By Phil Parrish on May 15th, 2018
Digital Audio Advertising 201: Top 10 Reasons to Implement Digital Audio Ads
In our first article of this two-part series on all things related to digital audio ads, we brought you up to speed with the current state of audio in the programmatic industry. We looked at the growth rate of the channel, but we also addressed the top five limitations in the industry that’s impacting even faster growth. We acknowledged that although limitations exist, the future looks bright for digital audio advertising.
In this article, we list our top 10 reasons why should you implement digital audio ads into your media plans. We also look to the future at how digital audio will evolve for today’s forward-thinking marketer.
See also: Digital Audio Advertising 101
Before we proceed, let’s take a step back and look at how audio plays a role in our day-to-day lives, and how advancements in technology are paving the way for a more voice-activated lifestyle.
The power of audio lies in its prevalence in our daily lives. Whether you’re streaming on your phone, in the car, on the TV, or through your in-home smart speaker, audio is always there and easily accessible.
Audio has become a staple in our multi-tasking behavior. You can have your music playing while you work out in the morning. You can listen to your favorite podcast during your commute to work. You can have your Amazon Alexa walk you through the recipe for dinner as you make it. Digital audio provides an entirely new level of contextual relevance because it’s always on. It exists in incremental moments in people’s lives where traditional broadcast audio does not, and where visual forms of communication cannot.
Now that we have a shared understanding of how pervasive audio is in our daily lives, and how marketers can leverage this channel to engage their audience, below are our top 10 reasons why brands should add digital audio to their media mix:
Digital audio is a unique channel
Digital audio is intimate and immersive, but it doesn’t depend on our undivided attention to make a valuable impression. Audio has become a companion across our daily activities which enhances the environment around the consumer.
These engaging “earbud moments” provide a powerful opportunity for marketers to speak to listeners in a compelling way during the right time of day using relevant first- and third-party data. Brands can also speak to their audience on connected devices like cars and airplanes, which extends reach beyond more common devices like mobile and desktop.
Audio also makes it possible for brands to deliver these valuable impressions without fearing overcrowded ads on web pages, ad blockers, and fraud.
Digital audio ads offer precise audience targeting
Digital audio provides a far greater range of targeting opportunities than traditional radio based on device and listener data.
Accessing audio inventory through programmatic platforms enables brands to target audio ads to:
- Relevant demographics
- Geographical markets
- Time slots
- Behavioral audiences
- Users who have previously listened to your audio ads, or site visitors, via retargeting
In addition to the above targeting capabilities, login data collected from streaming audio players helps marketers target listeners programmatically based on their musical genre preferences, activity, and current location.
Not only can marketers micro-target their audio ads, but they can report on all programmatic metrics to better understand how the channel works within a larger programmatic media strategy.
Digital audio ads will be highly scalable as more users subscribe to audio platforms and inventory increases
Digital audio is just in its infancy, and the potential growth of this channel is truly endless. This is a scalable channel as more users subscribe to audio platforms and streaming providers offer more inventory through programmatic technology.
When considering the continued increase in user adoption of streaming audio platforms, and the fact that many users stay connected throughout the day, available ad inventory is likely to rise.
Streaming audio providers still reserve the majority of their inventory through their direct platforms. As more of this inventory becomes accessible to programmatic platforms and exchange-based advertising, there will be more available inventory that brands can utilize to reach their highly engaged audiences.
Digital audio channels provide engaging audio-specific formats
In our previous article, we addressed the confusion over audio ad specs and limited creative options. What is currently missing, but coming soon, are new types of audio-specific ad formats that will improve engagement rates with listeners.
Instead of being limited to clicks on an audio ad or companion banner, imagine a brand being able to tell the listener to shake their phone to download a coupon.
Real-time interactions with audio ads through voice activation is another interesting opportunity that streaming audio providers and DSPs are exploring.
100% share-of-voice (SOV)
Programmatic audio space is yours and yours alone. You aren’t competing with other advertisers for limited screen space.
Put simply, listeners can’t listen to anything else while your audio ad is playing. This level of engagement is hard to achieve in other channels, which is an important reason why audio should be in your programmatic media mix.
No ad fraud
Digital audio is a very safe place to invest your advertising dollars. The problem of fraud is a key concern across the programmatic industry, which makes the highly fraud-resistant nature of audio another major benefit.
Almost all audio publishers are connected server-side, not through a browser, to form a closed ecosystem which makes it quite easy to identify unexpected traffic. With 100% SOV, viewability (or “listenability”) is not an issue either because every spot that plays is audible.
Though the available inventory is miniscule compared to display, advertisers don’t have to fight the vast majority of fraudulent impressions that you see in programmatic display.
Programmatic audio is great for a mobile-focused campaign strategy
Programmatic audio advertising also works really well on mobile. In the U.S., over 80% of digital audio listening occurs on mobile devices:
Mobile advertising is growing in popularity and effectiveness day by day, and digital audio is a great way for marketers to extend the effectiveness of their programmatic mobile campaigns.
Access to engaged users who are listening to drive user experience
The immersive format of digital audio ensures that the consumer is already engaged and listening. Instead of focusing on ancillary performance metrics like click-through rates, brands should instead look to “listen-through rates.”
When executed well under the right guidance, digital audio enables sequential storytelling, via compelling, engaging ads specifically created for audio use. This personalized ad experience certainly helps to enhance brand awareness.
With omnichannel programmatic advancements, digital audio performance metrics no longer have to sit in a silo.
Digital audio campaigns can be centralized and measured alongside other channels. The cross-platform reach of mainstream DSPs allows brands to engage their target audience wherever and whenever they listen. Audio ads can run on web, mobile, tablet, connected car, and home devices, making this a truly omnichannel solution.
From a reporting perspective, digital audio campaigns can be optimized using impression, click, engagement, and completion rates in addition to viewability and conversion metrics.
Futuristic audience targeting
The majority of brands investing in digital audio today are targeting audiences in a music-agnostic way. That will change in the near future as streaming audio providers and DSPs attempt to understand the activities and moods of audiences based on the content they are listening to.
In the future, targeting may allow advertisers to determine what the listener is doing, in order to capture attention.
For example, a healthcare brand will be able to target audiences at the gym when they are listening to workout music and partaking in a health-conscious activity. A marketer will be able to target their pasta brand to people while they’re cooking pasta.
Final Thoughts on Digital Audio Ads
After reading this article, you should now understand the growth potential of digital audio and why dollars should be allocated to this channel in your media plan.
There are also some really exciting targeting capabilities and ad formats that will become available in 2019. Audio ad inventory will increase through programmatic platforms, which will provide marketers with increased reach to engaged listeners.
If you’re ready to add Digital Audio as a new channel in your digital strategy, or if you feel like there’s room for improvement with your current audio campaigns, please contact us to learn more and see how our team of programmatic audio experts can help.
Ready to Take Your Programmatic Ads to the Next Level?
We're excited to work with you!