Why audio brand messaging is more trustworthy
A Dentsu Media study found that audio brand messaging is by far the most trusted — and it’s not even close.
What is it about audio, and specifically about consuming information via audio platforms, that makes such a difference?
Video saved the radio star
Fifty-six percent of millennials and Gen Zs say that audio is an escape from too much visual stimulation. Constantly scrolling through Instagram or TikTok attaches us to our screens in a seemingly inescapable way. Audio is the convenient alternative.
The audio brand messaging trust halo
In a 2022 study, radio hosts ranked highly in perceived authenticity and in connection to the community. Other research done found that listeners consider radio and podcast hosts as highly relatable, trustworthy and authentic. This trust has a halo effect over the brands advertising on radio and podcasts. Their messages feel more legit to consumers. In fact, of constant radio listeners, 72% willingly listen to radio ads.
And no, everybody hasn’t moved over to streaming. Radio reaches an astounding 92% of adults in the United States every week (which is most likely similar in Canada). Most of this listening happens away from home, most frequently in the car.
Radio listeners are more likely to engage
Forty-six percent of weekly radio listeners polled in this study were more willing to consider a new company, product or service after hearing an ad on the radio versus on TV. Beyond that:
33% of average listeners have followed through after hearing a radio ad and purchased the advertised product or service
47% of weekly radio listeners also say that they’re ok with listening to ads considering that AM/FM radio is an entirely free and accessible form of content
These are impressive findings, compared to only 36% of those surveyed saying they’re okay with TV ads at all.
“Even in a world where people have so many more options, radio is by far the most listened to in terms of reach, and the most used audio option in terms of time,” said Megan Lazovick, Vice-President of Edison Research.
“Just because something has been around for a while doesn’t mean it isn’t there providing enormous audiences and engaged responses from tens of millions of people every hour in every day.”
What about audio brand messaging through podcasts?
People have remarkable faith in their favourite hosts, so much so that 53% of “super listeners” say their opinion of a company is more positive when featured on a podcast they regularly listen to.
And, interestingly, listeners prefer host-read ads over traditionally produced commercials because they already feel a connection to their favourite hosts.
The relationship between podcasters and listeners creates an advantageous opportunity for advertisers. Podcast ads have the capability of being perfectly personalized towards the target audience because what someone listens to is often a great indicator of who they are.
A textbook example of audio brand messaging
The Basement Yard is a popular podcast with Gen Zs and Millennials. The hosts, both in their early 30s, often share funny stories about their hangovers. Liquid I.V., an electrolyte drink company, jumped in to capitalize on the subject matter. Now, every hangover story ends with Liquid I.V. as a saviour.
That’s knowing your audience and talking to them.
Another reason audio brand messaging works well
Adding a soundtrack to your life makes everything better, from cleaning your house to working out to sitting in traffic to walking the dog. The format is quite literally improving your life (unlike, say, video, which we all know melts your brain).
Whether the soundtrack you choose is music, spoken word or a combination of the two, you’ll be more engaged because you picked it over everything else out there. The audio brand messaging is part of the experience, especially if it’s host-read. Because of this, the ads remain on listeners’ minds for longer periods of time.
Through the ears to the minds
Succeeding in audio brand messaging starts with a compelling story and a strong value proposition. If you have both, your computer probably has everything you need to create your own ads. If you don’t, let’s chat.