Why Is Audio Such an Intimate and Effective Advertising Medium?

effective advertising

Effective advertising in the digital age often is a matter of tell-don’t-show, in a manner of speaking. Sure, you still have to use concrete language and tap into the target audience’s emotions. More and more, however, that can be done through the sense of hearing rather than sight or touch.

We’re talking about audio advertising and the compelling power it has to reach educated, diverse markets. In the following article, we’re going to explore the reasons audio is so intimate and effective for this market. First, however, let’s look at whether the audio hype is myth or reality. 

Is Audio Effectively Better for Advertisers? 

Anecdotally, audio seems like a viable platform for advertisers to get their messages in front of the right people. One look at the plethora of podcasts, streaming platforms, and radio listeners will tell you that. What do the numbers say, though? 

Well, voice shopping is expected to grow to $40 billion annually by 2022, a 1,900 percent gain from 2018. Furthermore, over half of podcast listeners have annual household incomes of $75,000. Most listen to around seven podcasts per week as well.

We know from this data that the use of voice-related applications is on the rise from both user-activated and consumer standpoints and that the people listening are on-the-rise with more money to spend than the average person. Ever wondered why it’s that way? Here are some reasons.

1. Listener Behaviors Are Well Established

Podcast sponsorship is a pretty safe bet for getting into the audio advertising market. That’s because podcasts easily can list their subscribers. In fact, it behooves them to have that kind of transparency.

Also, given the niche focus of most podcasts, you know automatically what type of behaviors and preferences these users have established. You really don’t have to do as much legwork to figure out everything.

2. Listeners Subscribe Based on Their Trust of a Personality

Something else podcast marketing has going for it many other forms of advertising do not is a built-in endorsement. See, listeners choose a host or team to listen to because they’ve already been engaged. Engagement is built on trust.

The relationship with podcast marketing differs from even radio advertising, which wears the stigma of corporate sponsorships and one-size-fits-all. Podcasts are built around interests, and influencers in this arena understand that when they welcome an advertiser aboard, they’re indirectly adopting acceptance of the brand they’re pitching.

You, as an advertiser, benefit from the intimacy that influencer has established. That can be a win for everyone involved with the right offer.

3. They Are More Forgiving of Audio Interruptions

The standard video commercial doesn’t play to a captive audience. They get up, check the chicken in the oven, use the restroom, or catch up on chores until their program-of-choice is back.

Audio advertising usually plays to a captive audience driving to and from work or handling something work-related at their desks. They are far more forgiving of these interruptions because a) audio advertising usually is shorter (20 seconds to a minute per break), and b) it’s generally tailored to whatever piece of content they’re listening to.

In other words, they find the advertising shorter, more relevant, and easier to digest. As a result, they’re going to be willing to listen instead of redirecting their attention somewhere else. 

4. They Continue to Adopt Audio in a Variety of Forms

The captive audience thing is so important when you think about those primary ways your audience consumes audio content or audio stories. Whether it’s through podcasting, listening to a streaming service like Pandora or Amazon Music, or playing a radio app, the audience is mentally ready to engage.

5. Listeners Also Appreciate the Conservative Size of Audio Files

Data usage is a growing concern for consumers trying to control costs. Downloading audio files goes quick and smoothly over a Wi-Fi network, allowing your audience to listen whenever and wherever they choose.

Ways to Use Audio to Your Advantage

Now that you know why this form of advertising and content consumption is so intimate and effective for your target audience, you need to shift your focus to how you can use this knowledge and formatting to your advantage. Here are some quick suggestions. 

Content First

Start by being a consumer first. Listen to the programs and platforms you’d like to capitalize on. Note how long each advertising spot is, when it appears, and what type of information it covers.

From there, invest in high-quality equipment for shooting and editing. Use layers to enhance the sound quality and noise cancellation to buffer out any remaining distractions. Last but not least, test multiple ads across several programs and platforms to learn what works.

Add Color and Background

Beyond the content itself, listen deeper for maximum effect. By that, we mean to note any use of background music and sounds. Find ways you can incorporate those effects into your own advertising.

Make sure you have permission or the legal right to use whatever you choose for adding to the end-listener experience. This especially is important for longer-form advertising like audio stories (see Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast for examples of this technique done right). Lastly, choose the right voice-over person for your ad. 

Partner with the Right Creator

Tailor an offer to the specific audience. That means partnering with a content creator in your niche. Someone who can deliver the right target market for your product or service. 

Change It Up

Use different content creators and change up your messaging and offers. There’s no better way to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t then trying to best your best effort. 

Review Your Results

Pay close attention to the analytics. Using promo codes on special offers that are tailored to that audience is the best way to see if you’re getting an adequate return on investment. 

