The impacts of COVID-19 have been far-reaching causing consumer habits and routines to change with the unknowns. As uncertain times continue, brands have a unique opportunity to connect with their audiences in a positive way, to serve as a trusted voice, and to enhance the daily lives of consumers.
AdsWizz partners closely with agencies, advertisers and audio publishers, and from our unique vantage point, we’ve observed important trends and gleaned key insights around how listener behaviors are evolving during the pandemic. Below are the trends and opportunities we see that can help brands form a more meaningful connection with audiences during this ‘new normal.’
Daily Consumer Audio Listening Increasing and Shifting
Since social distancing and shelter-in-place orders were set for many, AdsWizz platform data shows digital audio unique listeners have increased by 11%. We’ve seen surges in podcast listening, especially among news and business-related shows, as consumers seek out important content relating to the pandemic from trustworthy sources.
When and how people consume audio has also changed. With commute times decreasing or disappearing altogether, we’ve seen a 100%+ increase with in-home smart speakers. This spike is occurring primarily in the mornings when consumers want to listen to the latest updates and developing news for the day.
Peak listening hours have increased and shifted as well. We are seeing peak hours starting later in the day, presumably due to sleeping in longer. And the historical listening drops seen over the weekend are a thing of the past. The steady increase of listeners continues through the weekend, presenting an opportunity to reach audiences seven days of the week versus five days.
Opportunities to Reach and Engage Audiences
By slightly adjusting your audio advertising strategy and leveraging available technologies, you can optimize your targeting, creative and messaging to effectively reach and connect with consumers. Here are a few paths you can take:
Build Trust and Create Connections
Audio evokes a strong emotional response and can be a powerful way to show listeners you care. Evolving your marketing objectives to include mission and cause-based campaigns can create lasting connections. Audio’s authenticity and versatility can help interact with consumers at the right moments throughout the day.
Target Audio Devices to Create Ad Experiences Specifically for the Home
Everyone is listening to more audio at home – working while listening to music, asking smart speakers for today’s top stories, or listening to a podcast while working out. Include audio in your strategy and specifically target the home to reach consumers in new and meaningful ways. One way is to deliver contextualized campaigns, by combining dynamic tech with rich data (behavioral segments, weather, time of day, etc.) to generate the right ad variations in real-time. Another way is to pair audio ads with display ads on other devices within the home – double your impact and reach. Both strategies help you lift engagement and increase the effectiveness of your message by personalizing the ad experience based on the listener’s current context.
Deliver Relevant Messages to Podcast Listeners with Contextual Targeting
Podcast listening has increased as much as 30% over the last few months, providing more opportunities for one-on-one connections. Keyword targeting and avoidance to ensure brand alignment and brand safety are of more importance today than ever. Advanced transcription capabilities help pinpoint the nature of the podcast content, allowing you to decide where your ads should run, and where they should not. Granular understanding of the content can boost ad effectiveness, and more importantly help your message connect in a positive way.
Tell a More Engaging Story with Intelligent Audio Ad Sequencing
Audio is being consumed over four hours on average every day. Harness the power of storytelling by sequentially delivering ads to your listeners. Intelligent ad sequencing personifies your brand and allows you to be heard in a more engaging way.
When the future is uncertain, consumers often seek what’s familiar, trusted, and secure. As consumers continue to rely on audio for news and entertainment at home, advertisers have a chance to engage in deeper, more meaningful ways. Digital audio is serving as a key resource and connection to the world outside of the home.