Listen Up: What Are YouTube Audio Ads?
YouTube is a $15 billion a year ad revenue business.
And that will grow even more with YouTube music audio ads.
If you are from the general public, you are probably annoyed to no end by the ads that you see everywhere on YouTube videos. You came here to see videos, not ads, for heaven’s sake.
But if you are a YouTuber or a business, you are probably in love with the advertising campaigns that you can post on YouTube or the revenue that you earn from it.
If you are wondering exactly how to use this new modality of audio ads to your advantage, then read the detailed guide we have created for you below.
What Are YouTube Music Audio Ads?
To understand what YouTube music audio ads are all about, let’s look first at what people use YouTube for.
When they are relaxing at home or commuting back from the office, in all those little snippets of free time, consumers turn to YouTube to watch funny cat videos, listen to their favorite pop stars play new music, learn more about astronomy, psychology, and other topics, and more.
Consumers are using YouTube to learn how to build homes, how to eat healthier, how to build podcasts and their own YouTube channels, and so much more. That’s why you can’t ignore YouTube as an advertising medium anymore because people are spending hours and hours of their free time every week on YouTube.
When people watch YouTube videos, YouTube doesn’t charge them a monthly fee for doing so, unlike other pay-by-month subscription models like Netflix or Amazon Prime. That’s great for all consumers because watching awesome videos on YouTube for free is a godsend.
BUT, YouTube and Google do charge their consumers in a roundabout manner.
Whenever someone watches a video on YouTube, if that channel has turned on monetization, the viewer will have to watch advertisements (display marketing) either at the beginning of the video and/or at the end. They could also have to watch ads throughout the video if the YouTube channel wishes to set it up that way (sometimes resulting in more ads than viewable content).
Some of these ads are skippable, that is, the viewer can choose to skip the ad after 3 seconds or at any time during the ad, OR they are not skippable, which means they have to watch the entire thing from start to finish, usually not longer than 10-15 seconds long.
With YouTube music audio ads, YouTube is trying a different format of programmatic advertising. Usually, YouTube ads have been video, as expected from a video channel.
Since music video streaming is becoming more and more popular on YouTube, more than 50% of logged-in users consume more than 10 minutes of music content in a day, YouTube has decided to add audio ads to their advertising mix.
As most consumers are ‘watching’ YouTube videos as a backdrop to their daily life, so they might be cooking while YouTube videos play in the background or they might be running while listening to an audiobook on YouTube, they aren’t truly consuming video content as intended. This means that audio ads and audio, in general, are something to take advantage of.
Why Audio Ads?
In a YouTube audio ad, as you might concur, audio plays a major role in advertising (the visual would be a still image or a simple animation).
During their alpha testing period, YouTube found that 75% of audio ad campaigns were able to lift brand awareness in a significant fashion.
If you have a channel that caters to consumers who are primarily searching for good music to add to their collection or you have a business that caters to audiophiles who love their music, then consider switching over to audio ads for some of your programmatic advertising budget.
You don’t need to invest a huge chunk of money into it, but you will be able to surmise after a few weeks trial period if audio ads or video ads work better for your medium and business genre.
Some Tips for Building Audio Ads for YouTube
When you are creating audio ads for YouTube, consider this. When someone closes their eyes and listens to your audio ad, will they still be able to get the gist of what the ad is all about? Do they have to look at your still image or simple animation to understand what your advertising message is?
When it comes to audio ads, the simpler, the better. You need to be clear and straightforward with your audio ad. Also, pick a clear, friendly, and authentic voice to deliver your audio message.
But don’t think that you need to completely eschew or disregard video ads on YouTube. Consider that audio ads are still in beta testing mode on YouTube and as with many of Google’s campaigns that have come and gone, this might be a passing fancy as well.
You don’t want to put too much money or effort into audio ads only to have them be pulled from YouTube completely.
Put your money into both video and audio ads and see how each of these plays out for your business. As with video ads, audio ads are available in beat via auction on Google Ads. You can use the same kind of audience targeting options, bidding strategies, and Brand Lift measurement capabilities as you would in your YouTube video campaigns.
Where Does a YouTube Audio Ad Show Up?
Currently, audio ads are only showing up on podcast or audio content, like music videos or other music-related feeds. In this way, audio ads can be a bit more restrictive as opposed to video ads that can be placed anywhere on YouTube as your heart desired, as long as it meets YouTube’s stringent standards.
