Take Your Storytelling to the Next Level: Creative Best Practices for Sequential Ads

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Cover image for  article: Take Your Storytelling to the Next Level: Creative Best Practices for Sequential Ads

We've all been there; that moment of pure annoyance and frustration when you see or hear the same ad for the one-hundredth-billionth time. There's got to be a better way—and with sequential advertising, there is.

Sequential advertising is a storytelling power tool that gives you the ability to control how listeners experience your brand campaign. Through sequentially targeted audio ads, you can map out an entire storyline that will trigger new messages based on whether someone has listened or clicked on a previous ad.

So, what are the best practices for sequential audio advertising? Here are a few things to think about to captivate listeners with your brand:

Map Out the Story.Sequential audio gives you the opportunity to create an intriguing story that builds over time and leaves the listener wanting more. Think through your messaging strategy and let the creative flow from there. Some thought starters include:

  • What is the end goal? Describing an offer, promoting a hero product, or walking through an entire product suite?
  • What would be most effective for the listener to hear first? Think educational vs. creative.
  • How do you build upon the first ad? You can introduce a new product or remind them about the first.
  • How do you close the deal? Close with the same strong CTA, or change it with each spot?

Think About Length and Frequency. Since you have more than one chance to tell your story, make it count. The creative should be designed based on how many times a listener will hear the ad. Typically, 3–5 creatives are a good place to start, but of course—it depends on the campaign goals, budget, and overall strategy. For example, the first ad a listener hears could be longer, providing more insight into the product and capabilities, while the following ads could be shorter and increase in urgency to create that FOMO feeling that makes the "buy now" button seem so much more attractive.

Together, but Separate.On the storytelling note, each spot should feel like part of one campaign that progresses. But remember: listeners may not always remember the most recent ad or need a refresher if your brand is not as well-known. Make sure that each ad can stand on its own while aligning to the common theme of the overall campaign.

To put it all together, imagine: You're a large CPG brand.

AD 1: Your consumer starts their day with some wake-up jams, where they hear your first ad for cleaning spray.

AD 2: Later that week as they're listening in their house, they hear about your detergent and fabric softener products that includes the same CTA as the first ad, linking them together and setting the stage for the story to continue.

AD 3: As the week continues, they hear another shorter ad for disinfecting wipes that communicates the urgency to buy.

Just like two friends would carry on a conversation, you build a story and connection with the listeners that continues throughout the week. Your products will be top-of-mind as they clean up spills, do laundry, and go through their regular routines.

Ready to take your current audio strategy to the next level?  To learn more, read about our other audio best practices and advertising capabilities here [www.pandoraforbrands.com].

Originally published on Pandora for Brands.

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