The Best Advanced Audio Strategies to Add to Your Marketing Efforts

Traditional and digital advertising share two common goals: find consumers where they are and connect with them in the best ways at the best times in the best places. That said, digital advertising strategies enable advertisers to more easily pick and choose where and when they appear to consumers.

With digital audio advertising specifically, it’s becoming ever more possible to reach people throughout the day as they tune in to their favorite stations, platforms, and podcasts. Advertisers can connect with users listening on their computers or phones, after work, on their morning walks, or at bedtime. The possibilities are endless.

How Digilant Helps Advertisers Implement an Effective Advanced Audio Strategy

Digilant’s Advanced Audio Solutions help advertisers achieve everyday integration through inventory, premium supply partners, and data-driven targeting.

  • Inventory. Inventory refers to our network of leading global audio providers, through which advertisers can reach thousands of premium stations and connect with consumers wherever they are, from iHeart Radio to Spotify Podcasts and beyond.
  • Premium Supply Partners. Supply-side partners and demand-side partners ensure we can tap into this extensive audio inventory supply. Our partnerships with AdsWizz, Pandora, and Spotify, help us work strategically with clients no matter their goals.
  • Targeting. Personalization ensures that we get the right audio in the right ears. Targeting can happen in various ways. We can target digital streaming audio by weather, theme, local points of interest, or even the type of speaker through which the user is listening.

These strategies are uniquely positioned to ensure advertisers effectively connect with consumers as their digital habits shift and evolve. Throughout the pandemic, consumers shifted even more toward digital streaming audio, and this trend isn’t slowing down. Now advertisers can capitalize on a digital audio listenership that represents a more engaged audience in which consumers have a higher brand recall.

We used an advanced audio strategy in recent work with a fast-casual restaurant. The restaurant’s goal was to drive customers, especially families, to different franchise locations. We used a combination of tactics — including audio ads with data-driven targeting, retargeting, and sequential messaging via banner ads — to encourage online orders and in-store visits across the restaurant’s 60 locations. In the end, the campaign drove a 95% audio completion rate and a 25.76% standard lift. Needless to say, audio advertising is as powerful in practice as it is on paper. 

The Best Audio Advertising Tactics for Digital Advertisers Today

The best advanced audio advertising strategies use several tactics to target and reach listeners throughout their daily routines. Here are some of the most important to include as you integrate audio ads into your marketing efforts.

1. Advanced targeting

This tactic gives you a wealth of ways to direct your messages to the people who will find them most relevant and interesting. For example, you could target based on first, second, and third-party data parameters, including CRM, location, and device.

2. Sequential targeting

 Targeted sequential messaging allows you to message groups of listeners across different formats once they’ve engaged with your audio. You can then target and retarget audio listeners with video, native, or display banners across mobile, desktop, TV, or social platforms.

3. Measurement

When setting audio KPIs, you need to quantify success in a way that is appropriate to the audio environment. Because engagement is different in audio advertising, some podcast metrics might include impressions and genre, while important radio streaming metrics might focus on geo breakdown or listen-through rate. It’s up to you to decide which metrics are most important for your brand.

4. Attribution

Once you’re targeting and measuring, you can use an attribution tool, like AdsWizz’s powerful attribution pixel, to track conversions that are happening across devices. Integrate with a further app like Foursquare, and you can connect to foot traffic data, too, giving a more thorough picture of your listeners’ journeys.

5. Reporting

It’s important to practice transparent reporting with your metrics. You should actively report and review your impressions, reach, and frequency metrics, as well as landing page visits and sales. By partnering with an end-to-end omnichannel partner that prioritizes transparent reporting, you can visualize how your digital audio campaigns fit into your full suite of marketing strategies.

6. Partners

When you have access to a wide and evolving list of global audio partners, you can adapt your digital advertising strategies according to your goals and your listeners. We partner with demand-side platforms like AudioGO and The Trade Desk and private marketplaces like Spotify and Amazon Music; and we have network partners, too — our relationship with iHeart Radio means we can reach millions of listeners as they go about their daily lives.

Audio ads give you the power to accompany your audience throughout their day: while they work, while they work out, while they eat, and while they relax. By partnering with diverse platforms and audio solutions, you can expand and deepen the impact your brand has as well.

If you want to learn more about advanced audio ad strategies, check out our webinar on how to leverage digital audio and podcast advertising this year. Ready to incorporate advanced audio advertising into your media mix? Contact us today to get started.

