How audio advertising builds trust and brand safety
Connor Finnerty
Audio media (particularly podcasts) naturally generates trust, which brands need to gain new customers and build a loyal following. Read our blog post to learn how to leverage podcast advertising to build consumer trust and ensure brand safety.

March 1, 2023

There are many factors that go into any purchasing decision—price, quality, how well the product fits the need—but an essential factor is how much consumers trust the brand. A 2021 survey from the Harvard Business Review found that more than 80% of consumers consider trust a deciding factor in their buying decisions. The same survey also found that only 34% trust the brands they use.

Any marketer looking for an edge on the competition should look for ways to gain greater trust among target consumers. If they trust you more than your competitor, you’ll win their business.  

Audio helps build trust

A survey from Acast looked at different advertising mediums and how consumers perceived their brand safety (if a brand’s reputation was kept safe). Audio platforms performed the best – podcasts were viewed as the most brand-safe (83%) with radio finishing a close second (81%). Based on these results, any brand looking to build trust with potential customers should invest in audio as a part of its marketing strategy. Audio advertising will lead to higher trust among consumers, which will lead to more converting customers.

But what are the factors that make consumers trust audio more? And how can they help marketers fully utilize the potential of the medium?

Audio drives emotional connection

One reason for the higher level of trust among audio ads is that listeners are more emotionally engaged than with other types of ads. According to a study from the Radio Advertising Bureau, audio ads drove 21% higher strong emotions than visual ads, as well as 50% more emotional peaks than visual ads. Audio entertainment (particularly podcasts) encourages listeners to be more engaged with what they are listening to, and that carries over into the advertisements.

Audio advertising is a unique opportunity to cut through the digital clutter and ensure that listeners hear your message. Brands can go a step further by having their ad naturally fit within the content. One way to do this is to match the content of your ad with the show’s theme (for instance, placing an ad for a TV show based on a book on a podcast where the host reviews novels). But there is one proven way to have podcast listeners approve of your ad message.

Have the host read it.

Podcast listeners trust their favorite hosts

One of the things that sets podcasting apart as an entertainment medium is the close relationship that is developed with listeners. We’ve noted before that 80% of podcast listeners trust recommendations from hosts, which is almost as much as they trust friends and family. This deep, organic trust presents a unique opportunity for marketers to form a strong connection with their target consumers, but the best way to do so is to have the host read your brand message.

When Edison Research ask dedicated podcast listeners if they preferred that the host read a personalized ad message or a pre-recorded ad not read by the host, listeners were 56% more likely to prefer the host-read. A pre-recorded ad feels like a commercial, causing many people to tune out, but the host reading a message feels much more natural. Listeners trust the host, enjoy the sound of their voice, and view the brand message as an organic part of their listening experience. 

A recommendation from a favorite podcast host goes further than a celebrity endorsement. According to the Celebrity Endorsement Survey, only 22% of respondents believed that celebrities actually used the products they endorsed, which could explain why these endorsements are not always effective. We all loved that Squarespace Super Bowl ad with Adam Driver (and a bunch of Adam Driver clones), but it was incredibly expensive, and did you really believe that Adam Driver needed to build a website? And it didn’t really have anything to do with the football game (or Rhianna halftime show) that the audience was tuning in for. By contrast, a host reading a podcast ad feels more authentic given the intimate nature of the medium, and listeners are more likely to believe the host recommends the product.   

Audio entertainment (particularly podcasts) naturally generates trust, which brands need to gain new customers and build a loyal following. If you’re looking for a partner that can help you forge an organic connection between hosts and the audience, reach out to Soundrise. We specialize in helping companies form mutually beneficial partnerships with audio storytellers, creating great experiences for listeners in the process.

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