First Look at Google Audio (Radio) Ads
Back in December Google ran a very limited beta test of their new Audio Ads product. They recently began expanding the beta and I was able to get my hands on an account.
Below are a few screenshots and an overview of the Audio Ads system setup. For more detailed information you should read the Audio Ads help section.
The campaign view looks much like the normal Adwords interface. Instead of clicks and CTR% you see ad plays (number of time an ad airs) and impressions (estimated number of people who heard your ad).
audience estimates (impression estimates) are delivered by Google based on Arbitron’s copyrighted and proprietary audience estimates. They are not estimates produced by Arbitron. For details on survey period & audience type, please refer to your campaign reports.
The audio library is where you upload, store, and preview your radio ads for current and future use.
- When uploading, you are asked to include a written transcript of the audio ad.
- Your ad is sent to Google for pre-approval before it can be used live.
Audio Ad Specialists
Google has provided an audio ad specialist search function for those that don’t already have an audio ad and would like help finding a contractor to produce, write, or record one.
- You can search by what services they provide, your budget, and the date the ad is needed.
- The results include the specialists name, a mini bio, how they structure their fees, and whether they accept Google Checkout as a form of payment.
- You can request bids from multiple specialist to help find the best fit for your requirements.
- Budgeting is done by the week. The default amounts are $250, $500, or $1,000 with a custom budget also being an option.
- Select the locations to run your ads. Options include the entire U.S., local market, state, or zip code.
- Select target demographics based on age range & gender.
- Play ads based on demographics or narrow by station format.
Budgeting & Scheduling
- Verify your weekly budget.
- Determine the max you are willing to pay for every thousand estimated listeners (CPM).
- Schedule days of the week for your ad to run.
- Schedule the times of the day for your ad to run.
- Get final estimates on how many impressions and ad displays your ad will receive.
For more screenshots, see this Flickr slideshow.
The one thing I did not see was any form of stand alone reports. According to the help files, there will be “Campaign Broadcast Logs.” I assume those will be available on the dashboard once a radio ad has actually been played.
Unfortunately Google will not report which radio stations the ads actually played on. Specific stations cannot be targeted either. In the future I would like to see the ability to provide each station with their own unique version of the ad. This would allow custom tracking through the use of unique domains and unique tracking numbers. It would also open up the door for requesting ads stop running on poor performing stations.
Overall I found the system to be very intuitive and the pricing structure very reasonable. I plan on running a few test campaigns on a new domain so the radio traffic can be properly measured. I’ll report back when I have some concrete traffic and sales stats.
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