How has the audio industry evolved over the past year?
The 2020 AdEx Full Report found that the evolution of audio channels has led to more diverse listening habits and higher engagement volumes. Users now feel the need to quickly access information and entertainment, from local news and weather updates to the location of the nearest car dealership. This has fuelled greater adoption of voice-activated technology that offers fast and convenient audio interaction with minimal effort.
Furthermore, with the spread of remote working, audiences no longer tune in during the daily commute or for evening relaxation but constantly listen throughout the day.
Finally, audio creation has been less affected by COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, audiences also have a wider choice of content than before, in terms of digital streams, podcasts and radio.
What challenges do advertisers face?
At the top of the list is winning the attention of the audience. Forward-thinking advertisers have been quick to recognise and exploit the growing potential of audio, and this means that advertisers who now want to stand out must work harder. This is especially true for those who want to attract an audience that listens through smart speakers: while the opportunity is vast, so is the competition.
Ensuring maximum resonance and returns, therefore, requires efficient allocation of spend and precise tailoring. But advertisers will also need to pay attention to how they manage audience data. With the cookie-free future approaching, it’s time to move away from traditional tracking and towards more sophisticated and privacy-conscious analytics. Advertisers will need to find new ways to learn about their audiences and optimise engagement, such as improving contextual understanding, geolocation targeting and leveraging real-time reporting.
What steps can advertisers take to be successful in the future?
Above all, it is important to consider how ads can enhance the user experience. Audio is a highly personal channel with good opportunities for advertisers to foster one-to-one relationships. But the personal nature of audio means that the effect of ill-fitting messages can have significant consequences.
Using solutions that bring targeted content and ads together, for example, can increase contextual relevance and positive response.
Similarly, advertisers can strengthen connections with audiences by leveraging interactive technology. For example, by using interactive audio ads, brands can hold engaging two-way conversations with audiences and gather customised information on the impact of the ad, including user-level engagement and how performance compares to other digital campaigns.