With new audio advertising options through services such as Pandora, Spotify and ad networks like TargetSpot, marketers are rolling out new campaigns to promote their goods and services. Before launching your first audio ad campaign, it’s prudent to consider how advertising with sound differs from visual or text-based media. Follow these time-tested tips to yield the best results from your campaign.

Keep Your Audio Ad Simple

Focus on one important message. Don’t clutter your message with many points especially since the listener is likely multi-tasking. If your listener could remember just one thing from your ad, what would it be? Focus on that.

The Value Proposition of Your Audio Ad Should be Revealed as Early as Possible

Don’t bury your headline or keep the listener waiting for the point of your ad. Get it out there early and reinforce it, even multiple times throughout the ad.

The Ad Should Not Sound Like a Radio Spot

Online audio ads are fundamentally different from terrestrial radio. For instance, the listener isn’t likely in your geographic region, so you’ll have to consider a broader audience. Further, the listener isn’t likely in their car, a common place to listen to traditional radio. So where are they listening? According to eMarketer, people listen to online radio on their mobile phone or smartphone, tablets and desktop computers. Tablets spawn a great deal of engagement among online radio enthusiasts.

Conversational Tone in Your Audio Ad Voice Over Can Be Powerful

As Dale Carnegie so aptly pointed out in his memorable book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, people like listening to friendly people, who speak clearly and in a conversational manner.

Instruct your voice talent that you’re looking for a conversation and friendly delivery style when they read the script. The radio announcer styled voice was over in 1960. Let’s not go there again.

Slower Voice Over Delivery Forms a Connection with the Listener

Writing too much ad copy will force the voice talent to cram it into the allotted 30 or 60 second ad spot. You want the ad to be conversation, and by nature, sounding conversation is much slower that ads you hear on television or on the radio. Give time for the listener mentally absorb what they’ve just heard and take action.

Loud Background Music is Distracting

You don’t necessarily need to eliminate background music, but rather, consider the volume level of the background music in comparison to the voice over, which should be heard front and center. On the topic of background music, licence a track from a music provider. There are literally thousands of tracks to choose from online and you’ll be sure to find one that represents your brand and matches the performance style of the voice talent.

Create a Smooth Transition for the Listener

An audio ad isn’t listened to in isolation. Ads are inserted between songs, so you’ll need to have a clean start and finish to your ad. Avoid long pauses at the beginning of your ad, as it will give them impression of dead air. On the tail end of your ad, avoid long fade outs for the same reason. Get creative! This is a savvy audience. Find ways to engage the listener in new ways.

Include a Call to Action in Your Audio Ad

Drive traffic to your website or social media site by instructing listeners how and where they can learn more about your offering. Use a call to action (CTA) that references your online companion ad (e.g. a graphical banner ad). An example could be, “Start browsing our selection now, just click the banner to get started.”

Do not lose valuable time reading phone numbers or website URLs, just make it short and snappy.

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