The change of the audio landscape
The landscape for audio has changed significantly over the last years, not just during 2020 because of pandemic.
For example, we have seen a rise in podcasts. Underdogs, start ups, comedians, consultants as well as big names such as Michelle Obama have now launched their own podcast. In every category you can imagine.
But not only have podcasts and music streaming platforms grown over the last years. Broadcast radio has now shifted to digital too and gained more listeners.
Going digital makes these originally traditional channels more accessible for smaller brands and budgets. They also allow for smarter targeting options. You can pick an audience, you can pick a region, a specific mood to reach your audience in the most relevant context.
Major streaming platforms like Spotify enable brands to be around key playlists and podcasts to reach your audience when they lean in to relax or learn.
But still, it is a channel that is hugely underutilized by brands who are looking to drive reach and ROI. While everyone still keeps focusing on social platforms (as the perception seems to be that this is where the target audience is constantly on) channels such as audio are overlooked and perceived to be a traditional channel, to not be categorized as digital marketing and that spending thresholds are out of bounds for a lot of brands.
Based on WARC’s latest Market Toolkit 2021 38% marketers intend to increase investment in podcasts and 16% in radio/audio. In comparison, investment in Mobile is predicted to grow by 64%, online display by 49% and influencers by 45%.
This again stresses the clutter the digital channels will face more and more. But offers an opportunity to choose channels to escape that clutter.
Don’t get me wrong, each channel has their role and place. But relying solely on ‘classical’ digital platforms might eat into your effective reach and ultimately ROI. Brands need to increase reach in order to grow. Adding further channels to the mix and ones that allow for effective reach can help brands to do so.
You could be missing out
I strongly vouch for audio. Every kind of audio, podcasts, broadcast radio, web radio and music streaming. I have worked with several brands over the last years who have run audio as part of their channel mix, as a trusted channel or as a new channel to test.
Across the board audio has delivered great results for these brands. Brand awareness has gone up, and so did consideration as well as sales. It depended of course of the actual campaign objective and creative. But along the funnel from awareness to sales audio has delivered.
Audio will help you avoid the saturated social space and visual clutter with views of 3 seconds or less.
The audio advertisement space is limited meaning if you advertise around a podcast or around a playlist you are the only advertiser. Your brand will get more attention and hence will drive reach with attention.
Tech partners like A Million Ads even make audio dynamic. By adding individual elements to the ad that are relevant to your target listener such as city, borough, weather in your area or the nearest store you will grab your audience’s attention in a subtle and non-invasive way. Uplifts in brand awareness and brand consideration have been proven.
But not only does audio help with driving brand awareness and consideration. Pushing promotions through web radio with the relevant targeting will help increase your ROI. I have worked on numerous radio campaigns that have proven to drive ROI for my clients.
Audio deserves its place in the channel mix and definitely deserves a test from brands that have not gone into the field of audio yet but are looking to grow.