How to Grow Your Campaign with Digital Audio

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Wednesday, Apr 20
A young african couple together listening music together.
Digital ad revenue in the U.S. jumped 35% to reach $189 billion last year, the biggest year-over-year increase since 2006. Digital audio advertising, including podcasts and streaming radio, grew faster than any other category, surging 58% to reach $4.9 billion. But despite audio digital audio’s fast-paced growth, it only made up 2.6% of 2021’s total digital ad revenue.

One reason may be that advertisers want measurable results, and they don’t always know that this is achievable with digital audio advertising. “Though marketers are interested in podcasts and other audio formats, measuring results can be difficult compared with other types of digital marketing,” wrote Megan Graham in The Wall Street Journal.


Measuring digital audio results is not as difficult as some believe.

“There is a misconception that the tracking for digital audio is just not available in the same way it is for other digital media,” says Ben Siegel, SMI’s Information Systems Manager. “Part of this is because the most complex tracking we use (pixel-based impression tracking), while similar to other digital impression tracking, is a relatively new field to most people. Even a few years ago there were very limited options for vendors that perform this service, and even fewer shows that were covered.” 

Today, many vendors provide digital impression tracking. We do it here at SMI. But, as Siegel explains, the shows that are covered by this service is very hit-or-miss. “It is imperative to choose the right vendor so that you are tracking as much of your media as possible, without adding too much cost to the campaign,” explains Siegel. “This is where SMI comes in.” 


Measuring digital audio results is a complex process, but it is not impossible.

At SMI, we employ several methods of attribution (direct, pixel-based, and survey) to understand micro and macro performance. According to Brooke Murray, SMI’s Director of Strategic Growth, “Each method of attribution has unique KPIs [key performance indicators] depending on the model we’ve aligned on with the client. These KPIs help us identify which podcasts we should renew and expand our partnership with, which podcasts we should continue testing, and which podcasts we should cut immediately without overspending/wasting ad dollars.”

“Additionally,” Siegel adds, “we continue to employ our tried-and-true methods for direct response audio tracking, using CTAs tailored to the get the best results for each client and survey data to back up our conclusions about overall performance. These methods have proven effective for both digital audio and offline media, and have helped us to grow hundreds of campaigns over the years.”

“We’ve guided our clients on how to look at all methods to inform optimizations and achieve profitable scale,” says Murray. And we’re ready to guide you.

Are you ready to grow your brand on digital audio? Contact SMI today.

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