Audio ads are essential in successful advertising. Occasionally, a quick audio ad may be needed to jumpstart the positioning of a product, service or brand or to keep up with an ongoing campaign that has gathered speed.
Such a situation is made more complex by different restrictions, like having a tight budget and very little time. In this article, we take a look at audio ads in general and how to specifically create a quick audio ad in a short time-frame.
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This post has been updated in August 2021.
Audio Ads: The New Frontier
Audio ads are a novel way to advertise things. We all know about radio ads, which are a similar thing, but audio ads have very important differences with them and very peculiar characteristics.
The online audio ad market is growing and its platforms are constantly evolving. By 2022, podcast ad spending, for example, is expected to reach 1.6 billion USD. Audio ads may appear in a variety of platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, Buzzsprout, Podbean, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and YouTube, amongst others.
Audio Ads vs. Radio Ads
Radio ads appear primarily on the radio. They may be crafted in different styles but will generally try to persuade a listener about buying this or that product or service. The basic types of radio ads are live-reads (where an announcer reads out a rather informal script live), sponsorships (where a company sponsors a particular segment in a radio show and this is highlighted live and on the air, i.e: “The next section is brought to you by XXXX), produced spots (a traditional pre-recorded radio ad) or jingles (a pre-recorded ad that is based around a tailor-made musical piece).
Audio ads are advertising but have very particular distinguishing features. For one, they run across many different platforms and not just radio. By using algorithmic methods, they are able to target the advertising to a specific demographic, measuring the progress and results.
Similarities between Audio Ads and Radio Ads
The basic similarities between audio ads and radios ads are:
- Both of them advertise products and services.
- They both follow a similar setup and construction: establish empathy – set up a problem – show how the problem may be solved – end with a vigorous call to action.
- The length of radio ads and audio ads is similar. For the most part, an ad like this will run for about 30 seconds, up to around 60 seconds.
Differences between Audio Ads and Radio Ads
There are some crucial differences between audio ads and radio ads:
- Audio ads are, for the most part, online audio content. Radio ads may be found on online radio stations or on traditional radio.
- Audio ads must be carefully sprinkled throughout a listener’s content. Imagine someone, for example, who is working on a laptop and listening to music on an online platform through headphones. The aim of an audio ad is not to jolt such a listener with a strident commercial. Rather, the idea is to introduce the audio ad seamlessly into the content already being listened to.
Radio ads, on the other hand, have to compete for a listener’s attention. A person driving a car, for example, listening to the radio has little time to discern the meaning of an ad. The best bet here is to surprise this listener with an energetic and lively ad that will not be easily dismissed.
- Audio ads are specific and radio ads are more general. Audio ads can be targeted at specific groups of people but radio ads are generally geared towards a more general audience. Although it is true that certain radio stations will appeal to particular demographics, the specificity of audio ads is unmatched.
Principles of Quick Audio Ads
There are several basic ideas that we must take into account when crafting effective and quick audio ads.
- Purpose: Why this ad? Why now? Understanding the purpose and intent of an audio ad will dictate much of how it is crafted. Is this a soft, medium or hard sell? Is the idea merely to suggest an action or to forcefully ask for business, indeed demand action?
- Audience: Knowing who the audio will seek to reach is important. This will determine the voice and style used. Specificity will yield better copy. Some elements to be aware of are: gender, race, ethnicity, age, level of education, occupation, etc.
- The Core of the Message: A quick audio ad leaves little time to get a message across. It is ideal to focus solely on the message and get it out there immediately. Keeping it simple and cutting to the chase fast are vital principles behind effective audio ads.
- Tone: The question of tone is something that must be dealt with when attempting a quick audio ad. How serious or funny is it going to be? This will influence a range of things, like music background sounds and effects and the use and voice of an announcer.
- Speed of Delivery: The usual rate of delivery of an audio ad is about 2.5 words per second. This is the usual conversational-style ad that will appear in most online platforms. Most audio ads are 30 seconds, so a good rate of delivery is important to pack the message in. A script will, therefore, be around 75 words.
