8 tips to create a great audio ad

Posted on 16/09/2021 by Martin Jones

With life back on the go again, audio ads are becoming one of the more popular forms of ads, but you don't get long to make a good impression so here's how to get them right.

1) Know your audience

The best audio ad in the world is actually the worst ad in the world if it doesn’t relate to the listeners in any way. I don’t care how much time, effort or money you spent putting it together, it’s less than useless if it’s being played to the wrong audience. And I do mean less than useless as it’s more likely to negatively impact your brand due to annoying people who have no interest in it.

Why would it annoy them you ask? Well because they’re listening to a playlist or a podcast that they’ve chosen to listen to and you’re interrupting their listening experience with your irrelevant and (in their view) boring ad.

2) Capture their attention

So you’ve nailed down your audience targeting and you know they’ll be interested in what your ad is about if they get the chance to listen to it. Guess what? It still doesn’t mean they’ll listen to it.

You need to grab their attention when you interrupt their playlist or they will just tune out for the time it takes your ad to run. More importantly, you need to have captured their attention within the first 3-5 seconds so make sure you lead with your value proposition from the very beginning. If you don’t do that then I hate to break it to you but your ad is going to be used as a signal for people to go make a cup of tea or check their Instagram.

3) Remember the marketing funnel

So many companies actually get this wrong. The companies that get it wrong think advertising means telling people about a product and they think brand awareness means telling people about their brand. This is only one component of each type of advertising activity.

Isolating one component of the strategy is a terrible way to do things and this tactic doesn’t really relate to the majority of audio advertising. That’s because people aren’t listening to music or a podcast with the intent on purchasing your products or finding out more about your brand, they’re there to enjoy what they’re listening to. They are at a different stage of the marketing funnel so you need to interact with them differently.

Stop trying to sell them something is the best advice I can give for this, instead try to get them to want to know more about your brand or product or explain what problem your product/service solves. If someone listening needs a solution to a problem that your product offers they are much more likely to buy it or consider buying it later, even if that problem is just what to have for dinner.

4) Be memorable

On being memorable, you can use humour, intelligence, whimsy and various other tactics that people typically forget about when trying to sell something.

I would say the majority of ads that I remember use humour or whimsy to some degree to be memorable.

Think of some ads that people really remember, one that always sticks out in my mind is the old spice advert “the man your man could smell like”.

I don’t use old spice nor does that ad tell me anything about the product other than it being a deodorant but I remember it because it’s funny. I know the brand instantly and can even picture the logo and brand colours. I can even hear Isaiah Mustafa’s voice over when I think about it and that ad is over 11 years old.

Using humour that will resonate with your audience is a great way to ensure your ad is memorable, it also has the added benefit of being shareable, people want to show their friends the things that made them laugh, you just need to make sure they’re laughing for the right reasons!

5) Mention the brand name multiple times

It sounds simple and logical right but don’t just mention it once, don’t just mention it at the end or at the beginning. Mention it throughout the entire ad. It’s important that you don’t force it though, make the mention of it fit the flow of the ad or it’s another distraction from the point you’re trying to get across.

6) Drive an emotional response

This doesn’t mean just tug the heartstrings of everyone that hears the ad unless that’s the goal. It means using a voice-over that perfectly captures the tone and emotion of the advert that makes them want to listen to it.

Making people laugh is an emotional response, making people smile or making them angry are also emotional responses. You need to choose the correct response you want to drive for your brand and your message.

7) Have a clear call to action

Even if that call to action is to ask the user to share some of their own content on social media, it doesn’t have to be getting them to go to your site and buy something.

Now it’s really important that the CTA is super clear and specific. You don’t want listeners to have to work out what they need to do because if it requires too much effort on their part they won’t do it! Keep it simple and clear for them.

8) Test! For the love of all things worldly or otherwise… TEST!

How are you going to optimise scripts, background music, voiceover styles, length, audience targets, companion creative or anything else if you don’t test it correctly?
Yeah, the answer is you’re not so run some tests. Have a hypothesis to justify your test, if you can’t think of why you’d test something then ask yourself why you’re testing it, there usually is a reason to do it if you explore it properly.

That being said, make sure the tests you run are objective, measurable and fair so you can draw real comparisons between them. Inaccurate data is worse than no data as it lies to you and tempts you further into the rabbit hole of wasted investment so make sure you create fair split tests.

Final thoughts

You might be new to audio ads and it can seem daunting with only a matter of seconds to get your message across, but with these tips you’ll be able to reach your audience.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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