The Complete Guide to Digital Audio Advertising Campaigns

23 min read

Audio Advertising Campaigns: A Comprehensive Guide for Marketers

Audio advertising has emerged as one of the most powerful tools for brands seeking to connect with their audience. Consider these statistics from the 2023 Infinite Dial report:

  • Podcasting is reaching more people than ever, with 90 million listeners each week and 120 each month.
  • Podcast listeners in the U.S. over age 12 enjoy an average of nine podcasts a week.
  • 214 million Americans stream music, radio, news, and podcasts on phones, tablets, smart speakers, and computers every single month.

In addition, digital audio is being listened to more than AM/FM radio and even outranks video, gaming, and social as the country's #1 mobile activity. We are living in the middle of an audio revolution.

Here's more music for marketers' ears:

  • 75% of people over age 12 tune in to digital audio every month, according to the Infinite Dial report.
  • People spend less than 2 seconds looking at a display ad on their phone, and the average watch time of a video ad is roughly 10 seconds long.
  • But with a streaming audio ad, 98% of your listeners will sit through a 30-second spot from start to finish.

In today's fast-paced digital audio landscape, where consumers are bombarded with stimuli, audio advertising offers a more intimate way for brands to engage with their target audience. The power of a well-crafted audio message lies in its ability to create a memorable and emotional connection. It resonates with listeners in a way that other methods might struggle to achieve.

On our blog, we touch on many crucial steps for creating effective digital audio advertising campaigns. Now, for your convenience, we’ve organized all of these best practices and tips into one complete guide on audio advertising. We'll walk you through the entire process of building audio campaigns that strike the right note with the right listeners, every single time.

In this guide, we will show you how to:

  • Understand your target audience.
  • Set up an ad campaign.
  • Use targeting strategies.
  • Craft an effective audio ad.
  • Create display banners and use retargeting.
  • Measure and optimize campaign performance.
  • Use advanced techniques.
  • Learn from case studies of effective campaigns.

Let's get started on your ad campaign.

Understanding Your Audience

The first step in forming a digital audio advertising campaign is to know and understand the listeners you wish to reach. By studying audience behavior, preferences, and consumption habits, marketers can align their campaigns with the interests of their intended listeners.

AudioGo's Audience Guide gives advertisers insights into audience segmentation and helps marketers fine-tune their strategies to create a more personalized and engaging audio experience.

You begin by entering your budget and campaign run dates. Based on that information, our Audience Guide estimates the number of impressions and reach. Every time a listener hears an ad, it counts as an impression, and advertisers are charged based on a CPM or cost per mille (cost per one thousand listened ads/impressions).

Now, you can understand how many times your ad might play and how many unique (or targeted) listeners can hear your ad based on the settings you've selected. This tool allows you to change your targeting criteria, like demographics, location and music or podcast genre, as well as budget. You can see in real-time how audience reach and brand awareness changes as you fine tune your campaign.

Selecting the right target demographics can make or break the effectiveness of your audio advertising. With AudioGO, you can get as specific as you like with your demographic, including:

  • Gender
  • Age groups, including 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65+
  • Location by state, county, city, MSA (metropolitan state area), DMA (designated market area), or ZIP code
  • By device, including mobile phones and tablets, PCs and laptops, or smart speakers
  • Behavioral segments, with the ability to choose among 221 different user statuses and interests
  • Predictive audiences, including interests, activities and personas

As you tweak the audio ads, our interactive guide is there to assist and advise, helping you decide how and when it’s best to kick off your campaign. We do this by analyzing volumes of past data to give you an accurate estimation of what we’re expecting to happen in the near future.

Setting Up Your Campaign

Not all listeners are created equal; some are more unique than others. In audio, this means that while your ad can serve a number of impressions, these can be distributed throughout a group of unique listeners. Usually, this targeted group is smaller than the number of impressions, as some listeners can hear your ad twice (or more).

The ratio between impressions and unique listeners is called frequency, and this determines the type of campaign you’re running. For example:

  • In a “reach campaign,” you want as many people as possible to hear your ad. To do this, choose a broad audience, noting that your budget will mostly determine how much of that audience is reached. Use the Audience Guide feature to adjust your budget parameters and see how it changes audience reach.
  • The goal behind an “awareness campaign” is to connect with a specific, more reduced set of individuals that will hear your ad multiple times, so it becomes sticky and they take action. Do this by saturating your inventory, meaning all the available impressions within a target and period of time. This strategy works great for localized campaigns, where you want people in a certain area to act on your message. This is where AudioGO performs well, and we encourage you to explore this tactic more on our platform.

