By Brian Burch
Recent years have seen rapid growth in audio content that’s available for streaming. Listeners are tuning into digital audio formats like music, playlists, audiobooks and podcasts. The popularity of this channel has been fast growing, with 72% of Americans (218.4M) now listening to digital audio on a monthly basis.
For B2B marketers, programmatic audio provides a scalable channel that allows them to reach their desired audience in screenless moments. What tends to make programmatic audio stand out within your media mix is the format of audio ads. With digital audio advertising, your messaging is communicated entirely through sound. This changes the way your brand’s message is received.
Unlike with other forms of media, digital audio is often enjoyed while one’s attention is undistracted. Even though a person might listen while cooking, cleaning, working out or driving, they are less likely to be using other devices at the same time. According to Nielsen, 79% of audio consumption happens when it’s physically impossible to consume video or view an image. Given this, it’s unlikely that a user would watch TV while listening to audio. Because listeners tend to be undistracted, they better connect to the content they’re hearing.
When an ad comes on, a listener is more receptive, which creates the opportunity to drive engagement and develop a better connection between a listener and a brand. The personal nature of audio also results in ads having a lasting and memorable effect, which means a higher rate of ad recall.
For B2B marketers, these attributes of audio combined with user listening habits makes audio campaigns especially well-positioned for targeting the needs, interests and challenges of a business or organization. Audio campaigns are particularly effective at building brand awareness, paired with positive brand association.
Here are 4 tactics to help you get started with scaling and maximizing the impact of your B2B audio campaigns.
Target specific and niche audiences: As with all digital advertising, programmatic audio enables marketers to fine-tune their targeting. With data from audio partners you’re able to target specific genres, playlists, moods, moments and more. Use that information to ensure your audio ads reach the specific demographics you want to reach, based on household income, online behavior, location and other demographics. Fine-tuned targeting will drive strong performance results, and you’ll have access to reporting metrics that you can leverage to optimize future campaigns.
Capture your audience by conveying brand personality: In B2B marketing expressing brand image is crucial. Brand personality helps B2B businesses to resonate and connect with the right consumers by eliciting a positive emotional response from that target consumer segment. This is where audio ads can be particularly effective. An audio ad quite literally speaks to the audience, creating ample opportunity to express personality. In some cases, audio is better suited to this than written content. As a result, audio ads can create a more lasting and memorable impression, which is exactly what every B2B marketer wants.
Use audio ads to educate your target audience: The goal of your B2B audio campaign isn’t click-throughs. Instead, leverage this channel to build and grow awareness, recognition and interest. For example, pinpoint a problem or challenge your target audience is facing that your product or service can help them solve. With a 30-second audio ad placement, you can address that problem, discuss it in a way that resonates with listeners, and direct their attention to the B2B solution that you’re offering. By using audio ads to educate your audience, you not only introduce your product or service, but you are able to start building a foundation of trust between your offering and your audience.
Retarget your qualified B2B users: With audio advertising you can reach decision makers associated with your target audience in an engaged and receptive frame of mind. When you use audio ads to educate your target audience, you’ll have their undivided attention. By catching qualified B2B users at this moment, your ad will have more of an impact. From there, it’s time to retarget. Collect audiences that have completed listening to your audio ad and retarget them with display or native ads on other devices. This will help to move them down the funnel. You can leverage audio completion retargeting to create an audience pool of listeners to retarget.
The campaign execution process behind programmatic audio works the same as it does with other automated advertising, which means it can be easily integrated into a holistic plan alongside other channels. By including audio in a multi-channel strategy, B2B marketers can reach their ideal audience throughout the entire funnel, creating a cohesive story across audio, native, display, video and connected TV (CTV).
As audio earns a more prominent place in consumers’ lives and consumption continues to grow, this digital audio format is one that B2B marketers will want to include in their digital advertising strategies.
Brian Burch is the VP of Marketing for StackAdapt.