Why Audio Advertising is Better than Video Advertising

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If you’re an advertiser, one of your biggest challenges is to create something that will stick in the minds of your audience. You could spend all the money in the world on your advertisements, but if they’re not grabbing the attention of your demographic, then it won’t matter. So, you make sure to make your graphics memorable, you make sure to create engaging CTAs, and you make sure to create copy that is interesting. You buy some ad spots online and…your potential customer just scrolls right past it. This is where video advertising and visual ads can fail you. 

More and more advertisers are beginning to see the immense benefits of audio advertising. This form of advertising has a much better chance of resonating with people. Today in the Backtracks blog, we’ll explain why this is the case.

Engaging More Than Just the Eye

Visual ads have certainly had their time in the sun, and there’s still reason to utilize them, but companies are underserving themselves by not pursuing audio advertising just as often. To understand why this is the case, we have to look at how we store memories.

When a person sees an image, it gets stored in what is called the iconic memory. The iconic memory is able to hold on to this image for about one second before it starts to fade. Of course, taking in an image would allow you to better absorb the messaging and the intent behind it, but we’re not talking about people who are going to a museum to soak in a painting. We’re talking about people who are quickly scrolling through their favorite websites and watching videos. They’re unlikely to spend hardly any of their time focusing on these advertisements. In short, you have a very small window to make a big impression.

In comparison, our auditory memory is much better at retention. This is called the echoic memory and it has the capacity to store information for four to five seconds. This difference might seem negligible, but with the amount of information we take in on a daily basis, four to five seconds is significant. In addition to this, audio ads have the added benefit of being easier for the brain to process. Written words can be processed in about 180 milliseconds while spoken word can be processed in about 140 milliseconds. Think about how much faster you can take in an audiobook. The same principle applies to visual versus audio ads. Your brain has to do less work to take in the same amount of information.

Even when you look past the science, you can think about advertisements from your own personal anecdotes. Think about what tends to stick with you most during an ad. Is it the logo or the images you see? Probably not. More than likely you might remember their slogan, the jingle, the message, or even the jokes. Of course, when you’re making a decision about where to put your ad budget, anecdotal evidence isn’t what you’re looking for. Luckily, there’s plenty of empirical evidence to back up the efficacy of audio advertising.

Studies on Audio Advertising

Nielsen Catalina Solutions have conducted several studies on the effectiveness of audio advertising. One of their biggest studies involved a 12-month study of audio ads on Spotify versus video and display advertisements. These ads were created to promote consumer goods and the study concluded that the audio advertisements were up to 25% more effective than the other forms of ads. This is a huge margin to be sure, and it’s just one example of how audio advertising is more successful. 

According to Edison Research, podcast listeners are also highly likely to engage with an advertisement they hear during their favorite podcast, with 45% visiting a website, 42% considering a new product or service and 37% gathering more information about the product. The combination of an audio ad sticking in the memory of your audience and them actually going to find out more about your product ensures that your ROI for audio advertisements is much higher than other forms of advertising. 

The Podcast Trends Report for 2019 found that 59% of people spend more time listening to podcasts than browsing social media and that over 55% of respondents in their study said they purchased an item after hearing about it on a podcast. For an advertiser, this kind of conversion rate is staggering and something you simply can’t ignore. 

Studies continue to show how valuable audio advertising can be. If you’re a company who engages in digital advertising, it truly is something that should be added to your strategy if it hasn’t been already.

Reaching Your Perfect Audience

One of the primary ways to deliver audio advertisements is through podcasts. The great thing about advertising on podcasts is that advertisers are able to easily find the perfect audience for their products. Typically, podcasts are easily categorized, and many even meet more specific niches. But even from a broad perspective, an athletic clothing company can reasonably assume that a fitness podcast would have fitness enthusiasts who regularly buy workout clothing as their primary audience. 

In addition, you have the advantage of repetition. According to the Podcast Trends Report for 2019, 82.4% of podcast listeners tend to listen to over seven hours of podcasts per week. Also, when people like a podcast, they tend to tune in for multiple episodes of that podcast. This means that you’re continually reminding these listeners of your product if you’re advertising on the same podcast or podcasts in the same category. You’re able to cast a wide net and continually retarget loyal listeners.

The benefits of podcast advertising don’t even begin to stop there. Edison Research also indicates that 70% of podcast listeners don’t do anything else while listening to a podcast. This means that your advertisements are being heard by active ears. They’re engaged with the podcast and their attention isn’t diverted by other distractions. In addition, a study by Music Oomph indicates that 80% of listeners listen to an entire episode or most of an episode. This means that the odds of a podcast listeners hearing your ad after they hit that play button are extremely high. The same study indicates that listeners are much more likely to follow a brand or company on social media. This means your customers that you obtain from audio advertising will be more engaged, motivated to buy, and likely to be stewards of your brand. The combination of all these factors make audio advertisements one of the best marketing tools a company can have in their arsenal.

When you advertise on podcasts, there isn’t a ton of guesswork involved when matching your product to the audience of the podcast. This is a big reason as to why podcast, and by extension audio, advertising is so effective. You have the perfect demographic for your product actively listening to your advertisement, leading to more conversions and a greater return on investment for your ads. It’s a win-win-win for customers, advertisers, and podcasters. 

Audio Advertisements Can Reach Your Audience on an Emotional Level

A study done by Lightwave and iHeartMedia shows that one of the biggest advantages of audio advertising is its ability to connect with your audience on a deeper level. In this study, they showed that audiences had a much more physical and emotional reaction to audio advertisements over visual advertisements. Also, remember the memory storage we talked about earlier and how audio lasted in the echoic memory for up to four seconds longer than visual advertising? Well, that plays a part in the first step of memory encoding, which is the brain’s ability to form a memory that can be recalled at a later time. Lightwave’s study also revealed that the memory encoding for audio advertisements was up to 220% greater than TV advertisements. The emotional response combined with the higher rate of recall makes audio advertisements the clear winner here.

Give Your Audio Advertising an Edge

As you can see, audio advertising is extremely powerful. Not only does it stick in the mind longer than other forms of advertising, it’s much more likely to lead to engagement and conversion. People are actively listening to these types of ads and answering the calls to action. Advertisers can empower their digital marketing strategies by utilizing audio ads and they can refine their strategies with actionable metrics.

Backtracks provides advertisers with easy tools to find the right podcast for their advertisements, easily buy ad space on the podcasts they choose, and then track actionable metrics that help them to bring their ads to the next level.

As the most powerful podcast analytics tool on the market, you can get unique insights on listener behavior. Using Backtracks, you can find out how effective your marketing efforts are and how to improve your audio advertisements. Audio advertising on its own is powerful enough, but when combined with in depth metrics it becomes one of the biggest advantages advertisers can harness. Learn more about Backtracks for Podcast Advertisers.

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