How to Find Your Audience with Podcast and Streaming Audio Ads

Audio AdsAs we say with any ads that you place it’s not always about the platform but rather what is the targeting capabilities to get in front of the ideal audience. Sure you need to make sure the platform is used, but audience targeting allows you to not only make sure the platform is used but also by who you are trying to attract.

Why Should You Do Podcast and Streaming Ads?

First of all, again we can get to a large audience and the targeting is very similar to the traditional digital ads that we are used to. We can reach an audience on mobile devices, smart speakers, and desktop versions with both audio and visual display ads. The average American was spending 4.5 hours on streaming radio for any given week back in 2017 according to Neilson.

In today’s times, online audio listeners, on what is considered light streamers” are still spending 4+ hours listening to streaming audio in a typical week, while “heavier streaming radio listeners” are listening 8 hours plus a week! When you compare that to traditional AM/FM radio on the low end that is a whole additional hour also being spent on digital audio.

Here are some other great stats, as we love to show, for audio streaming radio and podcast listening.

68% of US. household users have listened to an audio device in the last month

~2019 Edison Research

Where Will Your Ads be Shown or Be Heard on Podcast and Streaming Ads?

Some platforms are both streaming music platforms and podcast players, while others will be strictly one or the other. The great benefit which can make using audio ads a great way to advertise is that they will cross over into traditional display ads places such as desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. This cross-over allows us to capture both audio and visual aspects of digital audio ads.

Most often when you are setting up advertising campaigns we will be asked if we want to advertise on audio or podcast.  Audio is referring to streaming music ads, while podcasts, still an audio format is a podcast. We will need to often run two separate campaigns if we would like to be in both places.

Streaming Radio Ads

The popular streaming radio stations are going to be iHeart, Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon with a variety of other places.Streaming music and podcast ads

Podcast Ads

While podcasts can be listened to while on a traditional desktop, they are not as common as listening on podcast apps such as Apple podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, iHeart, Amazon, Stitcher, and Tunein.

How Can You Target Podcast Ad Streaming Ads?

There are some ways that you can target that are very similar across these platforms and there are some that are different. They have the capability to reach audiences that have possibly never heard of a business before to layering retargeting of the podcast and streaming radio ads to desktop, app, mobile, and tablet devices up to 4 days after listening to an ad.

In each of these platforms as the audience, targeting is chosen that we can see what your estimate the unique reach of an audience is. Some platforms boost over 100 million listeners, so no matter if your audience is broad or targeted you can get to who you are trying to put your marketing messages in front of. 

Both types of audio ads have the traditional targeting of demographics such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Device
  • Geographical targeting (down to zip codes)

From here, depending on the platform we start to get into both contextual targeting (the content of the audio) to behavioral and interest targeting (the listener’s habits).

Let’s start with behavioral targeting of the listeners. They will have interests such as car enthusiasts, cooking, health, and medicine, or even specific luxury car buyer attributes. The other way to target is by statuses such as parents, small businesses, married, or homeowners. There are 100’s of both interests and statuses to choose from. As we are selecting these we can start to see unique listeners going up or down.  Depending on the budget this can play into how often the ads are shown.

Next, is targeting contextually what your audience is listening to. Then can include the type of music they are listening to or the podcast topic of perhaps business vs. a talk show. We can get too specific shows by advertising directly but when you do that expenses of the ads can really go up and the audience size can go down so be careful about wanting to be too specific.

There are other capabilities that can ensure the ads are at peak performance. These can include picking days and times for your ads to show.  Perhaps we want to be on Saturday morning. You can do that! It’s all a matter of testing. You do want to also ensure that you reach as much of your audience as possible and this is where frequency capping can come in to ensure your audio is not being played too often to the same person. Although we do want at least a healthy amount of repeat listens for that brand lift and recognition!

What Are the Creative Needs of Podcast and Streaming Ads?

Streaming music and podcast ads tip #2No creative? No problem! This might seem like the biggest challenge with doing streaming and podcast ads.  Having to get the creative ready. Most of the platforms these days have built-in capabilities to build your radio ads all within the platform at no charge!

Your advertising agency will write the script for a 30-second commercial which tends to be about 70 words. From there they will choose voiceover types and music. Each platform has some different variations where you need to choose music from them or you can upload your own music! This is where there are great free library resources for music can really come in such as Youtube’s studio editors, with 1,000’s of tracks available.

Video editors like Camtasia can allow your ad agency to get that audio down to the appropriate length if needed. Of course, your marketing agency will take care of all that for you! They can get multiple proofs till we get it right to the perfect podcast and/or streaming radio ad!

In addition to the traditional audio portion, many platforms also have a companion display component for the ads. This can show in a variety of places, including within the screen of your mobile, app, tablet, and desktop.

What Kind of Budget Do You Need?

Getting in on audio ads can be really inexpensive at a low budget of $250 but the amount of money you spend depends on a lot of factors. As we discussed above targeting across the United States vs. your backyard is two totally different audiences. You also have to consider am I doing streaming music ads or podcast ads as they are two separate campaigns.

The list goes on and on about what to consider when starting the budget scope for ads and can’t really be determined until you do the audience targeting first. Remember with any campaign we do like to have the frequency of the ad (listening to the ad more than once) and consistency in ad creative across multiple platforms.

How to Measure the Success of Your Podcast and Streaming Ads

Measuring success is going to be different than your typical digital advertising campaigns. Listening to music ads and podcast ads does not generate as many clicks as you are used to. While some have the remarketing aspects of display visuals that you can click, it won’t be anywhere near your traditional digital marketing campaigns like Google and Facebook ads. Here are some metrics to consider:

  • Reach – The number of unique listeners that you have
  • Frequency – How often someone is listening to your ad
  • Trends for daily listens
  • LTR – Listen through rate or completion rate. How often are listeners listening to the entire ad?
  • CPM – (cost per mille) is the cost per one thousand impressions in an advertising campaign
  • CTR – This is strictly for those companion banner ads and how often someone clicks on them
  • Location breakdown of where your ads were played
  • Device breakdown of what devices someone was on
  • The gender breakdown of listens
  • Behavioral breakdown of the categories we chose and how the split was done by listens

As you can see most metrics are all going to be within the actual ads themselves and not a lot is known after the listening takes place. What you will see inside of platforms like Google Analytics will be an increase in direct traffic where someone is directly entering the URL. Remember not all direct traffic is direct traffic though. Google Search Console will show you an increase of those searching for the direct name of the business and/or variations of such. These can all be tied back just like traditional and connected TV ads to the branding of the name.

Yes, it is Time for Streaming Audio Ads and Podcast Ads

The time has come to yet again be diverse where you are spending your marketing dollars. While radio ads are still around the targeting that is available is nowhere near the sophistication that digital audio ads have. So if you are up for something new and exciting with your advertising agency, give us a call!

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