Audio Is Effective Advertising Because Listeners Choose You

We recommend audio as one of the most effective advertising methods because it’s one of the only venues where the listeners choose you. By that, we mean they’re more likely to stay engaged with your content than other forms of advertising. 

Good luck as you build your audio advertising campaign. If you need professional assistance in any or all of the above-mentioned areas, contact the Killer Spots Agency today.

E-VO-lution: Why Brands Have Moved Away from “Announcer Voice”

announcer voice

For years, the “announcer voice” was the go-to for commercials, televised events, radio ads, and of course movie trailers. You know the voice: deep, clear, almost inhuman, but authoritative. When an announcer voice showed up you knew to pay attention because, well, you didn’t have much of a choice with that booming voice going on.

Now, you don’t hear the announcer voice too much. It’s fallen to the wayside in favor of other types of voiceovers, particularly the conversational tone. If you’ve ever wondered why that might be, keep reading to find out!

How Did Announcer Voice Start?

Announcer voice makes a lot of sense on paper. If you’re trying to be heard, talking in a loud and overpowering voice ensures that people will listen and put some sort of priority on your voice. If we go way back to the days of town criers, newspaper boys, and circus announcers, the voice makes a lot of sense as the speaker is trying to get their message out over the sounds of a crowd.

The exact origins of announcer voice aren’t well known, but the trend seems to go a long way back. The Mid-Atlantic accent is one place to look. It is a blended English and American accent used by actors in the early 20th century for its mixture of poshness and accessibility.

This made up accent became the norm in many films, used by people such as Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. From there it became desirable and was taught to aspiring actors in schools. Now, it seems the industry wants nothing to do with it.

Move Aside, Announcer Voice

One problem with the announcer voice is its tone, often described as “parent-child” read. When someone talks in an announcer voice they’re placing themselves above you, telling you what you should think about something, and demanding that you listen to them. This worked fine in the beginning, but now it comes off as condescending and untrustable.

Nobody likes to be talked at, which is the main reason that announcer voice has died. Another reason is that the announcer voice saps all humanity out of the speaker.

If you’ve heard any number of movie trailers from the 90s and before, you’ll notice that all the announcers sound nearly identical. The voice ends up being cast in our minds as being “corporate” and “cold”, like some sort of company robot. Humans identify more with other human voices and respond better to a more conversational tone rather than one that’s not only telling us how to think but telling us how to think in a strange voice.

Some companies still choose to go with a more conventional narrator, such as car commercials, and even a lot of radio ads for things like furniture stores. These companies may be following an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality or may be paying homage to these old-school narrators that once dominated the field. There’s a certain nostalgic quality to hearing a booming narrator now that will work for some people.

The Rise of Conversational Speech

Nowadays, people want an announcer or narrator that they can relate to. People don’t want someone whose voice is stiff, overly-rehearsed, and booming like those radio announcers of old. Instead, they want someone they can imagine having a conversation with, and maybe a little jingle to top it all off.

These more approachable and conversational announcers are sometimes known as non-announcer announcers. They’re a lot easier for a listener to connect with, and much more approachable. When the announcer speaks like an actual human, it makes the listener feel less like they’re being advertised to or told what to do, and more like they’re being informed or spoken to by a person rather than some machine.

The two things a company should strive for in advertising is trustability and relatability, and a non-announcer voice makes this much easier.

How to Talk Conversationally

While the announcer voice is commonly referred to as parent-child read, the more conversational side can be referred to as peer-to-peer. The perfect voice-over actor will sound like they’re speaking to a peer and telling them about something. Keep the voice and tone relaxed, don’t use words that are too fancy or “industry deep”, and above all else don’t come across as condescending.

The conversational announcer is still able to speak loud and clear without sacrificing the conversational tone. They can use simple, relatable language and allow subjectivity into their delivery. As a voice-over actor, don’t tell the listener what they should be thinking, rather tell them what you think about a product you’re announcing, as if you’ve tried it yourself.

Put some emotion in your speech and try to relate with the listener, don’t try and sell to them so explicitly.

The last thing people want now is an announcer that sounds like they’re reading from a script. This is unavoidable at times, but the more the voice sounds like real human speech — being made up on the go — the more the listener will be able to relate. Script-read announcing just brings people back to the corporate robot and makes them all-too-aware they’re being advertised to.

Get Conversational

The announcer voice is dead, and it probably won’t be coming back any time soon. Times change and so do peoples’ preferences. Nobody wants to be talked at by their television sets or radios anymore.

People want deeper connections and trustable announcers behind their products. Using a conversational tone is the best way to achieve this.

If you’re looking to hire a voice actor, check out our product page and find out how you can do just that. Feel free to contact us with any comments or concerns.