Defining clear objectives is the foundation of a successful digital audio advertising campaign. AudioGo walks you through the steps of goal-setting, budget planning, and campaign scheduling and duration.

  • Define your objectives. Clearly articulate your goals with your digital audio advertising campaign. Is it brand awareness, product promotion, or collecting leads? Are you looking to drive sales? Are you launching a new product or advertising an upcoming event or show? Once you figure out your goal, you can move on to the other steps.
  • Budget planning. Allocate your budget strategically across different elements of the campaign, considering factors such as production costs, platform fees, and any additional expenses related to targeting or optimization.
  • Scheduling and duration. Determine the optimal timing for your campaign based on your target audience's habits and behaviors. Consider whether a short, intensive burst of ads or a more prolonged and sustained approach aligns with your goals.

Targeting Strategies

Precision targeting helps get your ads to the right ears. From leveraging geographic targeting with ZIP code strategies to demographic and behavioral targeting, marketers can explore a range of techniques.

You can get started for as little as $250 on AudioGO, which works out to 13,888 ad plays. For a small campaign on a short schedule, $250 may be all right, but it may not guarantee the results you are looking for. When considering how much to dedicate to your audio campaign, please be realistic about what it can accomplish.  

We've already gone into detail about the wide range of demographic targeting that AugioGO allows. Now we can look at some other options.

Music Genre Targeting

Pick music — and/or spoken word content, which includes news and podcasts — that matches your brand, your message, and your audience. Ads that are personalized to your listeners’ preferences are especially effective at driving up engagements. But if your product or service is universal, you don’t need to pick a music genre.

Age is another important thing to think about here. So to help, we pulled this chart to show what genres are most popular among various age groups.

Keep in mind your listeners will also be hearing your ad during scheduled breaks. So if you do choose to go with a background track for your ad, try to make it sound similar to the music genre you’re targeting. Don't kill the vibe.


Let’s just quickly review what they are first.

  • ZIP Code. Our most granular option of them all. With this you can narrow your listeners down to the very neighborhood. 
  • DMA. Designated Market Area, also known as a media market, is really just industry-speak for an area that gets the same radio stations.
  • MSA. A Metropolitan Statistical Area is a city and its surrounding suburbs.
  • Cities. For anyone streaming within a specified city's limit.
  • Counties. This, as well as any of the first four options are fine choices for awareness campaigns.
  • States. This option is best reserved for wide-ranging reach campaigns.

We like to tell folks to start narrow, and then gradually open things up until they find the right fit. The Audience Guide was designed for this. Use it.

And, again, the best ad campaigns always have some element of personalization to it. So the next time you find yourself targeting the San Francisco DMA, it might be smart to include a reference to the city.

When targeting narrow locations — such a single Postal Code — remember that you could be looking at rather small audiences, so please be mindful of the Audience Guide feature. It will help you size your targeting according to your budget and campaign goals. If you find that targeting a single ZIP Code gives you too narrow results, you may want to expand your target area to a few adjacent postal codes. You might even identify a larger area, like a city, county or MSA.

Also, remember that the different targeting criteria available in AudioGO work together to refine your audience as you apply extra filters. So, you may learn that there aren't many men, aged 25 to 34, who listen to Classic Rock within a certain ZIP Code. In a case like that, you would have to decide what's more important: precise geographical targeting, demographics, or listening patterns.

Here are the answers to a few common geo-targeting questions:

  • Can I target multiple ZIP Codes? Of course. Within the same campaign, you can define one Postal Code or as many as you need. Just enter the ZIP Codes one by one and our system will deliver your ads to the right places.
  • Can I combine different location types? Yes, you can! For example, you can choose to target your Home Town as well as a specific ZIP Code near your office. Just remember that if you select both a narrow location AND a greater area that includes the more narrow zone, the greater area will prevail.
  • What counts as listener location? Is it the location of the listener or the address the user of the streaming apps declared upon sign-up? The answer is simple: AudioGO looks only at the location of the listener when listening to the stream, and thus when receiving the ad. This data is achieved through the use of industry-standard geolocation tools, which are subject to certain precision limitations in order to comply with new privacy rules and regulations.

Behavioral Targeting

When it comes to personalization, nothing beats our behavioral targeting feature and the 60 different interests and user statuses you can reach listeners by.

Most advertisers will find this tool useful in targeting hyper-specific audiences, like high-income listeners, married couples, or people with interest in live events, politics and so forth. The trick is to fight the temptation to overuse behavioral targeting as things can get really narrow, really fast, with this one. So we always caution folks to, once again, keep their eye on the Audience Guide.

