If not, you may want to reconsider.
With many consumers recognising the negative impacts of screen overload, more and more people are turning to audiobooks, podcasts, and music to consume content. Combine this with the fact that 60% of British smartphone users are using voice technology at least once a month. It’s clear that marketers cannot afford to ignore this channel any longer.
Big brands like Mastercard and HSBC are even going as far as creating their own ‘sonic brand identity’. So to make sure you aren’t missing out on this growing trend, let’s take a look at three audio technologies changing the marketing landscape.
Podcasts have seen exponential growth in recent years, and many predict demand will only increase from here. As many as 12% of UK adults listen to podcasts weekly and two-thirds listen to the whole episode according to the latest research from RAJAR, the UK radio and audio measurement company. While producing a podcast makes sense for a smaller subset of brands with messaging and talent that suits the medium, advertising on a podcast can and should be considered by most.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, host-read ads made up 63.3% of podcast ad revenues from publishers surveyed in 2018. Yet 35% of revenues came from announcer-read or pre-produced ads. The heavier investment in host-read ads is down to the “endorsement factor”, identified in a Business Insider report in July 2019. The research shows that the intimate nature of having someone in your ear means that people are more likely to trust a message delivered in this way. As such, there’s evidence that this format could have more legs than traditional display campaigns.
Podcast listeners also identify as an “advertiser’s dream”. While ad-avoidance is rampant on most marketing channels, 78% of listeners say they approve of podcast sponsorships.
They have made the connection that the advertising funds the content that they truly value. Data in the IAB Podcast Playbook, published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau also indicated that 67% of listeners could recall products and brands featured in ads on podcasts. And better yet, 61% actually purchased a product or service they learned about on podcasts.
In the UK last year, Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music, made revenues of £468m. Music streaming now accounts for nearly two thirds (63.6%) of all music consumption in the UK.
Spotify reported 217 million monthly active users last year and with 100 million identified as Premium subscribers, that means that about 50% of active users are served (unskippable!) ads each time they use the service. That is a huge audience and that’s just Spotify.
Spotify’s Ad Studio allows advertisers to target listeners by location, age, gender, and language. You can also reach users based on their moods, activities, music tastes and favourite artists. And if you know when your audience tends to tune in or is primed for action, you can even choose the timing of when your ads are played.
Keep in mind that for audio ads, Spotify’s CPM is around $5-$30. Pandora’s is roughly $8-$12 and there is minimum spends in place. However, if you’re looking for a way to speak to your audience while they are cooking, exercising or commuting. This is one avenue to explore with huge potential.
In addition to the growth of audio through podcasts and music streaming is voice-command technologies. Almost a quarter of UK households are now home to a smart assistant device. Google reported last year that 20 per cent of mobile queries are now voice search. Now that integrated virtual assistants are learning new languages, sales are about to boom worldwide.
What makes voice-command unique in audio marketing is how it integrates with so many technologies. People are asking specific questions, but they are also streaming music and listening to podcasts. Which creates a whole new avenue for receiving branded information. As usage increases, so will the variety of ways people interact with these devices, which means that creating more audio content will be the key to staying relevant. Don’t forget that this a great way to promote social responsibility as a brand—providing better access to your products and services to those who are visually impaired and is a huge win for everyone.
If you are not doing this already, it’s time to reassess your internet search strategy to optimize for voice search parameters.
This could be as simple as an assessment through Google Ads Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer. However, could also require integration of your customer care team of common questions they receive and how they articulate these verbally by phone or how they are written into chats.
Finally, if you have product pages on Amazon or Google, think about how these pages would sound readout on a device.
So hopefully this convinces you to take a second look at users perceive and experience your brand in audio marketing. Additional advertising channels are always worth considering, and audio offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with your audience.
At Zero Above we will help optimise your website and marketing strategy. We will also help you make the most of all the different marketing avenues. From Website optimisation to advertising campaigns we can help you integrate it all. For more information, check out our approach here.