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Staying in tune with your customers: Effective advertising with Spotify’s Sarah Kiefer

07 Mar 2023

Discover the power of audio advertising

Over the past couple of years online audio platforms have grown to be more popular than ever. And with most of us having been confined to our own homes for a large chunk of the past year, it’s easy to see why the amount of time we’ve spent streaming audio content, whether it’s our favourite podcast, or the latest album release, has increased.

And make no mistake, it has increased.

According to Music Business Worldwide, there has been a 22.6% increase in time spent streaming music globally. Currently, Spotify listeners rack up an average of 2.5 hours per day on the platform, and if that wasn’t enough, approximately 89% of people across the world listen to some form of on-demand music streaming service.

With such a huge audience ready and waiting in one place, it’s easy to see why advertising giants such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s have already turned to music streaming platforms to host audio-only ads.

However, we wanted to find out what advertising on audio platforms can do for smaller businesses. Is audio advertising better left to the bigger, far-reaching corporations of the world? Or can small business owners reap the benefits too?

At our #ThoseWhoDare event, we turned to Global Director of Partner Solutions at Spotify, Sarah Kiefer to find out.

What are the benefits of audio advertising on music-streaming platforms?

Every business owner understands the importance of staying in tune with your consumers.

However, for smaller enterprises, without 24-hour customer-service teams on hand, or an agency full of advertising professionals to keep an ear to the ground on your behalf, it can sometimes feel like it’s entirely on you to ensure you’re staying on top of what your customers want, and when they want it.

One benefit of advertising with Spotify? Essentially, they pledge to do this for you.

We turned the spotlight on Kiefer to discuss the untapped power of audience/demographic data available through streaming services, for businesses big and small, across multiple industries.

She explained, “Spotify’s rich third-party data helps small businesses tell their story to the right listeners at the right time.” When advertising on the platform, marketers have the opportunity to target based on demographics, context and interests.”

The sheer amount of time listeners spend on audio streaming services means that platforms have significantly deepened their understanding of their audience.

They know what they’re interested in, when they listen, and more importantly for advertisers, they know what kind of content they love, so you don’t have to.

Why would this apply to small businesses specifically?

Because smaller organisations tend to have much more specific audiences, this comes in especially handy – perhaps more so than for larger corporations. Kiefer explains, with audio advertising “You can be really specific and intentional about your advertising.”

“To give a concrete example, a meal delivery service could use targeting to deliver ads to potential customers in the area where they’re available, right at the moment when they’re likely thinking about what they want to eat that day.”

For small businesses, it’s really important to develop a connection between listener and advertiser, which is where Spotify comes in.

“So, when small businesses advertise with us, through Spotify Ad Studio [the self-serve advertising channel], they get access to that kind of rich data and targeting opportunities, as well as creative tools that allow them to tap into that information and connect with that highly-engaged audience.”

Why would small businesses choose audio-ads over other advertising formats?

The targeting capabilities of online streaming service advertising are certainly beneficial for small businesses, there’s no denying it. However, we know what you’re thinking. The same can be said for any form of social media advertising, so why would small businesses need to turn to the likes of Spotify?

The answer is simple, because it’s easy to do.

Over the past year, a lot of small businesses have had to seriously adjust their marketing strategies to accommodate for the fact that they simply haven’t had access to the kind of resources they might have had in the past. Advertising budgets have been cut, creative teams have been furloughed, and in-person filming has been seriously limited.

The result is that “audio advertising has emerged as a really great, flexible and affordable alternative to more traditional forms of advertising”, according to Kiefer.

Audio ads can be created at lower-cost, with fewer people, without compromising on production quality, which makes it a great choice for all marketers, especially small businesses who may be budget-conscious, or looking to try out new and creative ideas without the risk of wasting money on big production.

Additionally, many streaming services are now offering free creative tools to help advertisers get started. Spotify currently offers professional voice actors and script guidance, making it easier than ever to set up your first ad.

How can I get started?

If you’re considering getting started in the world of audio advertising on music streaming services, our best tip to you is quite simply, to go ahead. Following this guide to starting with audio ads, and using the platform’s how-to guides you have everything you need to get started.

For more information, watch Sarah Kiefer’s presentation in episode 4 of #ThoseWhoDare here, or get started with audio advertising now.

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