Language Targeting

We offer English-language and Spanish-language targeting. And if you don’t select one or the other, your ad campaign will simply run over both.

Just make sure your ad is in Spanish if you decide to target Spanish-language listeners. It can be a bad experience for listeners to hear an ad in a language that doesn't match the rest of the programming. Not to mention, it could be a wasted impression for you.

By the way, if you don’t have a Spanish-language ad, we can always take care of that for you.

Device Targeting

With three options to choose from, you can selectively engage listeners on either their smart speakers, mobile phones and tablets, and PCs and laptops. This is something to think about if you want to bring more context to your ad experiences, especially if you'll be targeting audiences on the go, while they work, or as they stream at home.

Crafting Your Audio Ad

A well-crafted audio ad is the heart of any successful campaign. Your ad script should be based on a clear view of two things: who your audience is and what you want them to do.

Are your ideal listeners tech-savvy digital radio enthusiasts, music streamers, or avid podcast listeners? That influences where you want your message to run and how you craft it. Tailor your script to resonate with their preferences, so that your messaging strikes the right chord. For example, maybe classical music isn’t the best genre to promote next month’s monster truck rally. Or, maybe you know a way to make that work.

And how can you write a call to action if you don't know what action you want your listeners to take? Scripts must clearly reflect the goals of the ad campaigns. Are you looking for more sales or trying to spread awareness? Once you figure out your goal, you are ready to use these tips for crafting an ad. 

Brevity Is Key

Keep your script to the point. Capture attention within the first few seconds and maintain a rhythm that aligns with the platform — whether it's a quick digital radio advertising spot or a more extended podcast commercial. Begin by introducing yourself, your business and the purpose of your ad. Avoid using jokes or skits, because they make it a challenge for listeners to connect with your messaging.

As we like to say, keep it short and simple — K-I-S-S. AudioGo’s platform supports ad spots of 30 seconds or less, which means your script should not exceed 70 words in length. We recommend using every bit of that 70-word limit, too.

Embrace the Power of Storytelling

Your audio ad script is an opportunity to tell a story, even if it’s a short one. It might be tempting to use an ad script generator, but instead, take the time to dig into the collective mind of your target audience.

A story can engage and captivate an audience. It's a natural, easy way for people to absorb information. Let your creativity flow to make your brand messaging memorable.

Template for Success

Once you’ve figured out what works for your brand and what doesn’t, streamline your writing process with a template. Use the structure to guide your script and help you cover essential elements: introduction, compelling content, and a persuasive call to action (CTA). This not only saves time but also guarantees consistency across your audio ads, creating a unified brand voice.

Tailor Your Audio Ad to the Platform

Each audio platform has its nuances — and its differences.

Whether it's immersive podcast advertising, fast-paced radio ads, or the vibe of streaming music services, customize your script to fit the platform. Your tone should resonate with the unique atmosphere of each space.

Add a Little Sonic Magic

Audio advertising isn't just about the words — it's also about the soundscape you create.

Consider incorporating sound effects and music that complement your message. These auditory elements can elevate your script, but steer clear of anything that detracts attention from your messaging or purpose.

Use A Clear Call to Action

"Buy now!"

"Call for your free consultation!"

"Click your screen, before it’s too late!"

"Mention this ad when you come to our store and get 25% off!"

Write a call to action (CTA) that tells the listener exactly what you want them to do and why. The goal is to be specific and direct. It helps to mention exclusives, sales, or promotional codes, too.

Craft a compelling CTA that encourages listeners to take immediate action. Otherwise, listeners may soon forget what it was they were going to do, and your ad won’t be as successful as you would like.


When it comes to tone: be real. Be relatable. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it.  A conversational voice is always best. This is what listeners typically respond to.

Voiceover Direction

Be as clear and as straightforward as possible with your voiceover direction. Especially when it comes to the pronunciation of names. Help your voice actor to help you.


It’s always advisable to both double-check and read your script out loud before submission. This way you can avoid revisions and unnecessary delays.

Creative Use of Display Banners and Retargeting

Now it’s time to think about designing effective display banners, integrating audio with display strategies, and implementing retargeting techniques for a cohesive and memorable audience experience.

Our platform is designed to use display banners to make your ads clickable to your website. We can host up to 3 per campaign in 3 different formats for listeners on their desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

We strongly recommend using one in each format — 300 x 250 (wide), 500 x 500 (square), 300 x 600 (tall). The best ad campaigns also include custom tracking URLs for added visibility on Google Analytics or their respective CRMs.

