How to Make Audio Ads on Any Budget

More people are listening to streaming music and podcasts every day. In the U.S., podcast listeners will likely reach 124.5 million this year. That statistic alone illustrates that audio marketing is more important than ever. Your target customer will hear your audio message when and where they are most attentive.
The good news for small businesses is that creating audio ads is highly accessible for even those with a low budget. It’s one of the most cost-effective methods for reaching a broad audience of engaged listeners.  Audio ads don’t need to be elaborate or expensive to be impactful, making the return on ad spend (ROAS) even more profound.  

Why Invest in Audio

Audio ads are incredibly immersive. They reach huge audiences when they are most focused. An astounding 95% of Americans 13 years and older use some audio media daily.  Between OTA, streaming OTA, and podcast content, that adds up to around 21 hours each day. 
There are different types of audio ads. Podcast endorsements are similar to radio endorsements. Just as a radio host has a dedicated audience who takes the host’s recommendations seriously, podcast audiences are loyal to their favorite program hosts. Audio gives you more ways to impact your listeners and your bottom line. 
Even a modest investment can produce an impressive return. A recent analysis that tracked national ad spend showed that shifting only 1.2% of ad spend to audio resulted in up to a 23% increase in ROAS. Audio also works to amplify your other media like paid ads, online videos, and TV. Each dollar invested increased incremental sales by 74% to 83%.

Creating Audio Ads at Any Budget

While it is true that companies with a large budget can outsource and hire production companies that hire talent and produce quality effects, an effective audio ad doesn’t require all that. Creating your audio brand message doesn’t have to be an expensive venture. You can choose to sponsor specific shows or conduct live reads. The bonus with live reads is that there is no production cost to get your ad in front of audiences.

Choosing the platform for your ad is another consideration. With a large budget, you can choose from various radio drive times to air your ad. You may choose to leverage some of the newer technologies like voice search or interactive audio ads. For any budget, podcasts offer numerous opportunities for putting your audio ads in front of a large audience. 

How to Record an Audio Ad

Let’s look at some examples for different budgets:
Large Budget
More money means more options. Production crews with the tools, equipment, and experience can still be cost-effective when they know what to do and when to do it, optimizing their time and ensuring a quality product. Professionals can write your copy or a jingle, voice it, and edit it. You may also want to do A/B testing to find the most effective ad before airing the final version. 
Small Budget
Creating your audio ad doesn’t have to break the bank. Start with the basics, like finding a quiet location with good acoustics. You want to avoid echoes, so try to find a room with soft surfaces or sound-dampening materials like carpets, rugs, or pillows. 
You may think expensive equipment is a must for recording audio ads. You can use a simple USB microphone or a recent-model smartphone to capture surprisingly high-quality audio. There are even free audio apps that can help you record voiceovers.
Now, the most critical part is your message. You’ll want to ensure your ad is concise and relevant to your target audience. Use natural, straightforward language and speak at a conversational pace. Tell the audience what value you offer and what they need to do next to take advantage of it.
There are other ways to cut costs, like varying the length of your ads. Shorter ads mean lower prices. Use local or in-house people accustomed to doing voice work instead of hiring an outside professional. If music is a part of your ad, consider creating your jingle. 

Audio Is an Influential and Cost-Effective Way To Reach Your Audience

Audio should remain a significant part of your marketing strategy whether you have a generous or modest budget. They range from prerecorded to live reads, from radio or podcast host endorsements, and from short and sweet to longer and more technologically advanced. There are more options today to connect with a significant local or massive global audience. Regardless of your choice, audio remains one of the most powerful ways to reach and influence your target customer while producing a significant return on your investment.

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