5 advertisers share what it takes to make compelling audio ads

We’re just going to come out and say it: Spotify audio ads are not radio ads. Better audience understanding, precise targeting, and transparent measurement are just some of the fundamental differentiators. But what sets Spotify ad creative apart? And why do people pay more attention to ads they hear on Spotify than on AM/FM radio? We asked five Spotify Ad Studio superusers from across the globe to share what they learned about creating audio ads for Spotify and the best practices they follow to deliver results.

  • 59%

    of Spotify Free users explicitly say they pay more attention to advertising on Spotify than on radio

  • 51%

    of Spotify Free users say they pay more attention to ads on Spotify because they are more relevant or tailored

Make a Spotify Free account to hear what your audience hears.

Elisa Rodriguez

Digital Marketing Specialist, The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)

“If you’ve never created a Spotify audio ad before, join Spotify Free and listen! Even if the brands and businesses you hear from are nothing like your own, it’s still helpful to hear how they’re talking to their audience. Plus, it’s an opportunity to get to know your target audience. Sometimes we forget to review things through the eyes (or ears!) of the consumer.

To that end, think about the audience or moments you’re targeting when you choose the background music and voice actor for your ad. You can have a fantastic script written, but if the voice of your ad doesn’t reflect the right sentiment, it can be hard to transmit the message. But to be honest, the voice actors from Spotify Ad Studio’s free creative services amaze me!”

Consider what your audience knows (and what they may not).

Lorna Ruane

Director of Research & Analytics, Spotlight Oral Care

“We’re a startup and just beginning to drum up awareness and excitement for our brand in new markets. Digital audio is an important marketing channel for us because we can reach our target audiences at various stages of their customer journey. One of the most valuable things you can do as an audio advertiser is to keep that journey in mind as you plan your creative messaging.

In other words, your message should not only be tailored to the nuances of the specific region you’re targeting but also to the level of awareness for your brand in that market. Ask yourself: Do I need to introduce my brand here, or is this audience already familiar with my product or service? Do I need to earn their trust and affinity?

From there, tell a story to your listeners. Whether you’re building awareness for your brand or promoting a specific product, understand what your target audience knows about you (and what they don’t), so you can meet them at the right stage of their journey in 30 seconds. Have something—a question or insight—from the get-go that piques their interest and gets them to lean in. The goal is to make your message relevant enough so that listening to your ad becomes an active—not disruptive—experience for your listeners.”

Use voiceover actors who sound relatable to your target audience.

Jocelyn Smith

Media Planner, &well, OvareGroup

“We’ve been managing campaigns for our clients on Ad Studio for about a year now. And we use Ad Studio’s free creative tools and services every month, if not more, to create audio ads. What does it take to create a compelling audio ad? Something catchy right out the gate. The script has to be solid and attention-grabbing. It can help to call out the specific region that you’re advertising to, as well. But the voiceover actors need to sound relatable to your target audience and authentic. People will tune out a cheesy-sounding ad.

We have a system of clients that only place traditional ads (think spot radio, newspaper, and magazine ads). They don’t like digital, but Spotify was an easy segue to get them into the digital space. They enjoyed seeing the actual number of listeners who heard their ad. And being able to see that people were CLICKING their radio ad made them flip out—in a good way.

If you’ve never run an audio ad on Spotify before, just try it. It’s affordable, and you get great results!”

Make it easy for listeners to take action.

Bailey Garrison

Advertising Manager, Articulate

“In the last year that we’ve run campaigns with Spotify Ad Studio, we learned that there are a few key aspects to creating compelling audio ads. One is to keep the ad short, straightforward, and memorable. You only have 30 seconds to capture the listener’s attention and convey your message, so you want to make sure you can do it clearly and concisely.

With such a short window to connect with listeners, less is more! Keep it simple and focus on the quality of your message and the benefit of your product that’s most relevant to your target audience. These are the most critical aspects of the ad. When you pair relevant content with excellent creative, you’ve mastered the basics.

But don’t forget to include a call to action in your message. You’ll have already caught people’s attention and sold them on your product or service in the first 20 seconds of your message. Use the last 10 seconds to make sure they have an easy way to take action. So consider what action you want your target audience to take and make it a seamless experience for them. Listeners may not always be able to click a link. Think about other ways you can encourage action from them.”

Test, measure, optimize. Repeat.

Alejandro Medina

Senior Performance Analyst, Grupo Bursátil Mexicano

“Our best-performing audio ad to date was focused on the broad Spotify audience and aligned with our branding goals. To make our ad super relevant to listeners, we purposely designed our message to match the medium that brought it to our target audience.

If you’ve never made an audio ad before, start your creative concepting process by determining your campaign objective, choosing a compelling CTA, and establishing the benefit that your brand or product offers. From there, think of a dialogue that communicates it creatively and consider different auditory elements to enrich the ad. Then test your ads, measure the results, and optimize. The risk of not testing, measuring, analyzing, and optimizing can cause you to fall in love with a beautiful but non-functional creative concept.”

Ready to make your own audio ads? Let’s go!

Whether you’re just beginning to explore the creative potential of digital audio ads, or you’re a seasoned sonic creator looking to boost campaign results, we’re here to help you get started. Check out our library of best practice guides to help you get started on building your data-driven, audience-first campaigns on Spotify Ad Studio.

Source: Spotify & Kantar: TNS Research, US Age=16-64, 2020; Spotify Free Users

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