The data speaks for itself – smart speakers are becoming a more common feature in the average household, and there is no shortage of voice assistant-enabled devices available to us. 640 million smart speakers are predicted to be installed by 2024 (Statista), 52% UK households with internet access also use smart speakers (Digital TV Europe) and the audio advertising industry is estimated to be worth $30 billion by 2024 (Voicebot.ai).
The best marketing platforms will be those that not only understand interactive audio advertising, but can also effectively leverage the best that technology has to offer to deliver the best customer experience possible. It will be the customer experience that ultimately sets interactive audio Adtech leaders apart from the rest in the market.
So what exactly are the best practices for interactive audio ads that we should keep in mind when developing our marketing strategies? As the fastest growing provider of interactive, real-time ad replacements for radio stations, smart speakers and voice assistants, mobile gaming platforms and podcast channels, we have listed 10 things that we feel are best practices in the Adtech industry.
1. Find authenticity and individuality in your narrative and tone
It is paramount that we speak to human beings as humans and not as machines, and find a genuine brand voice that will form the basis of creating relationships needed for higher engagement. We cannot expect to get engagement from audiences unless there’s a conversation they can be part of, and that there are a number of options in terms of how they can engage with us to create a tailored, customised user experience.
2. The 10-Second Rule: Communicate Effectively within Audience Attention Spans
A psychology & marketing study concluded that advertisers can communicate key product and brand information in 10 seconds. So based on these findings, our recommendation is to stick to the tried and true philosophy of ‘less is more’. This is because even when listeners’ attention is divided, interactive audio ads are more memorable than other ads. Besides this, sophisticated platforms like ours can effectively re-market to remind warm leads and interested consumers to follow through with website visits or other transactions. In short, there is no real need to treat each and every ad as your only shot at success and turn them into hard sales pitches!
3. Holistically Understand Your Consumers’ Demands
Programmatic ad campaigns are uniquely capable of meeting customers with different dynamic content that adapt based on user behaviour. As users choose to share their preferences, genuine relationships can be built with each unique user in a totally custom way that are set on the customers’ own terms, based on their past responses. YoursTruly is an example of an AdTech solution that enables greater interaction between people and technology, making human-computer interaction as natural as possible.
It is no longer enough to simply offer a product, as customers now want to better understand a company’s philosophy and values to make informed purchase decisions. Success in sales is not just about the products themselves or smooth customer journeys anymore; products and companies increasingly need to resonate with customers’ ethics, and satisfy their preference to associate with socially and environmentally responsible products that do not appear in association with brand-unsafe or unethical platforms.
4. Use Data-driven Approaches
Any marketing strategy and activities not backed up with data run the risk of misallocating resource and not getting the expected ROI. As a major proponent for real-time, results-oriented ad analysis and instant campaign feedback through solutions such as Audiopixel™, we highly urge digital marketers and audio advertisers to leverage data to better appreciate how convenient the user experience is, how the customer journey on their platforms impact on sales, downloads or improvements in user ratings, and whether their platforms are accessible enough to reduce customer service inquiries.
5. Foster Technological Literacy
It is better to assume ignorance and provide a skippable tutorial element to some if not all interactive voice ads. If we want to engage listeners of all ages and backgrounds, we should ensure that we do our best to remove any obstacles that may impede engagement with ads.
Tutorials can help inform younger, older or less tech-savvy listeners about what an interactive voice ad is; tutorials can teach users how to enable speech recognition on their devices; they can coach users through the interaction process.
Ideally, Adtech products would also provide an accessible option for individuals with speech impediments, such as text to speech or other accessibility solutions. No-one should be left behind in the future of digital and audio marketing.
6. Prioritise Inclusivity
Unfortunately, technology is only as inclusive of diversity as we programme it to be, and in the past this has led to limitations and oversights that inadvertently exclude people with disabilities, dark skin tones, strong accents, language barriers, neurodiverse individuals and other protected characteristic groups.
With this in mind, it is crucial to develop solutions that are accessible to all, and to be conscientious in the use of language to avoid unintended sexist, racist, or xenophobic stereotypes, or heteronormativity or cisnormativity. Care should be exercised to ensure messaging is age appropriate, respectful to all, and that as much as possible, that the user experience is as simple as possible on a broad range of platforms, devices, and operating systems so as to not leave anyone feeling left out.
7. Deliver Pre-Purchase Value to Customers
Undoubtedly, it will be a much harder sell – no matter how stellar a product may be – if the user experience leading up to its purchase is unnecessarily clunky, convoluted, counter-intuitive and frustrating.
By providing hands-off, effortless voice interactions that can save listeners’ time, effort, money in a convenient and quick way, users are free to multitask, receive tailored product recommendations, organise their calendar, receive coupons and much more without so much as a click or a press of a keypad button.
AdTonos strives to demonstrate to the market that we do not have to make compromises between achieving marketing or sales targets and ensuring positive user experiences through our platforms. Audio and voice adverts need not be intrusive or hold listeners’ attention hostage to be effective, and we feel we’ve demonstrated this with our hugely successful Sandstorm SDK solution for mobile gaming, as well as our Audiopixel™ technology for radio stations, websites and podcasts.
8. Maximise Pull-Factors for Engagement
How do you incentivise and welcome audience engagement? Are your platforms easy to use by someone who is totally unfamiliar with your website and products? Is language and information used simple, displayed attractively on an accessible interface with minimal to no bugs impacting user experience? For example, our Sandstorm SDK enables rewarded ads to be viewed on mobile gaming platforms, providing pre-purchase benefits, thus incentivising listeners to pay more attention to the content of the advert itself.
9. Ensure Your Ethical and Legal Compliance
Voice ads promise users greater privacy and transparency over how their data is being used. Users naturally understand that interactive ads will refer back to the preferences and information that users themselves volunteer to share via their voice assistants or smart speakers. This avoids the frustrating experience of seeing the same, irrelevant advertisements over and over again, across multiple platforms.
This also reassures listeners, in that programmatic ads that focus on user behaviour and contextual insights do away with the need for marketers to be intrusive and ask for listeners’ private, personally identifiable information. For more information on marketing in the post third-party cookie era, read our blog entry here.
10. Champion Innovation, Exploration, Partnerships and Collaborations
The companies that immerse themselves the deepest in developing voice interaction technologies will be the most fruitful and leverage the best of what these solutions have to offer.
It’s important to create spaces for the greatest minds in AdTech to come together, share experiences and success stories, and broaden each others’ horizons as to what is possible with the technology we currently have at our disposal, as well as in which directions we can guide future developments.
To this end, AdTonos have created an invaluable platform to drive innovation and create collaborative relationships in the Adtech industry. This exclusive space allows CEOs, journalists, AdTech representatives and other industry specialists to come together and share their expertise and insights.