5 steps to create an impactful audio-based advertising campaign

February 22, 2024

Brands all over the world are leaning into audio-first strategies — crafting campaigns specifically for streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music as well as traditional broadcast. While sound and music have always been important in these executions, brands are leaning on audio agencies to help them create more immersive, memorable, and emotional messaging on these platforms.

Seventy-three percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12 listens to digital audio, according to Edison Research. Thanks to the digital revolution, audio branding elements can be reused and repurposed across various platforms, reducing the need for multiple, expensive productions. Leveraging social media and streaming platforms, businesses can reach a vast audience without significant expense.

As brands venture into the realm of audio-only platforms, they face unique challenges in adapting their advertising strategies to effectively engage with audiences in the absence of visuals. The shift from visually-oriented campaigns to audio-centric formats requires careful consideration to maintain brand recognition and deliver to your consumer’s expectations. These challenges include capturing the essence of the brand through sound, crafting audio assets that evoke the desired emotions, and ensuring a consistency with the brand's visual equity. Additionally, brands must navigate the intricacies of audience engagement in an audio-focused environment. Overcoming these challenges requires a thoughtful approach that integrates audio branding techniques, adapts visual elements, and continually measures effectiveness to create impactful and recognizable audio advertising campaigns. We have broken down these considerations into five steps.

Step 1: Understand your brand identity and target audience

You know your brand inside and out. What you may not have considered is that the key elements that make your brand recognizable, (such as color schemes, logo, typography, and aesthetic) may have some sonic cues associated with them that can be used to create memorable moments.

Analyze your target audience's preferences and demographics to determine how they engage with audio content and what resonates with them. Streaming audio platforms have the ability to target ads directly to your consumer based on demographic, psychographic, and listening behaviors, so the more insight the better when it comes to making sure your message resonates.

Step 2: Develop an audio branding strategy

To effectively advertise on audio-only platforms while maintaining and driving brand recognition, you'll need to build some kind of audio branding strategy. Start by identifying the sonic elements that can represent your brand, such as voice, sound effects and music. Determine the emotional qualities and characteristics that align with your brand identity and ensure the audio elements you select are consistent with your brand's values and desired perception.

Step 3: Create consistent audio assets

With the insights gained from step 2, work on creating consistent audio assets that reflect your brand's identity. Develop a unique sonic logo or mnemonic that can be used as a recognizable identifier in audio advertisements. Additionally, craft a library of sound effects, music tracks, and voice-over styles that align with your brand's personality and evoke the desired emotions in your target audience.

Step 4: Adapt visual elements for audio

While transitioning to audio-only platforms, find creative ways to translate your visual elements into auditory cues. For instance, if your brand is associated with specific colors, consider using descriptive language or metaphors that convey the same emotions. If your logo is iconic, explore ways to represent it through sound or incorporate it in sonic logos or jingles, or if your product creates a unique sound when used, capitalize on that opportunity to reinforce your point of differentiation. Maintain consistency by ensuring the audio adaptations align with your brand's values and resonate with your target audience.

Step 5: Test, refine, and measure effectiveness

Once you have developed audio assets and adapted visual elements, it's crucial to test their effectiveness. Predictive analysis is useful in the early stages to get a gauge for overall effectiveness. Pre-market testing can also be a valuable resource to aid in the decision making before launching the campaign.

The tracking ability on audio-only platforms like Spotify and Pandora is extremely robust, running pilot campaigns on these platforms gives the brand a great method to collect feedback from your target audience. Monitor key performance indicators such as brand recognition, consumer engagement, and brand perception to gauge the impact of your audio advertising.

Continuously refine your strategy based on the insights gained and adjust your audio assets as needed to optimize brand recognition, resonate with your audience or accomplish any number of campaign goals.

Drive results with an audio strategy — email us at info@playaudioagency.com, or call 513-241-7475 to schedule a free strategy session for your brand