September 19, 2022

Audio Turns Up The Volume On Influencer Marketing

By Idil Cakim Audacy, SVP of Research & Insights

With nearly $5 billion spent on social media platforms, Influencer Marketing is the rage again.1 Hard sales pitches? No, thank you! Consumers want to hear authentic, relevant messages from an expert. Someone they trust. That’s when they might be compelled to try a new product, follow up on a community action, or hit the buy button.

Yet campaigns tied to the words of a handful of influencers present significant challenges around scale, measurability, effectiveness, and brand safety. How many people do influencers reach? And what percentage of those who hear the message will follow up on it? Did the message land in a place that fits the brand? Was the reach high enough to measure success? These are the questions that stall marketing plans.

That’s why Audio is the ultimate Influencer Marketing platform. Its trusted voices on Radio and podcasts move millions to act – to walk into dealers, vote, attend events, run to local stores… even check out newly released movies and TV shows. An analysis of more than 14,000 advertisers and 50 million commercials aired over the past four years shows that live reads and host endorsements drive 50% more website user sessions than commercials that don’t feature these creative tactics.2

Audio influencers have the power to turbo-charge advertising campaigns as they are…

Scalable: Audacy hosts’ voices reach millions. Just this spring on OTA channels, country influencer Katie Neal reached nearly 5 million listeners! Bru, who already touts a sizable social media following, cascaded his programming to more than 3 million listeners. Similarly, Kevan Kenney’s ALT programming amassed nearly 3 million audience members. And these are not just people who signed up as followers or fans at some point in the past – they’re active listeners. Influencer reach in local markets is just as impressive. For instance, a campaign airing on V-103’s Big Tigger’s programming and targeting P12+ with 20 spots/week can garner more than 1.2 million impressions in a month.3

Effective: Audacy’s Engaged Impressions Study showed that local and podcast hosts are the primary drivers of programming choice for Audio consumers. And these influencers’ word matters4:

  • 72% of those who listen to our influencers indicate that, based on these recommendations, they have made a purchase.
  • 65% who hear their local influencer talking about a product or service are more likely to pay attention and hear the full ad.
  • 60% feel a greater connection to a brand’s message when they hear their local influencer’s voice.

Audio hosts don’t have to be the expert on every issue. But they can be the voice of the public and tap subject matter experts with the questions we all want to ask. In the thick of the COVID crisis, when so many had questions about vaccines, many listeners said that they would follow the advice of their influencers and their expert guests. More than one-half (53%) of vaccine-hesitant U.S. adults indicate the most useful way to find out about the COVID vaccine through Audio is a local Radio or podcast host interviewing a medical expert. And most vaccine-hesitant U.S adults (81%) said they will take some form of action if they hear a local Radio or podcast host share information about the benefits and recommend that listeners receive a COVID vaccine.5

Measurable: Given Audio hosts’ strong reach, advertisers can measure the effect of these influencers on their brands. Audio campaigns with host endorsements drive traffic to stores and websites and bring new customers to advertisers.

  • When By Nature Pet Food left its distribution partnership and needed to tell pet owners how to find their products in small, local retailers, Audacy Portland created endorsements with a Radio station member who owned a guide dog. During the three-month campaign, By Nature Dog Food increased sales by more than 8% and added five stores to its distribution list.
  • Audacy Portland also put its talent to work for Catlin Capital Mortgage. The company wanted to grow its business by informing homeowners and prospects about mortgage and refinance opportunities. The on-air endorsements about low fees invited audiences to call or visit Catlin Capital Mortgage’s website and get more information about new products and rates. Over the course of the campaign, Catlin Capital Mortgage quadrupled its business.
  • The luxury skincare brand ZO by Dr. Obagi had just entered the Dallas market and wanted to attract new customers in the area. With the “New Year, New You” theme, the Audacy team also tapped into the talent of Kat Dunn of 98.7 KLUV, a former beauty pageant queen. The team followed up on Radio endorsements with a targeted Facebook campaign. In just three weeks, Radio increased web traffic to ZO Skin Centre’s site by more than 16%.

Brand safe: Many advertisers shy away from social-media-driven tactics because of lack of regulation and brand safety measures. But they still need the seal of approval of influencers who can speak to their products authoritatively and authentically. That’s where Audio comes in, offering brands a safe environment to advertise. Audio influencers, who may have their own criteria in agreeing to work with a brand also abide by journalistic standards and trade rules and regulations. And they are professionals who strive to produce authentic, engaging content their audiences will love.

Takeaway: Audio is one powerful medium with ubiquitous reach, deep engagement, and a proven strong effect on sales. Audio influencers embody all these strengths, as they connect their audiences with brands they believe in.

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  1.  Inside Intelligence/ eMarketer, Influencer Marketing Report, 2022
  2.  Analytic Owl, Audacy Campaigns, 2022
  3.  Parameters are: P12+, M-F, 6am-7pm, 20x week, over 4 weeks, any spill. 
  4.  Audacy Influencers Study, Veritonic, August 2020
  5.  S. Radoff Associates, Vaccine Hesitancy Custom Survey, February 22, 2021

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