How to Make Brand Videos That Enhance Your Company’s Message

brand videos

While developing their marketing strategies for 2020, more companies have decided to add brand videos to the mix. In fact, video content can more than double your website traffic. However, you need to make sure your videos properly portray your brand first.

Don’t rush it. Instead, make a plan and stick to it!

Here are eight tips to help you improve your brand videos this year. With these tips, videos can communicate your brand and help you connect with customers.

Ready to give your brand a boost? Get started with these eight essential tips for the best brand videos!

1. Determine Your Goals

The first step to creating the best brand videos is to determine what you’re hoping to achieve in the first place. 

For example, are you trying to increase brand awareness for your company or a new product? Maybe you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Either way, video marketing can help you get there!

Knowing your goals will help you determine what type of content to include.

If you want to expand your brand, create videos that are entertaining or inspiring. Make your videos so engaging that viewers can’t help but share them. 

If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader, consider sharing your expertise. For example, you can create an educational how-to video or provide product demonstrations. You can also create a complication of facts and stats that are relevant to your industry. 

Maybe you want to inspire people to visit your website. If that’s the case, create a teaser to pique your audience’s interest. Then, you’ll entice them to click over to your website for the full content.

Brand videos can help you drive sales as well. For example, you can use videos to demonstrate new products or provide customers with helpful tips. You can also create branding videos that include a limited-time offer to encourage purchases.

Determining a goal for your branding videos can keep your videos focus.

Then, you’re more likely to achieve your goals!

2. Know Your Audience

In order to create videos that resonate with your audience, you need to know your audience first.

What problems do your customers face each day? What solutions can your product or service provide them? What videos will pique their interest?

Consider creating buyer personas for your customers. Separate them by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Location
  • Income
  • Shopping behavior
  • Interests

Then, determine what your audience is already searching for. You can explore the videos your competitors have already created to see what works—and what doesn’t. What video elements do viewers respond to the most?

Maybe you’re addressing an audience that doesn’t know a lot about your industry. In that case, you’ll need to create branded videos that explain the basics. If you’re talking to experienced customers, on the other hand, you can focus on providing them with additional value. 

Your messaging will differ based on your target audience. By catering your content to a specific audience, you’re more likely to attract them to your brand.

3. Use Your Voice

Your company brand consists of different elements, including your voice, tone, personality, color scheme, and logo. Since your brand videos are an extension of your company brand, they need to include some of these elements. This includes your voice and tone. 

Take a look at your website copy. How do you speak to your customers? What words and phrases do you often use?

Keeping a consistent voice in your brand videos will show people your brand is consistent, too. 

As a result, customers are more likely to recognize your content on different channels. 

4. Visualize Your Brand

Remember, your brand is composed of visual elements as well. Try adding your brand colors to your videos. This tip can help people recognize your company’s content. 

You can incorporate your company colors in the background of your video. If your office walls are painted with your company colors, try filming there! You can add photos, text, or other visual elements to your videos as well.

Adding elements that match your overall brand will help you tie various brand materials together.

Don’t forget to add your logo as well! Some companies include their logo as a watermark in the corner of their video. This can help improve brand recognition even as people continue watching your video.

5. Choose a Style

There are many video styles you can choose from. These include:

  • Culture
  • Interviews
  • Events
  • Product reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Vlogs
  • Webinars
  • Testimonials/reviews
  • Animations
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Live streaming

Consider your target audience and goals. Then, choose the type of video style that will best help you achieve those goals.

6. Shoot & Edit

Once you have a plan in place, start shooting! Consider creating a script beforehand so you can make sure to keep on track.

Don’t forget to end your video on a strong call-to-action (CTA). A compelling CTA can help you increase conversions and sales. According to this report:

  • Mobile video consumption grows by 100% each year
  • 90% of customers report videos help them making purchasing decisions
  • 87% of online marketers are using video content
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can increase clickthrough rates by 200 to 300%
  • Embedding videos on your landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%

After creating your video, edit it thoroughly. Take this time to create a transcript, which can improve your search engine optimization. That way, more people find you and your brand videos!

7. Get It Out There

Once it’s perfect, start sharing your new video. Consider where your customers spend their time. This can include social media platforms, YouTube, or your own blog.

Don’t forget to optimize your videos with target keywords to expand your reach.

8. Analyze & Optimize

After a while, review your data. Which videos are your viewers responding to? Study each video’s analytics, including views, shares, and other metrics.

Then, use this data to optimize your future videos! That way, you can expand your viewership each time you film. 

Enhance Your Company’s Image: 8 Tips for Making Brand Videos

Expand your brand! With these eight tips, you can make brand videos that resonate with your customers.

Ready to stand out from the competition? Contact us today to get started!

