What We Can Expect From Audio Marketing in 2020

The importance of brand experience has jumped from a low-ranking priority straight to top of mind. Brands are now asked to tap into their audience’s subtle and shifting feelings while showcasing their own. It’s the kind of stage, where everything is set up for audio branding to steal the show.

There are hardly any common touchpoints in the modern marketing scene where sound isn’t either the leading sensory element or at least an eloquent side character sparking emotions. However, since we are living in an omnichannel world, cultivating the same experience at different settings is where the plot thickens. Creating effective and consistent audio is more important than ever.

Luckily, tons of new research emerged on sound and its influence in an advertising and marketing setting. Using them as a reference, I’m making the following predictions on how to script an audio strategy that will turn your brand into a multisensory masterpiece come the new decade.

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Audio in social media stories will deliver

As far as digital touchpoints go, Facebook and Instagram stories are the high streets for driving ad engagement with audio. A Facebook study confirmed that 80% of stories with voice-over or music propelled better lower-funnel results than ads without sound.

Not only does this underline the value of audio with a heavy marker, but the nature of the beast that is the social media calls for poise and penmanship. It’s a fast-paced environment, where attention is won or lost in a matter of milliseconds and the dollars spent can vanish in vain with one casual decision.

In such a cluttered space, ads that ripple and resonate in canon will have the best chance of standing out. The sonic elements in your ad must be designed with similar vigilance and intent as the visuals. Melodic syncopation, intensity and voice-overs in conjunction with visual hooks allow you to steer the viewer’s attention to the key messages.

Brand context will make or break an audio ad

This time next year, brands who manage to turn their offering from a scripted punchline into an instrument for the listening experience will be the talk of the town.

The findings from Radiocentre’s study Hear and Now stated that listeners are able to assimilate the details of radio ads in the middle of their chores. In fact, advertising that directly relates to tasks they are participating in, builds engagement and long-term memory encoding.

Ads which are bespoke to the audience’s surroundings will make a big difference. The creative starting point should be: ‘At what moment and place will the message resonate the most and how does our brand apply there?’ Crystallizing audience segmentation based on their activities and can help audio advertisers change their course of campaigns on a dime.

Whereas paying attention to audio’s relationship with other senses smoothens the delivery of the message, the way your brand is introduced puts the exclamation mark on it. This will be especially important for those looking to tune up their voice marketing.

Didactic use cases for smart speakers will deliver

The voice shopping trend is waning. In fact, purchasing with smart speakers experienced a significant drop from last year, as 24% of respondents in this year’s Dashbot survey said they have bought something through their device compared to 43% in 2018.

The sonic elements in your ad must be designed with similar vigilance and intent as the visuals.

When you think about it, the user interface of voice shopping doesn’t deliver much information for buying a new product as quickly and intuitively as shopping on a screen does. You need to do your research before buying. Increasing privacy and security concerns aren’t actually helping, either.

This isn’t just a challenge for the manufacturers, brands need to do their bit, too. New use cases should be designed to amplify trust toward the company and its offering.

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