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3 ways a digital audio strategy can boost brand awareness

Whether you're a small business or a major enterprise, every ad dollar counts.

Let's face it — it's a jungle out there. Not only are you competing with other businesses, but you're operating in a saturated content environment that's chock-full of distractions. On top of that, it isn't enough simply to make a sale. If you really want to grow as a business, you have to build your brand, too.

This latter point is where brand awareness comes in handy.

The 411 on brand awareness

Let's back up a bit: What even is "brand awareness," anyway?

Brand awareness is the degree to which audiences recognize your brand, messaging, and products. Think of those iconic logos you immediately know upon sight, that catchy jingle that reminds you of your favorite snack, or the color scheme of your hometown sports team. All those little cues add up in people's minds to form a complete picture and mental association with what a company sells—and stands for.

Brand awareness falls at the very top of the marketing funnel, meaning it's one of the first steps toward making that coveted sale. Of course, product consideration and conversions, along with brand loyalty, are also critical. But before you can reach any of those stages, you need to make people aware that your brand exists in the first place.

There are many different ways to boost brand awareness, but if your goal is to connect with an engaged audience and make your products relevant to people's lives, creating a brand awareness strategy built around digital audio is the way to go.

Here's why.

The perks of digital audio

It's no secret that digital audio content is having a zeitgeist moment. Just a decade ago, podcasts were niche. Today, that's changed: Research shows that 57% of U.S. consumers listen to audio podcasts,1 and those listeners spend more than 45 minutes a day engaged.2 What's more, 176 million Americans over the age of 12 — or 62% of the nation — listen to digital audio including podcasts and digital radio on a weekly basis.3

What does that mean for brands? On Spotify alone, digital audio can provide advertisers with access to a monthly global audience of 220 million people4 — and 60% of those listeners say they pay more attention to Spotify ads than they do to ads they hear on traditional radio.5 A full 61% also report that those ads help them discover new brands.6

How to increase brand awareness with digital audio ads

Now that you know the value of digital audio, let's get back to the topic of familiarizing people with your brand. Here are three key steps to building positive brand associations with your target audience.

1. Leverage context
Every advertiser knows that context is important—the same rules about aligning your brand with relevant content apply when you're developing a digital audio campaign. That's because your goal is to locate your target audience and introduce them to your brand.

Matching your brand or products to audio that attracts the customers you're looking for is an effective way to ensure interest, increase brand recall, and really capitalize on your marketing budget. The key is to create messages that "match the moment" so that people have a positive connection with your brand and remember it down the line.

Sonic branding is useful for driving recall, too. Just as jingles worked to keep brands top of mind in the heyday of TV, a specific sound or a consistent voiceover artist in your digital audio ads can stick with people. Ultimately, this may pique their curiosity about your brand.

2. Reach people where they are
Recent research shows that nearly half of Americans spend five to six hours a day on their mobile devices outside of work use.7 Smartphones go wherever people go — and by advertising with digital audio, you can do the same.

The best way to increase brand awareness is by engaging with customers. Digital audio gives you more chances to do that. With audio ads, you can reach active listeners on any device throughout their day — as well as in screenless moments, like during the morning commute, while running errands, when socializing with friends and family, or even when nodding off to sleep.

No more waiting for a customer to visit a particular website or drive past a specific billboard to see your ad. Instead, you can get your brand in front of an engaged audience (and even offer them a clickable link) by delivering ads between the songs or podcasts they love to hear. They might even have a more positive impression of your brand because of it.

3. Make it personal
People love personalization. One study found that 60% of consumers are likely to become repeat buyers if they have a personalized shopping experience.8 More than half (51%) of Spotify Free users say they pay more attention to ads on the platform because they are more tailored to their interests.9

Think of your brand awareness campaign as a chance to start a new relationship off on the right foot. By personalizing your audio content to people's interests and preferences, you show listeners that you care about their digital experience. That's the kind of message you want to send, particularly if you hope to turn that online interaction into a loyal, long-term engagement. That same study about repeat buyers found that even if there are cheaper options on the market, more than one-third of people return to brands that deliver positive experiences.10

Key takeaways

The first step toward building brand awareness is to reach your customers when they're happy and engaged.

With its wide variety of content, ability to go where people go, and options for personalization, digital audio is an effective way to maximize your marketing budget and develop a memorable campaign — and the more people who are aware of your brand, the more potential sales you stand to get. Spotify Ad Studio offers a range of self-serve solutions and free tools to help you create digital audio ads that are completely bespoke to your brand—from scratch. Peruse our resources for voiceover tips, script guidance, sound-mixing services, access to background tracks, audio revision tools, and more.

Want to learn more about audio advertising? Take free courses with the Spotify Advertising Academy and get started.

Sources: 1. "Percentage of consumers who have ever listened to audio podcasts in the United States from 2006 to 2021," Statista. July 2021 2. Podcast Listeners data, INSIDER Intelligence by eMarketer. 2021 3. "The Infinite Dial 2021," Edison Research. March 2021 4. "Year-End 2020 RIAA Revenue Statistics," RIAA. January 2021 5. Spotify first-party data, Global Audience Metrics. October 2021 6. Spotify & Kantar, TNS Research, poll of U.S. users ages 16-64. 2020 7. Spotify/Qualtrics Entertainment Study, poll of U.S. users ages 13+. August 2020 8. "How much time on average do you spend on your phone on a daily basis?" Statista. October 2021 9. "The State of Personalization 2021 Report," Twilio. June 2021 10. Spotify & Kantar, TNS Research, poll of U.S. users ages 16-64. 2020

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