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Digital Interview South Africa

#IABInsightSeries: Digital audio marketing

Learn more about what will be discussed at the seventh episode of IAB Insights this week, and hear from the speakers and panellists...
Rutendo Nyamuda, Julian Jordaan, Sibabalwe Sineke, Khuthala Gala Holten, and Craig Swartz.
Rutendo Nyamuda, Julian Jordaan, Sibabalwe Sineke, Khuthala Gala Holten, and Craig Swartz.

Hosted by Tshegofatso Phetlhe, creative director at VMLY&R and IAB SA youth action council member, speakers include Craig Swartz, business unit director at Mediamark; Julian Jordaan, managing director at 365 Digital; Khuthala Gala Holten, digital audio committee lead at IAB SA and co-managing director at Joe Public; Rutendo Nyamuda, host of YThe Podcast Sessions and founder of Tinzwe Media; and Sibabalwe Sineke, IAB SA 2021 Front Row winner.

In the seventh episode of this year, the focus of the discussion is around digital marketing audio, and why marketers should consider using it in their marketing plans and techniques. The event is relevant to all marketers, advertisers, publishers, and agencies who want to grasp a good understanding of how digital marketing audio can make a difference in their plans.

Here, we speak to the speakers and panellists to find out more about their specific topics and what we can expect from the episode…

What is the key theme or message of your talk?

Swartz: Why you should be including Digital Audio in your media plans.

Jordaan: The IAB SA audio committee is launching a Digital Audio Marketing Toolkit, which has been developed to address the fundamentals of digital audio marketing and is a collection of authoritative and adaptable resources for all industry stakeholders. It also serves to provide a framework of reference and credibility for publishers, levelling the playing field between large and small.

Holten: We are often challenged with limitations of budgets, timings, and resources. The most difficult challenge now is the window of opportunity an astute consumer will give you. It is our challenge to maximise our clients’ opportunities to achieve the job to be done.

Nyamuda: As part of the panel, the key themes I will be addressing include the competitiveness within the podcast industry and how to stand out. I will also address the opportunity for revenue generation for podcasters.

Talk us through some of the key insights that determined which changes, updates, constants will be happening in the digital advertising industry in 2021.

Swartz: First party data segments – More and more advertisers are now plugging into publisher first-party data segments allowing them to deliver more relevant and targeted advertising using display, video or audio.

Attribution - Using the audio attribution pixel, a publisher can now tell if a listener visited the clients' website or downloaded their app after listening to the audio advert.

Re-targeting – after listening to the audio ad, or clicking on a companion banner, publishers are now creating audience buckets, and advertisers can target users that have previously engaged resulting in higher conversion rates.

Jordaan: The audience - the South African digital audio consumer landscape is in a state of evolution, with growth in the streaming music and podcast space taking centre stage. In this session, we look at the consumption of digital audio and its relation to other markets.

The advertising - with the rise in the consumption of digital audio comes the opportunity for brands to connect with engaged audiences. We will take a glimpse at the current advertiser sentiment and the opportunity for advertisers.

The IAB SA Digital Audio Marketing Toolkit - a brief overview of what IAB members and the industry can expect from the imminent release of the IAB SA Digital Audio Marketing Toolkit.

Holten: Purposeful communication continues to be communication that people care about and really engage with now more than ever. Brands are forced to take a good hard look at themselves, interrogate what they do and what they stand for particularly in the context of Covid-19, transformation and diversity and inclusion.

As the lines between work and leisure have become blurred this past year and a new sense of fear amongst people sees new insights into consumer behaviour in an unprecedented time in the pursuit of growth. Our communication needs to remain relevant and conscious in the spirit of our times.

Nyamuda: I’ve found overall there is a greater sense of community within the industry and not so much competition - and this is looking at the industry from a pan-African and international view.

However, when it comes to standing out you need to find your edge, possibly looking into making your podcast more niche. Podcasters shouldn’t just create a business or motivational podcast - there needs to be something within that topic or within the conversation that you are looking to focus on.

When it comes to revenue - there are various ways, from finding a sponsor to listener-driven revenue through donations and subscriptions. Many international podcasters generate revenue from listeners and this is something we should be doing more of across the continent.

Sineke: Looking at platforms like Tiktok and Instagram reels – expanding advertising opportunities on these platforms – how brands can use these short clip videos along with shareable audio to increase user-generated content and engagement.

Spending on digital audio has increased – the ability to use targeting and have measurable results from streaming platforms or podcasts is the USP. Being able to reach consumers either at home or on the move with them being more connected/always on than ever before.

What one main call to action would you advise your fellow industry colleagues at this time (in the context of your talk) to help companies who are looking to beat the benchmark in digital advertising and create great work (teams, processes, etc.) that exceeds goals?

Swartz: Digital audio is intimate and offers advertisers the opportunity to speak one on one to a listener. Advertisers now have the ability to deliver relevant messages to their exact target market through specific audience segments and demographic targeting, driving higher engagement with less wastage. Always make use of companion banners too, so a user can hear the ad and engage and act immediately.

Jordaan: Digital audio marketing is an uncluttered landscape that provides a powerful means to drive a brand message to audiences that are leaned in. With that, audio creativity is really important to engaging audiences - brands that tailoring audio ads to their listeners will find a better response as it feels a lot more native and authentic.

Holten: Less is more! Give more time to what matters and allow for the necessary craft and considered thinking.

Nyamuda: For individuals, start looking at innovative ways to generate more PR around your brand and your podcast. Find ways to engage with the podcast community through events, media platforms, or joining podcast communities.

For companies - right now podcasting provides an incredible and innovative way to connect with your customer base. If you don’t have the resources to produce a podcast then partner with a podcast that is aligned with your key messaging and branding.

Sineke: Without shame, I always reference “Be A Sponge!”. Be curious, learn new ways and things about the work you do, listen and absorb from things and others around you.

Share one key learning from 2020 that you have personally (or professionally) taken on board, that you believe will assist others to navigate the future of work as we (are getting to).

Swartz: Make time to take time. Without working hours, finding a balance between work and personal life became difficult, so make sure to have working hours at home, and switch off the same time you would normally leave the office to go home.

Jordaan: Culture is bigger than any one of us and we are all part of either building it or breaking it. With a great company culture (almost) anything is possible. I've stopped focusing on the growth of the team and more on the health of the people (not only physical health ;-). Healthy things grow naturally, and it is the same with people.

Holten: I have seen the ability to innovate in a time of increased challenges has provided not just business continuity but the increased impact we couldn’t fathom before. The challenge to reinvent ourselves and our creative ideas have catapulted our personal growth and seen creative ideas become impactful creative solutions.

Nyamuda: One of our biggest key learnings from 2020 is to always find ways to challenge the status quo and what is being done. We are in the midst of shaping the podcast space in South Africa and across the continent - there are no set rules so in a way we get to create them.

Sineke: You need to be able to reinvent yourself at any moment. Life as we know it is not a linear path and requires us to adapt very quickly. Be open to opportunity no matter how big or small, it is not by chance that moment is meant for you.

The IAB SA has taken its Insight Series online to provide 60 minutes of insights, featuring fellow and future industry leaders, on subjects selected by IAB members and the industry at large to make better digital decisions. Episode 29 is brought to you in partnership with Gumtree, Everlytic, Ornico, and Bizcommunity. The 2021 IAB Insight Series is also approved for 2 CPD points at CMSA-level under marketing, by the Marketing Association of South Africa. To attend this episode on Digital Audio Marketing on 26 August 2021, you can register for free here. Episode 29 is open to the full industry to attend.

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