When using display banners, don't forget to include a call to action — like "tap your screen" — in the audio portion of your ad as well. Direct CTAs like these typically get click-through-rates 3x greater than those without one. Additionally, a clear CTA is vital for getting an interested listener to act on your ad. Ask people to "call now" with your phone number (which may be repeated as time allows), or visit your website URL, or come down to your restaurant or shop.

Display Retargeting

If getting clicks is one of the goals of your audio campaign, then you're definitely going to want to use display retargeting. That's when we take your banner ads and display them on websites your listeners visit after they've heard your audio ad.

Display ads support the stickiness of your audio messaging, and retargeting has proven to increase recall, reach, brand awareness, and — most importantly — clicks. In fact, by pairing audio ads with display ads, you can even quadruple the number of clicks you would otherwise get from running display ads on their own!

Measuring and Optimizing Campaign Performance

Measuring the success of a digital audio advertising campaign goes beyond counting impressions. AudioGo's insights on key performance indicators (KPIs) and strategies for analyzing and optimizing campaign data are invaluable. You can view — in real time —campaign metrics like impressions, unique listeners, listen-through-rates (LTR), and click-through-rates (CTR). These metrics help marketers understand the impact of their ads on their brands.

When also paired with an automation platform like ActiveDEMAND — which adds additional tracking and reporting for direct response campaigns — SMBs and agencies will have even more tools to move new prospects along their buyer's journey.

Each user gets a personalized reporting dashboard that gives a graphical view of your ad's impression distribution by publisher. That way you can see exactly where your ads are playing at all times. AudioGO will display the following metrics in real-time:

Campaign Metrics.

  • Total/daily ad spend
  • Budget
  • Start/end dates
  • Total/daily impressions (ad plays)
  • Total/daily clicks (includes retargeted display clicks)
  • Total/daily reach (the number of unique listeners
    who heard your ad)
  • Conversions (for users of the AudioGO pixel)

Audience Metrics.

  • Age group.
  • Gender.
  • Genre — by the content they’re streaming.
  • Behavioral segments — their interests and statuses.
  • Location — by their state, city, and ZIP Code.
  • Device — by the devices they stream on.
  • Publisher — by the app or service they heard your ad on.

These reporting metrics can also be exported into a PDF or CSV file for easy sharing.

Behavioral targeting is accompanied by a new report, a segment breakdown, for each campaign. Choosing one or more segments at campaign creation will unlock a new chart showing how your impressions have been distributed across these segments. The same goes for content targeting, so the reporting will reflect your targeting options and highlight the distribution of impressions across your target segments.

To track and measure conversions, use the AudioGO Pixel — a snippet of HTML code that's added to your website to track and measure conversions after someone listens to your audio ad. It specifically tracks total and unique visits to a website or webpage after a person listens to an audio ad (conversion), whether that is by clicking the companion banner at the time of listening or visiting the site directly at a later time. This gives you another layer of insight into the effectiveness of your audio ad campaigns.

Our Tracking URL Builder allows you to easily add campaign tracking parameters to URLs so you can measure performance and attribution with traffic analytics and monitoring tools. This free tool allows you to quickly create campaign tracking links by adding UTM parameters to URLs used for display or companion banners.

Strategies for Optimization

Don't freak out if your live campaign gets a prompt that reads "low pace." It happens every time within the first couple of hours of your campaign's launch as it integrates into our publisher network. But if it doesn't go away after that, it just means your campaign is behind its forecasted impressions. And more often than not, it's just a symptom of having a campaign with too narrow of an audience.

In that case, we'll help you fix it. The two main tactics are extending your campaign duration and broadening your targeting criteria. Otherwise, you might want to update your payment method or add more hours to your run schedule. We spell out other advice, too, at this FAQ link.

Advanced Techniques and Strategies

Advanced targeting options offer a deeper level of personalization. From dynamic ad insertion to contextual targeting based on real-time data, these techniques allow you to tailor your message with unparalleled precision. AudioGo's advanced targeting options provide valuable insights into how these strategies can enhance the relevance and effectiveness of your campaign.

Our Predictive Audiences service is an industry-first, cookie-free targeting solution with more than 300 podcast audience segments that span a listener's interests, consumer behaviors, personas, and media activities.

Predictive Audiences is sponsored by Comscore, and when we pair this data with  AdsWizz's AI transcription technology, the magic really happens. We convert audio files into text to extract keywords, topics, concepts, and sentiments from what's being talked about on your favorite podcasts.

