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Digital Advertising on Pandora and Spotify in the Higher Education Realm

Nov. 16, 2018
4 months, 1 week ago

Higher Education Digital Advertising on Pandora/Spotify: What You Need to Know

With a few different music-streaming services available, it can be difficult to know where to start for your college or university’s digital advertising efforts. And once you do start, how can you create content that is relevant and will resonate with your target audience?

In this blog, we’ll discuss the digital advertising capabilities on Pandora and Spotify and our insight into ad best practices for creating content that resonates best with a higher education audience.

Digital ad specs and audience targeting capabilities on Pandora and Spotify

On both streaming platforms, you have the ability to target potential prospects with audio ads that are 15–30 seconds long, with a creative ad to accompany these audio files (sized 640x640).

If you don’t have an audio file readily available, you can provide a script and Pandora or Spotify will create the audio file for you! You can work with them on the final product so that it’s in line with your brand, what you would like to convey, and how you would like the message to come across, including audio aspects such as gender, tone, etc.

As with other ad platforms, you can target Pandora and Spotify users based on a few different aspects. These users provide a good deal of data about who they are up front, so there are highly targeted ways to reach them. These include:

  • Behavioral: On both platforms, there is the option to implement behavioral targeting.
    • Pandora has the option to choose from 2,000+ audience segments, including age, gender, geo, and expanded demographics such as life stage, household income, and ethnicity. You can even target by music preference and time of day. In relation to the higher ed realm, there are different levels of education to target, including college students, completed some college, high school grads, etc.
    • Spotify applies streaming intelligence to reach the audiences that matter to you most by age, gender, geo, language, interest/behaviors, household income, ethnicity, etc. You can also target by what type of music they’re listening to (such as playlist or genre) and time of day. Education level targeting includes college students, high school degree, college degree, and graduate degree, plus family status and professional status.
  • List: On Pandora, there is the ability to target an inquiry or purchased list to reach prospective students you know are (or could potentially be) interested in your program or school. Just make sure your list is substantial enough in size: a ~1 million list is needed in order to implement list targeting on Pandora.
  • Retargeting: This option is only available on Spotify, which offers the ability to Retarget users based on ad engagement or exposure during a campaign.

Reaching higher education audiences and goals with Pandora/Spotify advertising

There are many options to optimally target users in various education levels and stages of the higher education process, given the breadth of demographic information available on Pandora and Spotify. On each platform, we’ve seen success targeting audiences from undergrad and graduate to transfer and parents.

These platforms are the ideal avenue for promoting branding and awareness of your institution or program. Generally, you will be reaching a “new” audience of users who may not be familiar with your brand, so promoting a general “Learn More” message across these platforms with the goal of increasing branding and awareness is recommended.

Pandora and Spotify ad best practices

Now that you know your goals and audience matches, here are some best practices to follow when creating audio and creative advertisements for your Pandora and Spotify campaigns:

  • Include a clear call to action: Ads that have a direct call to action have click-through rates that are approximately three-times higher than those with none. Ask the listener to do something and they’ll be more likely to engage with your ad.
  • Be clear and stay on message: Focus on the most important point you want the listener to walk away with. Try to avoid skits, jokes, or testimonials that make it difficult for listeners to connect with your brand.
  • Keep the message focused and simple: Users should easily and immediately understand the ad's takeaway. What are you trying to get across?
  • Get to the point: Take advantage of the first few seconds to introduce yourself, your business, and the purpose of your ad.
  • Keep a consistent tone and tempo: For a 30-second ad, aim for between 55–75 words, and try to keep your pace even throughout. Use a conversational tone for a seamless transition from music to ad.
  • Create a personalized message: Ads that are personalized to the listener see higher engagement. Consider including a targeted approach to your messaging. For instance, if you’re targeting New York residents, say, “Hey, New York!

Get started with your Pandora or Spotify campaign

Advertising on streaming services like Pandora and Spotify as part of your broader higher education digital marketing strategy is a great way to go if you’re looking to promote your overall brand and generate awareness of your program.

Once you’re ready to start, we can help you take your campaign to the next level. Click here to learn even more about these platforms and how Carnegie Dartlet can help implement these and other types of audio and even video campaigns as well. 

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