10 Commandments for Crafting Compelling Radio Ads

radio ads

Radio is an old-fashioned medium that has both retained and grown its reach. Public station revenue has leaped from 624 million to 900 million in the last ten years. The popularity of online streaming means the numbers will only increase.

The radio audience is a devoted one, listening for an average of 106 minutes a day, but the vast majority of this time is spent during commutes.

How can a business make sure that no one changes the channel while their ad is on? A carefully crafted message is all it takes.

Discover the 10 commandments for crafting compelling radio ads below. Obey them to create something listeners will never be able to forget.

First Commandment: Thou Shalt Choose the Right Person for Thy Radio Ads

Unlike television, radio doesn’t have the benefit of visual elements to add interest. It’s all about the audio, which makes choosing the correct people to voice the ad an essential part of the planning process.

It is common for a company leader to provide the voice talent, and doing so has numerous benefits. It creates a sense of authority while increasing trust. 

At the same time, it can be dangerous not to hire a professional. There is a risk of ending up with dialogue that sounds artificial or fails to portray a character effectively.

In the end, deciding who should voice a radio ad is one of the most important choices to make. It is also dependent on other elements such as content and audience. 

Second Commandment: Thou Shalt Record Thy Audio Well

The best radio ad in the world will be ineffective if the sound quality is subpar. A poorly recorded ad will quickly make listeners change the channel.

Using effective equipment and taking your time are two ways to ensure the ad sounds great. Check out our article on best audio recording practices for more tips.

Third Commandment: Thou Shalt Use Appropriate Timing

Time is at a premium in the oversaturated world of radio advertising. This doesn’t just mean to keep ads short; it’s also important to consider when to air it.

Radio stations measure success in terms of listener numbers like television stations measure viewers. However, a radio listener must listen for at least 5 minutes in a quarter-hour period for their contribution to count. An effective radio ad must air during a time when the station’s audience will be listening. It must also keep them from changing the channel for as long as possible.

Fourth Commandment: Thou Shalt Elicit the Necessary Emotion

Many of the most effective ads in any format work so well because they manage to make their audience feel something. Touching the heart of an audience is wonderful, but it is also important to create the correct emotion. Determine what listeners should feel before creating the ad or risk sending the wrong message. 

Fifth Commandment: Thou Shalt Cater to Thy Audience

Increasing listener numbers is great, but it is also important to ensure that the right people are tuning in. Getting someone with no interest in the product or service being advertised to listen is not a great way to encourage sales.

The first step of catering any message is to determine who the audience is. This is done by analyzing their demographics, habits, and other identifying factors. The next is to find out what they want or need, which is as simple as sending out a survey or poll. Lastly, figure out how to make an ad that speaks to both these elements and is relevant to the right people.

Sixth Commandment: Thou Shalt Mention the Product (But Not Too Often)

A commercial that doesn’t showcase a product or service won’t translate into profit. It’s important to clearly indicate what is being offered but not overwhelm listeners with branding.

A study on radio commercial retention showed that while mentioning a brand does help listeners remember an ad, doing so too often can have the opposite effect. Work the product naturally into the message of the ad to achieve the right balance.  

Seventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Maintain Attention

There are thousands of radio stations available to listeners today. Keeping them from tuning to another channel while a radio ad is on is a matter of holding their attention.

There are numerous effective methods to keep listeners. An attention-grabbing opening line, relevant message, appropriate emotional appeal, limited-time offer, and other hallmarks of effective content will help ensure potential customers don’t touch that dial.

Eighth Commandment: Thou Shalt Provide an Enticing Offer

Radio commercials usually only have 15-30 seconds to grab a listener’s attention and prevent them from turning the channel. It’s essential to get to the point quickly and show listeners why they should care about the message being conveyed.

A sale or special promotion is a great time to run radio ads, as they entice customers to buy before the offer goes away. However, there are other ways to turn listeners into customers, such as appealing to their emotions or telling an entertaining story in the ad. 

Ninth Commandment: Thou Shalt Use the Correct Format

Researchers found that, while the old-fashioned announcer-style ad is the most common, a more relatable, slice-of-life story is usually more effective. Just like a picture looks better in a beautiful frame, a radio ad becomes more effective when it uses the appropriate format.

Tenth Commandment: Thou Shalt Write Effective Scripts 

All the commandments come together when it is time to create a script for a radio ad. A script serves as the blueprint for a story, and if it doesn’t convey the right message, the ad will fail.

See an example of how to format radio commercial scripts and more tips on how to write them effectively here.

Are You Ready to Start?

Has learning how to make a radio ad inspired you to use this effective outreach method in your own business? Ready to air radio ads that increase your profit and customer base?

Then check out our radio advertising services and contact us to request a quote today!