Can You Hear Me Now?

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One of the great debates in digital marketing has to do with sound. Is it better to create a soundtrack for your video ads, or is it a waste of time as most people keep their speakers turned off? Pandora, one of the leading music streaming services, is making an attempt to answer that question by introducing a new metric, audibility.
Audibility measures how long someone listens to an ad that has sound. It’s similar to viewability, which tracks how long a user spends watching ad content. Pandora’s developing this metric because the majority of people use their service without watching it. Ads need to be heard if they’re going to be effective at all. It’s easy to see how the ability to determine if people are listening to ads will be useful to businesses advertising on other platforms as well.

The audibility metric hasn’t been rolled out yet, but it’s not too soon to begin thinking about what you can do to create messaging that your customers will want to listen to.

One approach to consider is integrating storytelling into your ads. NPR has perfected the art of storytelling: their Driveway Moments series is full of powerful narratives people just had to listen to – even if that meant sitting in the car in the driveway after a long commute home.
Julian Treasure, an expert on communication and how sound impacts how we’re heard, uses the acronym HAIL to explain how to create speech people want to listen to. H stands for Honesty, A for Authenticity, I for Integrity and L for love – not in the sense of romantic love as much as a broader sense of wishing people well. Creating advertisements that are honest, authentically representing your company, making statements that are true and promises that you intend to keep (that’s the integrity part) with the intention of improving the lives of everyone who hears it will help your advertisement stand out in a noisy world. For more on this topic, you’ll want to watch Julian’s TED talk. It’s a great introduction to helping your customers understand you!

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