Some places to consider are:
- Rap & Hip Hop
- Made for Audio Music
- And more to come in the future
If you are the owner of a podcast or a musician who has music videos on their channel, consider adding audio ads to your programmatic video advertising mix.
Certain brands are ineligible to run audio ads, like:
- Healthcare & medicine
- Other sensitive verticals
You will need to run two Brand Lift surveys before being eligible for the open audio ads beta. These Brand Lift surveys gather feedback from consumers in real-world settings. It can tell you whether people remember your brand after watching the video ad, and if the ad made consumers more favorably inclined towards your brand after watching it.
YouTube audio ads aren’t the first audio ads out there. Spotify and Pandora have them as well, but it can seem a bit daunting to advertise on these platforms. That’s why YouTube is an easy option to try. It can also help you with remarketing efforts since it all ties in with the Google Ads platform.
Audio Ads Specifications To Consider
If you are confused about what kind of audio ads you can create for your YouTube ad campaign, then consider these specifications.
Just like video ads on YouTube, you will have to first upload your audio ad onto YouTube. It can also only be a maximum of 15 seconds in length. The file size cannot be more than 128GB.
The aspect ratio has to be 16:9 and the resolution can be anywhere from 426×240 (240p) up to 3840×2160 (2160p). If all this seems gibberish to you, then the person in charge of your podcast or video formatting will understand it perfectly. Leave it all up to them.
If you wish to add a companion banner or a call-to-action, you will need to speak to a Google Ads representative for more information on that, as it’s only available on request.
Some Best Practices To Follow When Creating YouTube Audio Ads
If you are going to putting so much effort into getting approved for and creating audio ads, you will want to ensure that the ads you create are worth listening to. And that consumers will pay attention to them, rather than zoning out (who hasn’t done that in the past?).
Here are some best practices to follow and keep in mind:
Don’t Drone On and On
In a 15-second audio ad, you will have to truly be succinct and keep the word count down. If you want your audience to stay interested, you can’t be droning on and on in a monotone fashion. It’s not fun for the listener to listen to such ads, and they will tune off sooner than you can say, ‘Hello!’
Audio Is the Focus Here
With a video ad, you have lots of things distracting the viewer, from the person speaking to the background to the music, and more. But with an audio ad, all you have is the audio component.
So you need to focus on it as if your life depended on it because your ads’ life does. Even though it’s difficult to master your audio message in 15 seconds, it is possible!
Tone and Tempo Matters
Don’t be salesy with your YouTube audio ad. That’s not going to win you any favors with the audience. Instead, be conversational, authentic, and genuine.
What’s Your Call-to-Action (CTA)?
What do you want your listener to do after they hear your ad? Make sure you include that CTA in your message. Remember, people like being told what to do, otherwise, they end up doing nothing – apathy and inertia can be your audio ads’ killer.
Test, Test, Test
Audio ads, being a new genre, are still a mystery. You don’t know what will work for your business, genre, and audience. That’s why you need to test your audio ads as much as possible.
Don’t think you’ve got it figured out, just because your YouTube video ads were successful. This is an entirely new bag of tricks, and you will have to relearn it all from scratch. Speak to your Google representative about testing out your audio ads using Video Experiments (a new feature from Google).
Choose One Audience to Focus On
Even though you know and believe that your product is the bee’s knees and it will take over the entire world, when doing YouTube audio ads, you will need to keep it focused on one section of the audience. Always use separate campaigns to test out separate audiences – don’t mix it up.
If you are not sure about what any of this means, then you need to hire an expert in YouTube advertising and marketing to get your ads onto YouTube properly. Don’t waste any more time or money on this, unless you have a good idea of what you are doing.
Set Up Your First YouTube Audio Campaign in No Time
If audio ads have been on your mind for a long time now, or even if you have never thought of audio ads at all, they are a great way to get at a new (younger) audience in your marketing efforts. It’s easy to set up, especially if you are familiar with YouTube video ads, and you can start testing them right away.
Of course, not everyone is comfortable with YouTube and Google Ads platforms. It can be daunting for someone who’s never tried it before.
If you wish someone could hold your hands through the process, or just set it up for you, then contact Media Shark.
Stop wasting your advertising dollars. Have them work on ad campaigns for you that generate leads, instead of merely being a line item on your accounting statement. Edit Article