Audio Ads Can Help Diversify Your Marketing Plan

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With all the talk this week of the new online advertising options for Realtors (see John Cook’s HouseValues, HomeGain and Zillow for a good rundown), I thought I would zig as everyone else figuratively zags (or is it that I’m zagging while they’re zigging…), and talk about an interesting new way to take some of your advertising offline.

Google has finally integrated their acquisition of dMarc automated advertising platform and launched Google Audio Ads, which now allows advertisers to purchase radio spots through their AdWords account. They are currently rolling out a limited test of the system.

From the Inside AdWords blog:

Google Audio Ads brings efficiency, accountability, and enhanced ROI to radio advertising by providing advertisers with an online interface for creating and launching radio campaigns. You’ll be able to target your customers by location, station type, day of the week, and time of day. After the radio ads are run, you will be able to view online reports that tell you exactly when your ad played.

This is a win-win for everyone (well except for media buyers, I suppose). Google hopes to use its weight to negotiate more competitive rates and lower the barrier to entry for smaller advertisers. For radio stations, they have access to Google’s huge network of online advertisers and the ability to unload any of their excess inventory to advertisers who may not have previously considered radio.

A radio campaign works much like your online advertising buy. You set the budget and determine the maximum amount you’d like to spend each week. Audio Ads will show you exactly how the budget will be spent, based on the specific criteria (station format, time of day etc.) you have established.

As far as creative, all Google requires is a 30 second MP3 file. If you need help creating an ad Google has created a directory of talent that can help you with each step of that process, from script writing to recording and delivering the completed file. If you go that route rather than DIY, Google estimates it will cost between $100 and $1000 to create an ad. (More on the Google AdWords Help Center)

If this sounds like a familiar, it should. SpotRunner (which I wrote about in On the Tube, On The Cheap) has been doing pretty much the same thing with television advertising, as Google Audio Ads hopes to accomplish with radio. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Google were to buy SpotRunner and expand their portfolio of offerings at some point in the very near future.

Radio advertising may still be too expensive for all but the highest-producing Realtors, but for Brokers looking to make more of a brand specific statement, Audio Ads might be a good option to explore.