5 Best Practices for Using AI Tools to Upgrade Your Influencer Marketing

No matter what type of product or service your brand offers, chances are you have at least heard of influencer marketing — or you may already be leveraging it. Influencer marketing aligns you with specific creators who will help draw awareness to your brand, create credibility, and ultimately drive conversions. The influencer industry is already projected to reach $16.4 billion globally in 2022.

But the industry is evolving. Working with influencers used to be a guessing game, which typically boxed them into working with major players only (think Tyler Oakley and Warby Parker). Now, as the industry has grown, smaller influencers and brands are able to form partnerships successfully, thanks to better technology. So not only has technology expanded access in the world of influencer marketing, but it’s now equipping brands with more information about which influencers will best meet their needs.

Artificial intelligence offers an instant upgrade to any digital marketer’s strategy — especially when it comes to influencer marketing. AI advertising tools can scan a potential influencer’s followers and insights to give you a sense of whether they’re a good fit for your brand. Plus, AI can help determine which influencers have truly quality accounts that you would be proud to associate with your brand.

Read on to find out our top five best practices for leveraging AI advertising tools to jump-start your influencer marketing.

1.Stay away from inflated metrics.

As with all forms of digital advertising, finding the right influencers comes with inherent risk. Even when dealing with influencer networks, which can give you access to trust influencers across various industries, advertisers have to be cautious about inflated metrics, engagement, or followers. Make sure an influencer’s engagement rate isn’t inflated by fake followers or other tactics.

2. Find influencers that share your brand’s vision and values.

Many influencer partnerships are obvious, such as beauty influencers and makeup brands or travel influencers and luggage companies. However, the rise of micro-influencers has brought more opportunities for brands to partner with people across varying types of content and in varying niches. This means that you have opportunities for less obvious influencer partnerships based on other interests their followers may have that align with certain segments of your audience.

The increase in AI technology across influencer marketing enables brands to uncover these previously hidden audience segment connections. Within an influencer’s scope, there may be crossover to other industries that brands had never realized until audience targeting, analysis, and AI came into play. As a result, the world of influencer marketing has opened up far beyond the 1:1 connection, giving brands more opportunities to interact and work with influencers.

3. Leverage AI to inform compensation.

Because influencer marketing is still a relatively new medium, influencer compensation can be tricky to navigate. Bigger influencers who’ve been around longer may establish terms of their own and minimums, but micro-influencers or creators newer to the industry may be more willing to negotiate. Either way, it’s important to ensure that your investment is worthwhile by doing appropriate quality checks and vetting potential partners. AI-powered advertising tools can help you predict how much engagement a specific influencer is likely to create for your brand.

4. Maintain your brand image.

When partnering with influencers, brands are putting trust in the creators to marry their own authenticity with the brand’s image and tone. The last thing you want is to invest in an advertising campaign that ends up striking the wrong tone with your audience and alienating them. AI advertising tools allow you to maintain an authentic brand strategy by analyzing photos across different platforms that contain your products, relevant themes, or competitor products. Then, they can generate reports that allow you to understand which influencers fit best with your brand.

5. Test and match the right content type with the right influencer.

AI advertising tools allow you to get granular with the types of content or products you match with certain creators. Think of this as elevated A/B testing in which you can skip the wasted media spend and instead get answers upfront about which creators and content types best prompt potential customers to buy specific products. That means you can more quickly, easily, and cheaply scale your influencer marketing buys across different product or service divisions.

At Digilant, as part of our performance marketing solution, we offer comprehensive influencer marketing solutions to ensure brands are partnered with the best creators to reach their audience. We partner with over 25,000 creators through strategic influencer networks to help you find the best partners for your brand’s advertising needs. We also help monitor and analyze social media content to learn more about consumer insights and provide a detailed report on brand positioning, awareness, and relevance across social media and display platforms.

Most importantly, we’ll help you get optimal digital advertising ROI — while still maintaining an authentic brand strategy and properly leveraging AI advertising tools. Get in touch today to learn more!

