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Think for a moment about how often you see or hear advertising messages on an average day. It’s a lot, right? Now think about how many of those marketing messages you remember at the end of the day. It’s probably a lot fewer. But we bet the ones you do remember had a killer creative that spoke to you.
The creative element of advertising plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness of a campaign, so whether it's for a podcast ad, radio spot, or any audio-focused commercial messaging, a pitch-perfect audio ad script can be the make-or-break of grabbing your target audience’s attention and driving the action you desire.
In a medium where you can’t lean on flashy visuals to stick in the minds of consumers, your pen has no choice but become mightier than the sword.
Of course, the art of writing an audio ad script that gets results requires a deep understanding of your brand, products, and target audience—which is ultimately down to you. But here at Acast, we’re experts in podcast advertising and the unique dynamics of audio, so in this article, we’re sharing our top tips and best practices for creating an attention-grabbing audio ad script for your next campaign.
And yes, although we’re podcast advertising experts, these tips work great for any audio advertising such as radio ad scripts or other digital audio channels.
With 65% of listeners paying attention to podcast ads, podcast advertising is already at an advantage for advertisers looking to land their marketing messages. Once you’ve got their attention, you’ll want to make sure you’re serving up a creative that’s memorable and action-driving.
Here are Acast’s tips for a successful audio ad script:
You’ll want a captivating hook in the first five seconds of your ad, something that immediately grabs the listeners’ ear when your ad comes on. Get their attention with something creative, disruptive, or unique that will catch their ear and hang onto what you’ve got to say next.
WARC says advertisers only have a shockingly short 1.7 seconds to engage someone on social media. Luckily, you have a little more time with an audio ad but still think under five seconds.
You want to create a powerful introduction that sets the tone and piques curiosity. It can be a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact, or a captivating statement. Maybe it’s something funny, or even something clever using sound design or sound effects.
We recommend mentioning your brand within the intro hook or at the end of it. This allows listeners to associate your brand with the ad immediately.
Once you have your listeners hooked, it’s time to tell them what you are offering. This should be a concise and compelling elevator pitch about your brand, and the product or service you’re promoting.
Focus on why the listener should be interested in your offer, and what makes you different from the competition—this is your value proposition.
Use persuasive language and use facts or proof to back up your claims, for example, having a data point that confirms what you’re saying.
We know that relevant ads placed in context deliver the best results, so keep this in mind when writing audio ad scripts. If you are selling BBQs during summer, connect with potential customers by mentioning relatable real-life moments such as preparing to host a summer party or having the first BBQ of the season.
To capture the attention of your audience or podcast category, tailor your message to their interests and passions. For example, if you're advertising to health and fitness podcast listeners, focus on the benefits of exercise in your audio ad script. This approach is more likely to resonate with your target audience and increase engagement.
When listening to podcasts, most people use headphones, which creates a more intimate listening experience. Consider how you can use sound design to enhance your brand, utilize dynamics to capture attention, or explore 3D audio to provide an immersive experience for your listeners.
It's not just about the audio itself, but also the connection that listeners have with their favorite shows. To build on these authentic relationships, your pre-recorded advertisements should be conversational, enjoyable, and in line with the tone of the show. Consider having the host read the sponsorships for an even better match.
Put simply, the call to action is what you want the listener to do immediately after listening to the ad. This could be downloading an app, visiting a website, or purchasing a product with a promo code. Whatever it is, make sure there is only one clear call to action and it is abundantly clear.
It's important to end your ad with a strong call-to-action (CTA). You can prompt the listener to call a phone number, visit a website, or make a purchase. The CTA should be straightforward and compelling, encouraging the listener to take a specific action. For example, you could make your CTA more compelling by saying an offer is available for a limited time to create a sense of urgency, or giving them a special promo code.
Think about using a jingle as part of the ending of your audio ad, these are especially effective for getting listeners to remember the CTA—just think of some of the famous jingles you know use a phone number or website.
Pacing plays a crucial role in scriptwriting. A script that moves too quickly can be difficult to follow, while a script that moves too slowly can become dull and lose the listener’s attention. It's best to aim for a natural and conversational pace that enables the listener to absorb the information.
A pre-recorded podcast ad or radio advertising spot is usually around 30 seconds, which you’ll quickly burn through when writing a script so pay close attention to how it flows when writing. Err on the side that less is more. Your script should ideally have a word count of under 100, and then try to cut even more. Our top tip is the practice recording the script out loud to hear exactly how long it takes.
When writing an ad script, prioritize simplicity and clarity, using language that is easily understood by your target audience. Avoid using complex words and industry jargon in your ad copy that may confuse listeners.
Your choice of words will also help define the tone of your ad script. Use language that aligns with your brand's personality and resonates with your target audience. It should sound authentic and relatable, avoiding jargon and overly promotional language.
This is a golden rule of copywriting and should especially be emphasized with ad scripts, where the experience is more conversational. Imagine you’re explaining your offer to your mother or friend over the phone...that’s not a bad creative idea for a podcast ad, actually. You can have that one for free.
It's crucial to thoroughly proofread your script before submitting it for recording. Reading out loud can assist in identifying awkward phrasing, unnecessary words, and potential misunderstandings.
Your script should be clear and accurate, free from any factual errors or misleading statements. Be sure to check any numbers, names, and details mentioned in the script.
Ensure your script complies with all relevant advertising laws and regulations. This includes avoiding deceptive or misleading claims and respecting intellectual property rights.
In the USA, the FTC has guidance for applicable legal requirements in advertising here. If you’re in the UK, you can check the ASA guidance. Every country will have its own advertising trade bodies that you should refer to.
You’ve done the hard work of putting pen to paper to write the script for your ad, now all that’s left is recording and bringing your words to life. Here’s what to keep in mind when it comes to recording ad scripts.
When deciding what voice actors to use in your ads or host-reads, first consider the audience you are trying to reach. For example, if you are selling women’s clothing with a target age of a consumer around 20-35 years, work with voice talent that reflects this demographic.
If you want our podcasters to do the talking for you, you’ll want to run a host-read sponsorship ad campaign with podcasters whose audience aligns with your target market
When you find a voice that connects with your target audience, don’t be afraid to use that same voiceover talent for multiple different campaigns and establish them as a trusted ambassador of your brand—this is particularly true for host-read sponsorships.
Start your podcast ad campaign with host-read sponsorships or pre-recorded ads in minutes with our easy-to-use self-serve platform.