5 Steps to Making Your Brand Heard in Audio-Only Platforms

July 27, 2023

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 5 steps.

Step 1: Understand your Brand Identity and Target Audience

Begin by gaining a thorough understanding of your brand's core values, personality, and visual identity. Consider the key elements that make your brand recognizable, such as color schemes, logo, typography, and visual style. These elements may have some sonic cues associated with them that can be used to create memorable moments. Additionally, 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 brand recognition, you'll need to create an audio branding strategy. Start by identifying the sonic elements that can represent your brand, such as voice, sound effects, music, and jingles. 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 (read how Sport Clips used data to support their recent campaign here). 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 and resonate with your audience. Having multiple creative assets in-market is a good idea when it comes to crafting a message that is positioned specifically for subdivisions of your target consumers.

Remember that this is an iterative process, and your brand equity in audio-only platforms is earned through consistent and persistent use. To be iconic is earned, not given.

Adam Pleiman

Adam is a sonic strategist and creative director who has worked in music and sound for over 20 years. He believes in the ability that music and sound possess in conveying emotion and strives to help others understand this connection. His career in audio has earned notable credits in multiple disciplines. As a music engineer he has worked with bands including Coldplay, 30 Seconds to Mars, and The Collingsworth Family who's 2017 release "Best of the Collingsworth Family" earned a roots gospel album of the year Grammy nomination. As a composer and producer he has written and produced music for Gillette, John Frieda, Secret, and ADM among others.