YouTube audio ads play while users listen to music or podcasts, helping advertisers grow brand awareness and reach new audiences.

audio ads on YouTube

Audio content fits easily into busy lives, whether people are listening to music during their morning run or catching up on a podcast while cooking dinner.

Google has introduced audio ads that can engage audiences while they consume their favourite audio content on YouTube. Currently still in beta, these audio ads are showing results worth noting. In testing on YouTube, they increased brand awareness in more than 75 per cent of audio campaigns measured by Google.

Audio ad campaigns offer marketers the same audience targeting, metrics and brand safety features as video campaigns. However, they allow brands to reach consumers through a whole new category of content: audio.

Let’s dig into what YouTube audio ads are, why they could be important to your business and how to make them work for you.

What are audio ads on YouTube?

YouTube is best known as a video sharing platform, but many people use YouTube to access podcasts, music, news and other audio content.

How popular is YouTube? The platform boasts over 2.2 billion logged-in monthly users. As more of these users embrace audio content, marketers would be wise to note these results and find a way to incorporate audio ads on YouTube into their marketing strategy.

Is YouTube a valuable platform for advertising?

The numbers are hard to ignore. YouTube net ad revenues will reach US$6.87 billion in the United States alone by 2022, says eMarketer.

People are flocking to YouTube, consuming content in huge numbers. Globally, it’s the second-most used social platform, beaten only by Facebook. It’s also the world’s second-most visited website, after its parent company, Google.

Why should you try YouTube audio advertising?

YouTube audio ads are similar in structure to the platform’s video ads. Campaigns can be set up and managed from your Google ads account, allowing you to set brand awareness and reach goals.

You can take advantage of audience targeting, detailed metrics and campaign monitoring to ensure you are reaching the right audiences.

Benefits of YouTube audio ads:

  1. Increased reach: YouTube audio ads allow you to reach new audiences to promote your business and attract new customers. This expanded reach potential is a significant draw for many brands.
  2. Simplified campaign setup and ad buying: Many marketing managers are familiar with Google ads and YouTube video ads, which means creating audio ad campaigns on the same platform will be relatively simple to learn.
  3. Precise targeting: Strategic advertising requires careful targeting based on the ideal customers you want to reach and your campaign goals. While YouTube’s reach is massive, the platform allows you to target relevant audiences with your ads.
  4. Budget friendly advertising costs: Audio ad campaigns make the most of brand budgets, with simpler visual components and a resulting decrease in production costs.

Creating audio ad campaigns in Google

If you’ve created YouTube video ad campaigns for your business, you should have no trouble figuring out how to use the Google platform for audio ads. Before you create your ad campaign, you’ll want to upload your finished marketing video to YouTube. Your video will contain the audio portion of your ad as well as an image or animation that will be seen onscreen while your audio plays.

You can upload your video in your YouTube account, then simply make sure you have the URL for your video when you’re ready to create your ad campaign.

Even if you haven’t run video ads, you probably have a Google ads account, which is where YouTube audio ad campaigns are created.

How to create your first YouTube audio ad campaign

  1. Sign into your Google ads account to create an audio ad campaign.
  2. Choose ‘Video campaigns’ from the menu on the left.
  3. Click the ‘Plus’ button.
  4. Select ‘New campaign.’
  5. Choose your ‘Brand awareness and reach goal.’
  6. Select the ‘Video campaign type.’
  7. Next, select ‘Audio.’
  8. Click ‘Continue.’
  9. Continue creating your campaign by entering bid and budget details.
  10. Clarify the targeting parameters for your ad group to reach relevant audiences.
  11. To use made-for-audio or podcast lineups, add the lineup you want as a placement.
  12. Next, add the lineup to the ad group by selecting a video content ID from the provided table.
  13. Click ‘New video ad.’
  14. Use the provided editor to add the URL for the YouTube video you uploaded.
  15. Edit the copy in your ad.
  16. Once finished, click ‘Create campaign.’

Best practices

Audio ads on YouTube are played for users while they listen to their favourite audio content on YouTube. They may have their content playing in the background while they are busy with other activities.

How can you make your audio ads appealing to your audience, knowing they may be multi-tasking? First, don’t rely on your listeners to see the visual portion of your ad. Whether a static ad or simple animation, it should simply bolster your ad with repeated information.

Focus on the audio in your ad, making sure the tone is engaging and conversational. Users listening to a favourite song, podcast or another piece of content won’t want a drastic shift in tone. Keep the pacing even and repeat any pertinent information, as your listener might miss the first mention of something important.

Including a call to action is a good idea, but the audio format makes it a challenge as your listener will have to remember what you want them to do. If you provide your website URL, state it clearly and repeat it.

Google provides ad policies to help create a safe and positive experience for listeners.

Creative specs for ads

Google offers precise ad specifications to guide marketers who want to try YouTube audio ads. Make sure you review these details on required assets, ad length, file size, resolution and aspect ratio.

YouTube audio ad formats

Audio ads play while users enjoy audio content on the platform, but there is still a visual element to these campaigns. Typically, a listener will hear the audio content of your ad while seeing a static image or simple animation on their screen.

Ad costs will vary depending on what format you choose, so it’s wise to consider different formats. You can compare the costs of each ad format and evaluate where your campaigns need animation and where you might be able to use a static image instead to make strategic use of your budget.

Is audio advertising on YouTube right for your business?

An essential first step when deciding whether to try YouTube audio ads in your business is to consider your target audience.

If you decide who you want to reach and assess if a platform can offer you access to these audiences, your advertising will be more effective.

If your audience research shows that your target audience matches YouTube’s demographics and interests, you may succeed with audio ads on the platform. Also, the cost to reach these audiences with audio ads can be lower than for video ads.

Whether listeners are tuning in to hear their favourite songs or binging on episodes of popular podcasts, the popularity of audio content is growing.

Audio consumers are spending significant time enjoying what they find on YouTube, creating an opportunity for brands to reach them in an effective and targeted way. Companies wanting to grow brand awareness and target new audiences to expand their reach are paying attention.

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