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4 strategies for brand marketing and digital audio

Brand marketers who include digital audio have a unique opportunity to reach a truly immersed audience—and create a competitive edge. Read on to learn how digital audio could enhance your brand marketing strategy and help your business grow.

Let’s take it from the top. What is brand marketing?

It’s okay if you’re a new brand or business and don’t know everything about brand marketing. We’ll give you the TL;DR: brand marketing is a long-term, strategic plan to maintain your brand’s reputation and make your product or service recognizable to your audience. A smart brand marketer consistently communicates her brand’s values in the marketing channels where her audience is engaged and receptive to hearing about the brand.

Research shows that branding in marketing can increase a business’s total revenue by 23%.1 So what’s the first step towards building a solid brand marketing plan that engages your target audience? Show up where your audience is.

You probably know what we’re going to say next: you can reach your target audience listening on Spotify. And digital audio advertising is a critical channel that can help you meet your customers where they are—and when they’re primed to hear your message.

How to add digital audio into your brand marketing strategy:

Before the streaming age, brand marketers could easily overlook audio as a channel. And we know why: audio ads used to have a certain reputation because of traditional radio's disruptive nature and estimated audience targeting. But digital audio ads are a valuable tool that can help marketers build their brand and forge connections with their target customers.

The benefit of using digital audio in your marketing efforts? Digital audio can go wherever the listener takes it. Spotify listeners soundtrack their days with their favorite music and podcasts, spending up to 2.5 hours a day listening across devices.2 Digital audio content complements, rather than detracts, from people’s activities.

We’ve laid out our top four strategies for businesses and brand marketers who want to tap into an audience of listeners.

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1. Use sonic branding to drive recall.

Sound can help communicate your brand’s personality and identity in the same way that a logo or specific font does. More importantly, it can make your brand recognizable in audio-driven platforms where your target audience is spending time—platforms like Spotify.

  • 75%

    Listen to digital audio

    Over 75% of the U.S. digital population listens to digital audio each week.3
  • 1.5

    Hours of daily listening

    People in the U.S. spend over 1.5 hours listening to digital audio every day.4

Whether it's a signature song or sound effect, sound creates another layer of identity and recognition for your brand. What makes sonic branding successful? We’ve found that simplicity and consistency are key for building audience recognition and trust.

A sonic brand cue can be as simple as a sonic logo like, "Hey, BRAND here" at the top of the ad, a jingle, a memorable brand character, or a recognizable voiceover artist (or celebrity—with their permission, of course). Our research shows that as long as your sonic branding is heard consistently in your creative message, earlier and later brand cues can both lead to better recall and higher brand lifts.5

So add sonic brand cues to your audio, video, and social ads—anywhere an audio element is present. And when people hear your ad, they’ll be able to say, “Aha, I’ve heard from this brand before."

Hear how Alfac used sonic brand cues in a podcast ad.

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2. Establish brand guidelines.

It’s essential to establish clear rules for audio to help you maintain brand consistency across media channels and audio touchpoints. Make sure your brand’s sounds align with your larger brand identity, from the cadence of the voiceover in an audio ad to the background music you choose for a multi-format campaign.

Start by outlining your brand values and the key messages you need to communicate to your customers. Then consider the following questions to help you build a holistic soundscape for your brand:

  • What sound effects could help convey the brand’s values and messages?
  • What genre of music would resonate most with the brand’s personality and target audience?
  • What cadence should a narrator adopt in a voiceover?
  • What age or personality should a voiceover narrator communicate?

Hear how Campbell Soup did it.

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3. Connect with your audience in context.

People listen to Spotify almost everywhere—in the car, gym, office, and even in the shower.6 Thanks to our logged-in audience, we can understand how people stream across devices throughout their day and deliver the most relevant message at the right moment.

Understanding your audience’s context and taking an audience-first approach to your brand marketing strategy will help your brand show up in the moments that count—for both your target listener and your product or service.

Hear how Michelob met running enthusiasts in the workout moment.

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Our research shows that listeners prefer when an ad recognizes their listening moment, mood, or context. Not only does this make for an uninterrupted listener experience, but contextually relevant ads can make your brand more memorable.

  • 65%

    Like tailored audio ads

    65% of Spotify listeners say they like it when it feels like ads are made just for them.7
  • 75%

    Recall contextual audio ads

    75% of Spotify listeners say they remember ads more when the ads recognize their moment or setting.8

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4. Learn from your competitors.

Researching your competitors and learning what they’re doing well (and not so well) is a crucial step in building audio into your brand marketing strategy. Check out how they’re branding their business through audio.

  • What brand stories do they tell in audio-first channels?
  • How do they use audio to bring those stories to life?
  • How can your brand take a unique approach and highlight your differentiators with sound?

If you need inspiration, take a look at our case studies.

You can hear how other businesses integrate sonic branding into their identity and connect with their audiences with Spotify ads.

Ready to build your brand with digital audio?

Get in touch with us at the form below, or sign up for Spotify Ad Studio to create a campaign today.
  1. Forbes.com, 10 Marketing, Web Design & Branding Statistics To Help You Prioritize Business Growth Initiatives, August 2018.
    1. Spotify First-Party Data, global, based on daily content hours / daily active users, free users multiplatform, May 2019
    2. GlobalWebIndex, Q1-Q2 2019 & Q1-Q2 2020, US, August 2020
    3. eMarketer, April 2021
    4. Nielsen Brand Effect & Kantar Brand Lift Insights, CPG only 1/1/2018-6/30/2020
    5. Spotify & Kantar: TNS Research, US Age=16-64, 2020; Spotify Free Users-Weekly Reach
    6. Spotify & Kantar: TNS Research, US Age=16-64, 2020; Spotify Free Users-Weekly Reach
    7. Key Moments Survey, Spotify Users A15-40, US, UK, DE, IT, SP, MX, BR, AU, October 2019 * answered top two boxes on a scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree

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