By combining AdsWizz's contextual data with Comscore's user info, Predictive Audiences can match your ad with the content your audiences have a high affinity for. This adds another layer of personalization to your podcast targeting.

Predictive Audiences helps our advertisers experience:

  • Expanded reach. We map data signals across our entire podcast inventory and every episode within it. This offers more ad opportunities to reach your target audience, unlock new ones, and drive more sales.
  • Granular targeting. Leveraging Comscore data around real-life content consumption allows us to reach podcast listeners based on their behaviors and personas at very granular levels. For example, during a campaign for a furniture store to promote its latest collection, you could select a segment called "Retail - Intent - Home and Garden – Furniture" to target listeners who have already demonstrated an intent to buy (through product comparisons and item searches) furniture from online retail sites for Home and Garden. 
  • Improved ad relevancy. Imagine listening to a podcast about the newest lineup of luxury SUVs. Then right in the middle of it, you get served an audio ad about the 2023 Audi Q5. The one you were looking for. Predictive Audiences knows how to serve your ads to the right people, in the right context, and on the right shows.

Case Studies and Success Stories

AudioGo's case studies offer valuable lessons and best practices drawn from successful campaigns. This section showcases how audio advertising campaigns have gotten great results in various industries.

Auto dealership gets a surge in visits. One compelling case study from the automotive industry highlights the effectiveness of digital audio advertising for auto dealerships. The campaign aimed to increase local awareness and drive foot traffic to Allen of Monroe, a Chevy dealership in Monroe, Michigan. By leveraging geographic targeting strategies, including ZIP Code targeting, the dealership tailored its message to resonate with the specific needs and interests of the local community.

The success of this campaign was measured by reach and, more importantly, the tangible results it delivered. The campaign demonstrated the power of a well-executed digital audio strategy. KPIs showed boosts in website visits, engagement with promotional offers, and ultimately, a surge in dealership visits.

Podcaster gains thousands of listeners. Another case had a podcaster advertising on, wait for it, other podcasts! Using a method of advertising called cross-promotion, Taylor Moore — the man behind Fortunate Horse’s Rude Tales of Magic podcast — tried something outside of his routine social-media strategy. He advertised his podcast on another podcast, targeting 18-to 34-year-old listeners of other fiction and comedy podcasts.

Over two months, Taylor’s ads played 28,000 times to an audience of 22,000 unique listeners. It led to an uptick in patrons for Taylor and his podcast.

Employer sees double the number of job applicants. A Southern California chain of climbing facilities could not attract candidates to apply for jobs. Even a $500 signing bonus for new employees failed to get results. The leaders of Sender One turned to AudiGO. They developed a 30-second ad focusing on new job opportunities, great benefits, and the $500 signing bonus. With the power of AudioGO’s Behavioral Targeting, the ad targeted listeners in Orange County who were fitness enthusiasts, interested in nature and outdoors, and seeking employment. 

With a modest budget of $250, Sender One’s employment ad ran for 2 weeks and reached over 9,000 listeners. In that time, Sender One got double the number of interested applicants through their website than the two weeks before.

Insurance agent gets huge return on investment. An insurance agent based in Cabot, Arkansas, decided to try a new advertising channel to let his community know about the auto, home, renters, and business coverage he provided.

He used Behavioral Targeting to reach people who were likely to need different types of insurance: car owners, homeowners, married listeners, households with children, mortgage loan customers, and anybody interested in financial planning and insurance. He further honed his message by using AudioGO’s Creative Services, Location Targeting and Display Ad Builder. Just minutes after the campaign launched, he began getting calls and texts about the ads. He soon sold more than 30 insurance policies that he directly attributes to his three campaigns — for auto, business and household policies. That alone was a great return on his investment of $1,200.

These case studies serve as a testament to the versatility and impact of digital audio advertising across different sectors. By tailoring strategies to specific goals and leveraging the unique features of the digital audio landscape, businesses can achieve remarkable results.

Building Audio Advertising Campaigns

Success in the dynamic realm of digital audio advertising is not just about reaching ears but creating a memorable resonance. This guide offers a comprehensive roadmap for achieving that, and we hope it will encourage marketers to experiment, learn, and adapt.

With your creativity and help from AudioGO, you can build successful audio advertising campaigns. With the right script and the right settings, all that's left for your business or organization is to get heard by clicking the link below.

Create Campaign

For more information about requesting an audio ad, or anything AudioGO, make sure to check out our FAQ page: