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7 steps to defining an audio marketing strategy

Back in 1994, when MTV was the latest disruptive thing capturing the attention of American teens, Dick Clark (of American Bandstand fame—we can wait while you look him up) told the LA times, "Popular music is the soundtrack of our individual lives."1

Clark's adage is even more true today. In 2023, playlists—and podcasts—provide the soundtrack your target audience lives by. Which might not be quite the evolution Clark would have predicted, but let's roll with it.

Why audio marketing is a sound investment

Today, Americans are racking up audio listening hours, which translates to a wide reach for your brand.2 The variety of audio content available means you can flex your market-targeting muscles, too.

Here are a few additional reasons why audio ads are at the top of many marketers' priority lists:

More engagement. Digital audio lets people personalize what they're listening to, so it's a direct match to their interests and listening environments. In fact, listeners have around 34% more engagement on Spotify compared to traditional radio (and 9% more engagement compared to other forms of digital audio).3

Increased brand impact. More engagement with Spotify's audio content translates directly into more ad engagement. Our research found, for example, that ads experience 19% higher brand impact on Spotify when compared to all other forms of media, including TV, digital video, and social media.3

Reach younger audiences with niche interests. When it comes to reaching the millennial and Gen Z markets, audio marketing is a must. For millennials struggling with work-life balance, audio has emerged as a go-to self-care resource. In fact, 83% of millennials use audio to reduce their stress levels, and 77% see audio as a mental health resource.4

And as Spotify's 2022 Culture Next report reveals, Gen Zs aren't about fitting in—they aspire to stand out. Audio helps them do just that: 80% of Gen Zs say audio lets them explore different sides of their personalities—and in the process, discover identities they never knew they had.5

Key questions to ask to nail your audio marketing strategy

The following questions can help you better define your audio marketing strategy.

1. Who's your target audience?

It's crucial to know who your target audience is—and while the two terms might sound similar, your brand's target audience is not the same thing as its target market.

Not sure how to figure out who your target audience is? We've got you covered. Check out Spotify's resources for learning the different types of target audiences—and how to find (and reach!) the perfect target audience for your brand.

2. What audio formats do they listen to?

Once you know your target audience, you'll need to dive deeper: First, what audio formats does your audience like to listen to? Do they listen to podcasts? Digital radio? Or perhaps they don't go anywhere without music streaming in their earbuds.

3. How do they listen?

Next, what devices does your audience use to listen to audio content? Do they listen primarily on mobile (iOS or Android, tablet or phone)? Maybe they use voice search to stream the music they like on smart speakers. Or perhaps they listen on TV, desktops, and laptops—three other popular devices people use to listen to audio content.

4. Where do they listen?

Where your target audience listens is all about context—and digital audio provides the kind of contextual insight that radio can't. So ask yourself: Do they listen at home while cooking? In the car while commuting? While they're out on a run? Understanding where your audience listens helps you deliver a hyper-relevant message that's in tune with listeners' specific moments and experiences.

5. When do they listen?

Knowing when your audience is listening gives you another critical piece of context. Does your target audience listen primarily in the morning, afternoon, or at night—or some combination of all three? Are they weekend and holiday listeners, or is it more of a 24/7 thing? What are your target audience’s purchasing habits over the course of their year? Do they pull up a playlist when they're studying or at work? Or maybe they always fall asleep to soft piano music. Researching your audience will help you leverage the optimal marketing tactics to reach them during your seasonal marketing campaigns.

6. What are they interested in?

Knowing your target audience's interests provides potential topics you may be able to effectively tie back to your product or service. For example, listeners who regularly play cooking-related audio might be a great fit for a brand that sells cookware or has a product that helps organize and track recipes.

7. What does success look like, and how will you measure it?

Finally, you need to determine what a successful audio marketing campaign looks like to you. Your audio marketing strategy can have several objectives, from brand awareness to increased website traffic to better conversions. Knowing what you're trying to achieve enables you to determine the key metrics you'll need to track.

Once you've answered these questions and nailed your strategy, it's time to choose a digital streaming audio service and set up your campaigns.

With Spotify, you can access the world's largest digital audio platform. Spotify Ad Studio—the industry's most advanced self-service advertising platform—makes creating campaigns a breeze. Spotify's digital audio ads let you easily and affordably reach an engaged, attentive audience immersed in the content they love.

Learn more about getting started with Ad Studio today.

SOURCES: 1. LA Times 2. Share of Ear®, Edison Research 3. Sonic Science research, Neuro-Insight and Spotify, June 2021 4. Spotify Culture Next survey, 2021 5. Spotify Culture Next survey, 2022

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