(Shorter or longer versions will adhere to this rule of thumb):
15 seconds ad: 37 words
60 seconds ad: 150 words
90 seconds ad: 225 words
- Tracking Progress: One of the greatest advantages of audio ads is the possibility of measuring progress. Keeping an eye on these statistics will tell if the audio ad is working well, should be tweaked or perhaps replaced altogether.
Writing the Script
Writing the script for an audio ad should include several things:
- Format: Formatting is important and the industry has standards which are used by most copywriters. There are several ways to write a script though. Some will write like they would a television script. Others divide it into two columns; the left column will have the characters and the right column will be dialogue, action and sound effects. There are other ways too.
- Structure: An audio ad script will usually follow a simple order:
Hook: This is the start of an audio ad. It should be potent and grab the listener’s attention.
Call to Action: This is the ending part of an audio ad, where the listener is told what to do specifically ie: “Click this banner!” “Go to this website!” etc.
- Avoid clichés and ‘weasel words’: Trying to write intelligent scripts which convey all requisite information with originality is a challenge. It is important to avoid creating scripts which are essentially copies of others.
‘Weasel words’ are words which too many people use: “quality”, “value”, “service”, “performance”. It is important to be creative and sincere and tell the message without resorting to these common words and expressions.
Example of a Quick Audio Ad
A simple structure for an audio ad could go something like this: The audio ad could go on for about 30 seconds. Music fades in to start, and voiceover kicks in after around 5 seconds, lasts for 15 seconds, ends with a call to action and the music volume is brought up and closes the audio ad.
Let us examine this issue more closely. Consider the following fictional example for an audio ad:
- “Bunny Studio Quick Audio Ad”
- Client: Bunny Studio
- Writer: Ignacio Sedano
- :30 Audio
- Audience: People who wish to outsource their quick audio ads.
- Benefit: The listener and potential client will get peace of mind with top-notch audio ads delivered fast.
- Reaction: We want the listener and potential client to get excited about being able to receive extraordinary quick audio ads.
- Type: Audio Ads to appear on several platforms.
- Time: 30 seconds.
- Format: Two-column script.
- Wording and Tone: Conversational, close and sincere.
- Hook: Help! I need a quick audio ad!
- Call to Action: Visit Bunny Studio and let us help you!
- Ending: Click on the banner or just visit bunnystudio.com
Here is a sample script. Note that the layout may vary, depending on personal taste.
SFX: BUSY OFFICE.
PERSON: Help! I need a quick audio ad!
NARRATOR: Why not let us do it?
NARRATOR: Bunny Studio crafts audio ads from start to finish.
SFX: UPLIFTING MUSIC BEGINS.
PERSON: Can you do it fast?
SFX: UPLIFTING MUSIC AT FULL BLAST.
NARRATOR: Sure! Bunny Studio works fast to meet all your creative needs!
PERSON: Phew! What should I do?
NARRATOR: Visit Bunny Studio and let us help you! Click on the banner or just visit bunnystudio.com
Who to turn to?
Audio ads are becoming affordable for all types of budgets, so everyone can absolutely partake in this new tool. The question is how to begin and who to turn to.
A good strategy is simply finding an all-inclusive provider, who will be able to guide you throughout the whole process of creating a quick audio ad. This process must include the script and creation of the whole audio, ready to use online. Guidance about the different online platforms is also essential. Consider contacting Bunny Studio and do not hesitate in saying: “Help! Quick audio ad needed!”
Need a quick audio ad, don’t hesitate and book your audio ad with Bunny Studio!
The Gist of It
Audio ads are essential in successful advertising. The online audio ad market is growing and its platforms are constantly evolving.
There are several principles behind successful audio ads, such as: having a clear purpose, audience, and message. Striking the right tone is crucial too.
An audio ad script has a fairly typical format and structure. It is important to write copy which stays away from clichés and overused words.
The use of an all-inclusive provider will facilitate the creation of quick audio ads which succeed in all sorts of platforms.