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How to promote your business locally with self-serve ads

Back in the early days of radio advertising, a 30-second spot was a serious status symbol. Production required hiring a creative agency and using expensive equipment, meaning this type of ad was typically reserved for big brands with deep pockets.

But today, there's an alternative that delivers the benefits of radio advertising without all that complexity and expense. Self-serve digital audio ads on Spotify give brands of all sizes access to everything they need to create an effective campaign, from professional recording and mixing equipment to background music and voiceover actors. Now, audio advertising isn't just a big brand's game — even small businesses on a budget can manage audio campaigns in a bunch of engaging formats.

Here are four ways digital audio ads — and Spotify's self-serve ad manager, Spotify Ad Studio — can help your brand create a killer campaign from scratch.

1. Use podcast ads to reach engaged listeners

Does it seem like everyone from your next-door neighbor to your chatty coworker has a podcast these days? You're not imagining things. As a medium, podcasts are growing fast. Last year, more than 117 million Americans listened to podcasts at least once a month.1

So, why the popularity? For one thing, podcasts feel like an intimate form of media in a world of detached, screen-based experiences. For some people, engaging with a podcast feels like a conversation — like a personal relationship between the listener and the host.

Since podcast ads are seamlessly woven into podcast content, brands can benefit from that sense of closeness, too. Not to mention, Spotify's podcast advertising network is extensive, with millions of monthly active listeners.

What's more, the right context fuels great ad experiences for listeners. You can make your audio ads even more memorable by designing them to enhance rather than interrupt the moment. According to our research, 59% of Spotify Free users pay more attention to advertising on Spotify than they do to ads on the radio,2 and 51% say they pay more attention to ads on Spotify specifically because they're more relevant and tailored.3

  • 117M

    Americans who listen to podcasts at least once per month

  • 59%

    Spotify Free users who pay more attention to advertising on Spotify than they do to ads on the radio

2. Zero in on a precise audience with self-serve audio ads

On the brand side of the experience, digital audio lets advertisers reach specific audience cohorts—a feature that goes above and beyond simple zip code targeting used with traditional radio ads.

Case in point: Publishing company Issuu wanted to reach a very specific audience with their digital audio ads—they hoped to target professional content creators. Using Ad Studio's turnkey services, the brand created messaging that was similar to its own tagline, "Create Once, Share Everywhere." Because of the campaign, they were able to reach more than 70,000 listeners across their niche target audience.

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Hear the spot for yourself.

In addition to finding people in the right geographic locations, Ad Studio lets businesses of all sizes create, target, and measure their audio ad campaigns. The platform makes it simple to zero in on exactly the right demographic, audience behaviors, and audio environment for your brand's needs.

3. Boost brand recall

Naturally, small business advertising is about making sales—but a customer can't buy your product if they don't know it exists. That's where brand recall comes in. Familiarizing listeners with your company encourages potential customers to keep an eye out for your products and services, which in turn can boost revenue.

This can be particularly impactful for local brands offering specific products or services within their communities—especially in an era when nearly 70% of people say that supporting local businesses is a priority.4 In order for those customers to show that support, they first need to know what your company offers—and digital audio is a great way to explain. Then, when they walk by your business on Main Street or happen across your products online, your ad messaging is already in the back of their mind.

To boost brand recall, having strong creative is key. Our research shows that effective ad creative can increase recall by 17%.5 We've also found that multiform campaigns, like those featuring both audio and video ads, can increase ad recall by 90%.5

  • 17%

    Effective ad creative can increase recall by 17%

  • 90%

    Multiform campaigns, like those featuring both audio and video ads, can increase ad recall by 90%

4. Deliver a timely message

Here's another perk of self-serve digital audio ads: that limited-time offer you need to promote? You can create a campaign quickly and easily to get the word out, even if you need your ads to run only on certain days of the week.

🎧 Grab headphones for the full effect.

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Pizza Hut took this approach when it wanted to attract sports fans on game day. The goal was to reach hungry parents and kids when fast and easy food was top of mind. So, the brand created audio ads that replicated the roar of a football crowd. Sportscaster-style messaging highlighted value deals and delivery options. The campaign scored by using immersive audio storytelling and sound effects to capture sports fans' attention—all while putting Pizza Hut's products in the starting lineup.

Ready to enter the new era of audio advertising? Check out our articles for inspiration. Then, sign up for Ad Studio to start getting the word out about your local business.

  1. "Global Podcast Listener Forecast 2021-2025," eMarketer. October 2021.
  2. Spotify & Kantar: TNS Research, US Age=16-64, 2020.
  3. Spotify & Kantar: TNS Research, US Age=16-64, 2020.
  4. "Buying Local Statistics for 2021: Survey Finds 70% of Americans Shop Small," Intuit. January 2011.
  5. Nielsen Brand Effect on Spotify, March 2020.

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