Traditional online advertising has been something of a honey pot for all involved for at least the last decade, but the signs are the good times are slowly coming to an end.

On the one hand, we have increasingly hard to ignore rumours of massive, automated click fraud. Consumer discontent meanwhile, as expressed by the rise of ad blockers on both desktop and mobile, is rapidly rising. In other parts of the online world, cogent pieces are starting to appear arguing that many aspects of the adtech business resemble little more than a well-organized Ponzi scheme.

If you’re a small business owner, or in charge of a larger advertising budget yourself, you may well be starting to get distinctly nervous about exactly where all those online advertising dollars are going these days.

In this article, we’ll argue that radio – both offline and on – represents one of the most underrated ways of reaching audiences in a way that truly resonates these days – and offers rates of return that other advertising media can only dream of in today’s climate.

Why Audio Grabs Attention Like No Other Medium

Advertising, ultimately, is about capturing consumer attention and intent and it’s hard to argue traditional online advertising is delivering on either these days. Ads are regarded as little more than a necessary nuisance, click-through rates have plummeted, and users are actively blocking what they see as unnecessarily irritating content that interrupts their online experience.

Compare that with the headlong user embrace of all things audio online. As recently as 2014, one-third of Americans were already using their phones to stream internet radio of one variety or another. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who’ve listened to a podcast in the last thirty days has doubled since 2008 – you can expect that figure to skyrocket this year and next.

The simple fact is that audio content still fills potential gaps in users’ days that other media simply can’t touch. You won’t be reading an article or watching video while you’re out for your morning run after all, or while you’re driving to work.

If you’re still targeting all your advertising efforts at eyeballs, it’s time to broaden your appeal as these mediums can work extremely well together.

Radio Still Has Users Hooked

Rumours of radio’s demise have been very much exaggerated. Though the industry offline has had its share of woes over the years, it’s still packing quite a punch – particularly in Australia.

Commercial radio has a listener reach of over 18 million people per week in Australia and an astonishing 67% of radio listeners are open to advertising messages. On the supply side, the attraction of this actively involved audience is reflected in ongoing radio ad revenue rises across the country.

Getting on Board the Podcast Bandwagon

One of the most interesting opportunities for savvy advertisers lies in the burgeoning field of podcast advertising. While mainstream radio (whether online or off) attracts engaged audiences, you could argue that podcasts attract fanaticalones.

In terms of really resonating with a hyper-specific audience, it’s hard to beat the type of results podcast advertising can bring. For a taste of future opportunities in this space, look no further than Squarespace’s massive (and successful) punt on podcasts or the emergence of dedicated niche audience podcast networks such as Dan Benjamin’s 5by5.

If the audience fit is right, podcast advertising can put you in front of audiences who are actively longing to use your products or services, rather than having to be beaten over the head to even acknowledge them.

We Know How to Listen

At MediaSmiths, we’ve got one ear very much to the ground when it comes to taking full advantage of the opportunity that audio offers advertisers. We’re also experts in helping you get the most bang for your buck across other media which are increasingly cut-throat as audiences become ever more sophisticated.

If you’re looking to radically boost your results by targeting people when and where they’re ready to hear your message, our expert team is happy to talk you through options for embracing audio across the board.

Contact us today and let’s get the world listening to your message!

Mike Smith (Media Strategist & Broker at MediaSmiths)

Michael Smith

About Michael Smith

Michael Smith was born and bred in Sydney and has worked in media for over 23 years and has specialised in radio placement and brokering, and has helped local, national and international clients with many mainstream media campaigns including outdoor, press & TV. He is all about getting the best results for his clients within their given budgets. Michael loves dining out, spending time with the family and travelling the globe.