The Future of Audio Ads – Trends to Watch Out For

Today’s consumers value audio platforms alongside digital options like social media, display ads, email, and content marketing, like blogs and videos. Businesses have more options than ever to diversify their ads, but audio ads are one channel that’s flourishing within these technological changes. Digital audio on streaming platforms, podcasts, or even more esoteric apps like white noise apps and meditation guides offer businesses increasingly personal ways to reach their target customer.
When it’s time to set up your annual marketing strategy or start thinking about your next campaign, see how these audio ad trends should fit into your business.

Audio Ads Reach Consumers as a Full-Funnel Channel

Audio ads are incredibly versatile. While display ads primarily trigger a sales conversion (and provide some secondary value for brand exposure), audio ads can reach shoppers at the awareness, consideration, and purchase stages. You can create engaging audio content that gets the attention of new prospects and demonstrate your product’s unique value in solving listeners’ pain points once they start to shop around. You can also spur shoppers into fast action with a promotional offer and a strong CTA.
The possibilities are endless. You can create dozens of campaigns that keep prospects at every part of the funnel. Audio ads touch and interact with your marketing at other levels, especially when strategically combining audio and digital ads, enhancing their effectiveness by increasing the chance of recognition and overall ad credibility.

Podcast Ads Are Attracting Bigger Brands

Podcasts were a niche media ten years ago, but they have exploded among general audiences since then. People listen to podcasts in the car, at the gym, while doing chores, and everywhere in between. Today, there are over 5 million podcasts, with some attracting even bigger audiences than some of the most popular primetime shows on TV.

Consumers are listening, and that means there’s a lot of attention that you could bend toward your products and services.
If you’re still leery about podcasts, listen to a few and pay attention to which big brand names spend money on ads and sponsorships. Every online mattress company, multi-million dollar wellness brands, and Audible are still the mainstay companies advertising on podcasts, but there’s plenty of room for new entrants.
Even better, podcasts let you granularly focus on your target market. You can craft audio content built for increasingly specific listenerships without tuning out general audiences. That can take the form of programmatic podcast ads, which are increasingly popular, or you can sponsor shows whose audiences match your target audience and let hosts craft the message like a live-read ad.

Automation Increases Programmatic Ad Capabilities

Manual processes slow down operations and reduce the amount of valuable data you can generate to fine-tune your messaging, audio channels, and attribution models. Programmatic audio ads with automated ad placement is becoming increasingly common, helping companies advertise to listeners as they listen to older podcast episodes. Increased information places ads based on the most relevant audiences, similar to how display ads online and streaming platforms, like Hulu. Invest in automation systems and platforms that provide automated workflows.
These systems can automatically ensure you stay within budget parameters, alert you to new opportunities, and generate more insights. They can also target specific channels and programs corresponding to detailed buyer personas.
With this level of functionality, you can immediately move on to new selling and engagement opportunities instead of manually researching, identifying, and experimenting to find what works. Having that information at hand helps save you time and trouble, which lowers costs by helping you resonate with customers more quickly.

Ad Spend Will Be on the Same Level as Video Ads

This year’s digital audio advertising spending is expected to be approximately $10.14 billion, with an annual growth rate of over 6%. It will soon be as big of a priority – and as big of a potential moneymaker – as ads on popular video platforms. The numbers support this level of activity, but many businesses are slow to transition toward more audio. Get ahead of the competition to access lower ad rates and become the first company in your niche to speak directly to audio audiences in sustained campaigns.

New Digital Audio Channels Continue to Emerge

New opportunities are developing daily, from streaming radio and podcast apps to white noise apps, language learning apps, personalized news feeds, and more. As valuable as these established audio channels are, newer areas can help businesses with more specific customers or smaller budgets reach dedicated customers where they like spending time.
Pivot to a broader audio ecosystem to test your material on all the audio apps and tools your target market is starting to make part of their daily experience. Early adopters listening to these new channels will more likely appreciate the sponsors supporting them. Meanwhile, brands that are the first to advertise can reach consumers on non-crowded platforms to have their messages resonate further.

Smart Speakers Allow for Interaction With Video Ads

Digital audio channels are great at outreach and brand exposure, but they have always fundamentally been one-sided. After all, you can send messages, but it’s only with recent technological developments that you can respond to customer inquiries.
Two-way communication is becoming more of a possibility with the adoption of smart speakers. Where companies could only gauge listeners’ responses through metrics and attribution models, smart speakers allow consumers to engage directly with audio ads. They can trigger a conversation with a live representative, add items to a wishlist, or investigate products more thoroughly. This direct interaction offers several advantages over passive listening, including:

• More engagement with your brand

• A reduced likelihood that interested buyers will forget or lose interest

• More insight into shopper behaviors and needs

Adopt These Audio Ad Trends Now to Capitalize on the Value

Digital audio ads have a growing place in any omnichannel marketing approach. Start experimenting with diverse audio channels to interact with shoppers, capitalize on today’s audio trends, and ensure you have their attention. If you want a guide as you get started, contact us today to seize the future of audio.

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