Music streaming services have now become the simplest way to give any music lover access to millions of songs in the palm of their hands. These services have now overtaken traditional platforms in popularity and usage, with 50.9% of listening time dedicated to digital audio as opposed to 40.2% for AM/FM Radio. The music variety and convenience of streaming services attract users.
Pandora: A Customized Experience
Pandora has become one of the most used music streaming services in the past decade, offering a diverse array of radio stations to choose from—all of which can be customized by users to better suit their personal tastes. By allowing listeners to thumbs up or thumbs down any songs that come their way, Pandora’s playlist algorithm can collect feedback in real-time to deliver a more personalized and enjoyable listening experience.
The cultural shift towards streaming services has created a unique opportunity for advertisers. With the average user spending four hours per day on the platform, brand marketing through online radio has now become a compelling channel for businesses connect with their target audiences—without the intrusiveness inherent in other advertising platforms.
With millions of users from diverse backgrounds, Pandora presents the perfect opportunity for your company’s message to be heard by the audiences that matter most. Here are three ways to truly take advantage of this platform for your own business:
1. Figure out the Type of Ad You Would Like to Run
Pandora allows marketers to not only run audio ads on their platform but also utilize banner ads and video spots. Depending on how you would like to market your business, there are several formats that you can choose from to suit the unique needs of your advertising campaign.
Audio advertisements consist of 15-30 second spots that allow your business to communicate its message to your audience in between songs. With users unable to skip these audio ads, they become an integrated part of their listening experience, exposing them to products or services that they may have otherwise been unaware of (unlike search engine marketing, which is dependent on the user actively performing a search).
This type of engagement is split into two formats: Audio Everywhere and Platform-Specific Audio. Both engagements take place with web, mobile, tablet, connected home, and connected car usage. Audio Everywhere is the easiest and most cost-efficient, delivering a cross-platform presence to engage with the audience wherever they are listening and reaching a targeted audience with the use of Pandora’s registration data.
Unlike audio spots —which can only run during dedicated commercial breaks between songs— banner advertisements can be displayed while the user is interacting with the service on screen, and see these promotions directly on the interface. These banners can consist of a creative image of your product or promotions that prompt the user to check out your services, potentially turning them into life-long customers.
Video advertisements should always be as concise as possible, ensuring that the user who is in the middle of a listening experience can still enjoy the brief advertisement and get a good understanding of what your business has to offer. Video remains the most dynamic and engaging format for demonstrating the value proposition of a product or service and is often effective at persuading users to take a moment to learn more about your company. Make sure your spot is fun and creative.
Video ads are split between Video Everywhere and Platform-Specific Video engagements. Both are compatible with Pandora’s web, mobile, and tablet interfaces. With Video Everywhere, you can grab the attention of the listener during transitional moments, delivering a cross-platform presence to serve the videos only during user interactions and then serve a follow-up banner for further engagement. With Platform-Specific Video, you are guaranteed impressions on the platform of your choice, even serving full-screen videos to truly capture the attention of a given listener.
2. Know Your Target Audience
When it comes to any type of online marketing, it is crucial to carefully target the correct audience to avoid wasting any of your ad budget. If you operate a daycare, you can have the most effective ad in the world, but still won’t see a return on your investment if the listeners being served your advertisements don’t have any children.
With over 78 million Pandora users that you can potentially market to, narrowing down your target audience is essential to prevent your advertisements from being lost in the shuffle.
In addition to having new users enter their gender, date of birth, and zip code during the account registration process, Pandora collects over 1 billion additional data points each day. Companies can leverage these data points to thoughtfully craft custom audiences comprised of only the listeners most likely to engage with their ads.
Additionally, Pandora offers advertisers the ability to further customize audiences based on parameters such as ethnicity, device, time of day, and of course music preferences. With this information, marketers can create audiences that are custom tailored to match the services being promoted.
For example, a local college would most likely deliver their target advertisement to men and women between the ages of 18-24. Combining a campaign like this with thoughtfully designed landing pages would allow for further optimization of the audience based on secondary characteristics such as interests or behaviors which could continue to improve campaign performance over time.
Local vs. National
Depending on your company’s offering, it is also essential to identify whether you should advertise to a local or nationwide market. For smaller businesses that thrive on local business, it is critical to set the geo-targeting parameters with as much precision as possible to match the company’s service areas. For such campaigns, Pandora offers geo-targeting as granular as the zip code level. Whether you bake the best pizza on the block or are the quickest computer repairman in town, Pandora is the perfect medium for broadcasting your message to listeners in the area who may want to engage with your business to purchase the services you provide.
On the contrary, maybe you have a fresh new app or an e-commerce business you want to take to the next level. For these applications, using a nationwide advertising approach would ensure that you don’t miss out on potential opportunities by needlessly restricting yourself to specific regions. Building brand recognition starts with the user and having the ability to attract new customers through a nationwide advertising campaign while they are jamming to their latest go-to radio station, your best option is to utilize an audience at a larger scale, but still targeting specific characteristics to keep the importance of impression in mind.
When targeting your audience, it is important to note that a perfect audio spot has to truly capture the attention of that focused group of listeners. Using a conversational tone that doesn’t involve off-putting shouting but instead a calmer and less jarring tone, as well as addressing the individual, will most likely resonate and gain the trust of that listener. Also, a clear call-to-action to encourage the listener to engage with your website by filling out a form or signing up for an account will take your unique storytelling of your brand and significantly improve campaign performance.
3. Going Mobile
It is important to keep in mind the great effect mobile marketing has had on this generation when everything is done on-the-go. According to Statista.com, around 2.5 billion people worldwide in 2018 own a smartphone which means brands are now focused on mobile-first marketing strategies.
Your potential clients are most likely seeing or hearing your ads while they are already on their phones, so why not take advantage of that type of engagement to its full potential? Let’s use the college example again. We all know that most young adults are mainly interacting with the digital world through their mobile phones, so not only could you target them as individuals, but you could also target them by the device they are accessing Pandora with.
The Front-Door Display breaks down into Mobile Welcome Interstitial that focuses on the impact of the display that takes place when a user launches the app. Being that it is the listener’s first impression, this is a crucial engagement to capture their attention and have a mass mobile reach.
Sponsored Listening breaks down into Sponsored Listening with Video. This type of engagement awards users with an hour-long uninterrupted listening experience in exchange for watching your 15 seconds to 2:30 minutes brand video. This type of advertisement will guarantee that the user has viewed or heard your ad, and you can take advantage of this opportunity to truly optimize your brand awareness while the listener is devoting their time to see what you have to offer.
Pandora takes listening to a whole new level, why not add your business branding to it? Their platform will allow you to reach your choice of a smaller or larger scale of users in the locations you choose. And, you will have the ability to choose whether you would like to run an audio, banner, video, or mobile advertisement campaign while ensuring you are targeting the appropriate audience. Pandora advertising allows you to optimize your business marketing strategies substantially.
What is the next step, you may ask? Now that your content is being seen and heard by many ensure that you deliver on your promises that attracted the users in the first place so that your brand continues to grow, builds a passionate community around it, and earns a trustworthy reputation.