform A/B testing, and tools like DCO for personalized messaging.

3. Create engaging content

Develop high-quality audio content that tells a compelling story and draws listeners. Use professional voice talent, sound effects, and music to enhance the auditory experience.

4. Utilize automation tools

Implement automation tools to streamline the creation, distribution, and optimization of audio ads. This ensures more precise, efficient, and impactful advertising campaigns. Features like automated host-read ads combine a personal touch with programmatic precision, ensuring impactful and efficient audio advertising campaigns.

5. Experiment with formats

Experiment with different audio ad formats such as jingles, podcast ads, interactive audio spots, and motion-activated audio ads like ShakeMe to find what works best for your brand and audience.

6. Measure and optimize 

Measure and optimize via a custom Attribution solution. Whether you're leveraging the feature as a barometer for optimization or using it for validation (such as third-party validation with partners like Claritas), a platform like the AudioMatic DSP enables real-time measurement and optimization to surpass performance expectations. This continuous feedback loop ensures that your audio advertising campaigns are always fine-tuned for maximum impact and efficiency.

The present and future of brand communication

Audio advertising is playing an increasingly crucial role in advertisers’ relationship with their audience. By combining immersive experiences and innovative technologies, brands can create emotional and memorable connections with audiences.

As we look ahead to the next Cannes Lions festival, let's acknowledge the success of audio advertising in shaping the future of marketing. Brands that fully harness audio's potential will lead the future of advertising.

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