The Evolution of CTV/OTT: An Industry Veteran’s POV

Authored by: Sue Peabody, Director of Sales, Southeast at Digilant

When I started in the OTT (Over-the-top) and CTV (connected TV) space in 2017, my consultations largely involved explaining to buyers how to watch it. Publishers were figuring out how to monetize their new platforms and relied on their own sales staff and direct deals with a handful of resellers to help move the inventory. The technology for programmatic to work in the CTV/OTT space was not there yet. The issues had to do mainly with ad serving, although the inventory was not nearly as abundant as it is now, so the need was not immediate.

Flash forward to today, and it seems like everyone is streaming. And as a result, the way ad inventory is bought and sold has changed.

Ad tech has evolved quickly – viewability, brand safety and fraud protection partners abound. Ad serving has become seamless due to the development of servers that integrate directly with the media company’s stream to “stitch” the ad into the content for a better user experience.

 The Rise of Cord-Cutters

I used to position CTV/OTT as an extension of a linear TV buy. Ratings were declining, and it was a good hedge for posting. Cord-cutting was a concept many clients did not fully comprehend at the time. At the time, there were about 81.2 million smart TV users in the US, whereas now that number sits at about 119 million. I explained that CTV/OTT should not be thought of in the same way as digital video or display – it was TV with some digital characteristics. Since it was, and still is, a cookieless environment, CTV/OTT was simply this: acquire inventory and overlay probabilistic audiences. In essence, you were buying expensive inventory and using inexpensive data to take a shot at reaching your audience. 1:1 targeting and attribution were non-existent. The game has changed.

CTV/OTT & The Cookieless Future

The impending demise of third-party trackers (aka cookies) has accelerated the creation of sophisticated device mapping and identity graphs. Device maps are created by associating individual connected devices to a household IP address. Tech platforms developing these maps can then take deterministic data such as location, logins, email addresses, app downloads, online and offline purchases, memberships, etc. to create more accurate and relevant audience profiles.

CTV/OTT Inventory – Caveat Emptor

Fraud prevention and brand safety have improved by leaps and bounds. Pre-bid stopgaps help, but diligent, proactive campaign management and analysis are still a must. Buyers need to ask questions and be willing to dig for info. I recently observed first-hand a situation where an agency was using a DSP under a managed service agreement. They were buying a lot of CTV and on the surface, it seemed legitimate. However, upon further investigation, I found that they were paying very high rates for premium inventory only to water it down with extremely cheap inventory to hit CPM goals and the buyer had no idea this was happening.

Outstream video and pre-roll on TV station websites are two examples of inventory that sometimes gets bundled in on CTV lines. They both have their place in the ecosystem, but most buyers would not consider them true CTV. The word transparency gets thrown around a lot and I can tell you that it is truly relative. So be clear with your provider about your expectations and stay curious. Choose a strong performing partner with access to solid inventory.

CTV/OTT in an Omnichannel World

Most digital media plans are executed in silos or rather multichannel buys; buy some display, buy some video, buy some CTV/OTT and see if it works. However, it is equally important to know what is working, or not, and why – the key difference between omnichannel & multichannel media buys. Optimizations are not happening in real-time, and often you do not know how effective your campaigns are until after the end. To further complicate matters, throw in some traditional media, and now you really have a challenge.

The deterministically-built audience profiles mentioned above work to solve this challenge. They can be implemented into omnichannel campaigns through cross-device retargeting.

A partner like Digilant has the tools to unite disparate platforms and measurements and implement true omnichannel campaigns. However, we now can target linear TV viewers on digital channels through Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology. Can you believe it?

What is ACR technology?

ACR is an identification technology that is built to recognize content played on a media device or present in a media file.

This gives us the ability to build custom audiences based on user TV viewing habits, target (and retarget) them across devices, and measure users who took an online action after seeing a commercial.

How does it work?

  1. Unboxing & Consent: ACR is launched when an individual turns on a wi-fi powered device for the first time, then selects to opt into audio/video data collection during the initial set-up.
  2. Fragment Analyzation: Once a user opts into data collection, a device provider can analyze small fragments of images or sounds from the content consumed over time.
  3. Content Matching: ACR software processes these tiny samples and uploads them to cloud storage.  The content is then cross-referenced and matched to existing data.
  4. Personalized Targeting: Once the content is matched, the data is shared with select advertisers.  From there, marketers can link devices together to target consumers where they are most interested.

Digilant’s Advanced TV Solution

If you’re accustomed to buying CTV/OTT from a “single source,” you probably have faced frustrations from a siloed environment this creates. Digilant’s proprietary technology and deep partnerships across the entire digital ecosystem solve this challenge.

We can give you a more transparent view into the customer journey and attribution, so you understand upfront the nuances of your audience. We can then optimize campaigns in real-time to make the most efficient use of your media spend. Our platform-agnostic methodology means we can execute across a multitude of partners without favoring one over the other; our entire focus is on outcomes.

Are you interested in learning more about Digilant’s Advanced TV Solution? Let’s talk.

How to Tell When a Non-Skippable Ad Is the Right Choice

For the average consumer, skipping ads is just another part of searching the web. Years of navigating the internet have solidified this ingrained behavior, and according to research by Magna and IPG Media Lab, 76% of consumers skip ads without even thinking about it.

Over time, skipping ads has become an automatic behavior for consumers, ultimately forcing advertisers to change their content strategies in the hopes of creating lasting impressions. To appease consumers, advertisers may opt for the safety of skippable ads.

But a brand with a desire to connect with its audience and inspire authenticity might be more drawn to a non-skippable ad format. Advertisers, then, have to decide which option is best for their specific purpose while also meeting the needs of their audience.

When Is a Non-Skippable Ad the Right Choice?

If you’re looking to generate an uptick in general brand awareness, non-skippable ads are the best route to take. These longer formats give consumers a taste of your brand or product and establish you in your industry. They need to be engaging and bold, grabbing attention early on with catchy hooks, surprising messages, or creative imagery. If consumers are engaged, they’ll be happy to watch longer ads.

An audience’s acceptance of non-skippable ads also depends on what platform and format they’re using. Because consumers use many channels during their day, an omnichannel approach to choosing ad formats is often most effective.

Take social media, for example. A brand takeover ad on TikTok is an immersive ad experience that appears when the app is opened. The content is non-skippable but lasts only three to five seconds. Compare this to over-the-top media services, where users stream television content via networks or devices. In this format, ads can be longer because that’s the expectation consumers have on that platform.

Additionally, consumers will be more willing to stay engaged with a non-skippable ad when they know how long it will be and what will be covered. Including a countdown means consumers are aware of the time they’ll invest in watching, and it shows that you value their time.

Knowing how to create a successful non-skippable ad campaign is only half the battle. Before giving the green light, it’s best to sit down as a team and discuss whether skippable or non-skippable ads are right for your purpose.

4 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Skippable or Non-Skippable Ads

You want to reap all the benefits of video advertising and use the best video advertising techniques in your playbook, but how do you know whether you’ve chosen the best format for your message? Here’s a checklist of questions to ask before you decide:

1. Is there an emotional element involved?

Non-skippable ads need to be clear and concise to boost brand awareness, but they also need to evoke an emotion from the viewer. It’s an age-old adage, but it’s true: People won’t remember what you said; they’ll remember how you made them feel. If you can give them an ad experience that takes them on an emotional journey, they’ll be more likely to have a positive impression of your brand.

2. Does the ad format match your goal?

If you’re looking to drive conversions, skippable ads may be the best investment. While it seems counterintuitive, the few seconds of pre-skip content is prime time to offer deals and encourage clicks. Non-skippable ads are better used for boosting credibility, brand awareness, or product awareness, not encouraging click-throughs. It also makes sense for a longer, multipart story. Bumper ads on YouTube, for example, can be played sequentially to tell a larger story about your brand in installments.

3. Are you only looking at the completion rate?

A high completion rate does not necessarily equal a successful campaign. In some cases, a non-skippable ad could yield an 80% completion rate, whereas a skippable ad could net only 40%. However, it’s meaningless to compare these figures if your end goal is to engage consumers. A consumer may be highly engaged and still skip an ad or highly disengaged and see it through to the end. Campaigns need to be measured by the overall value they bring to the full marketing strategy, not by their completion rate.

4. Do you have a strong digital strategy?

Digital advertising should be data-driven and targeted precisely to your audience. This becomes even more important when an ad campaign is involved. Using smart video advertising techniques like contextual targeting and sequential messaging will drive home your brand messaging.

You may think that all consumers use the YouTube “skip-ad” button, but in the showdown of non-skippable versus skippable ads, the choice isn’t quite as clear. If you can leverage an omnichannel approach and craft ads that engage the user emotionally, there’s no reason that a non-skippable ad couldn’t be your best bet.

Like what you see? Join the 500+ clients that have partnered with Digilant.