How to Use Pixels in Your Digital Audio Strategy


The constantly growing popularity of digital audio and podcasting across the globe has opened doors to new realms in digital audio advertising and digital audio marketing techniques. With new ways to reach consumers in digital audio, brands and advertisers are placing more focus on the analytics and measurement that can be pulled to track results in this growing medium. 

Audio advertising attribution technology has become more accessible recently and provided brands, publishers, and advertisers alike with greater depth of data for audio campaigns and audience engagement insights.

However, while audio ad attribution does have many positive impacts, the approach doesn’t exhaustively bring in the analytical accuracy desired without the use of additional tracking tools, like pixels. Pixels or tags are an advertising tracking technique that is long standing and common in display and text-based advertising where clicks and actions are tracked. Even the name pixel harkens back to the early internet and digital advertising when a 1px x 1 px (this is an image size of 1 square pixel) transparent image was loaded in the early internet to determine if a page, action, etc. was reached. While pixels are normally associated with banner ads and text ads, they can be utilized in audio advertising and marketing strategies.  Have you considered incorporating pixels into your audio advertising? 

Here is how to use pixels in your digital audio strategies and improve the accuracy of your audio advertising analytics results.

Pixels in Audio Attribution

Traditionally, direct response offer codes, i.e. “Enter offer code XYZ at checkout” or “Tell them X sent you.”, are used by marketers to measure the performance of their audio and podcast ads. However, this mechanism only works well for direct response advertisers, as it has “leakage” (people forgetting to enter codes, sharing codes, etc.) and does not work well for awareness-based advertising campaigns. Also, it has not proven successful in providing full coverage and accurate results due to its limited nature. A way to get full coverage of tracking listens to website or app actions, including the direct return on ad spends is by using pixels.

What are Conversion Pixels, and How Do They Link Ad Exposure and Engagement to Conversion Events?

Ads can be valuable to both the audience and marketers, but having a strategic targeting plan is the only way to make them exhaustingly effective. Pixels, sometimes called tracking tags, form the most indispensable part of targeted marketing. They help brands identify their audiences and consumers based on how they (users) interact with the website.

Pixels are typically thought of as short pieces of code that you place on your website code (mostly on headers and calls-to-action). They help you track every action a user takes on your site. These activities can be anything, from purchase, a visit on a page, a click on a button, or checking a given landing page. With proper use, pixels can help you measure and upgrade your marketing efforts, increase sales, and boost brand awareness.

How Do Pixels Work in Audio Advertising Attribution?

Audio pixels can help you track both dynamic, and host read ads. While listening apps, podcatchers, and platforms like Apple, Amazon Music, and Spotify enable users to listen to audio and podcasts online, these pieces of content traditionally fell under offline marketing because the methods of tracking and optimizing their effectiveness resorted to direct response offer codes like those used in physical direct mail campaigns.

Audio attribution plus website or app pixels can help you track the device playing the material, plus the subsequent actions the listener takes. However, the results will depend on what podcast ad placements you consider.

When a person listens to audio with an audio attribution pixel, the pixel will fire when the user listens to the audio ad or promo. Then when the user visits your website or app, a website or app pixel fires, and then Backtracks can associate which campaign, ad, etc. drove the listener to perform the action. These actions can be traced even if it takes days or weeks to perform an action, like a purchase on a website. Backtracks does not record or use personally identifiable information, so while the advertiser may know the details of the customer, we never will.

Different Conversion Events in Audio & Podcast Attribution

Audio and podcast attribution can attract different conversion events. For accuracy, it’s essential to place pixels on both the listen and website/app ends and track all the possible events. Also, you don’t have to sweat it all alone, as working with a qualified advertising agency can make the process stress free and rewarding. Some of the conversion events to expect include:

  • Podcast to podcast
  • Podcast to website
  • Podcast to app
  • Paid media/digital ads

Podcast to Podcast

While you may be waiting for conversions in terms of sales and subscriptions, the events can come out in the most unexpected forms. For example, your listener can find out about other podcasts through the ads or promos you place in your audio.

Tracking such activities will help you build a rapport with the listener, understand their interests, and know the kind of products you can push through for them.

Podcast to Website

Most podcast attributions send the listeners to the advertiser’s website. The user will likely visit your website for different purposes in certain conversion events. Placing pixel codes will help you track the user’s activities on the website. Through this, you can tell if the user became a lead, made a purchase, added items to the cart before leaving, or viewed your products.

Following your discoveries, you can follow up to know what conspired for you to get the results and adjust to increase value for your user. This type of pixel tracking will help you:

  • Create awareness campaigns
  • Do effective transaction campaigns
  • Improve your sales campaigns
  • Improve your marketing strategies
  • Develop your overall performance

Podcast to App

Does your podcast contain ads convincing listeners to download apps? That’s one of the possible conversion events that can occur after a user listens to your podcast. Pixels can help you track all the users that downloaded an app after learning about it through an ad in your podcast. 

Thus, tracking these conversions to know and take relevant actions if a user checks your app is essential. Some of the benefits of placing pixel codes for these types of ads include: 

  • Help in creating viable transaction campaigns
  • Aid in performing effective awareness campaigns
  • Help in improving your sales campaigns

Paid Media/Display Ads and Link to Podcast

You can also use audio for paid media slots. Apart from the possibility, this approach can also come with many advantages. 

For instance, you can use audio in a display ad that directs listeners to a listening experience and tie the conversion back to that ad. Similarly, including clickable ads can encourage users to listen to the podcast series or get to a specific episode in the podcast series.

Implementing Pixels in Your Digital Audio Strategy

Implementing pixels in your digital audio strategy has several advantages. For instance, this approach helps your marketing strategies to be measurable and can translate into improving the general performance of your business. Backtracks Attribution allows you to measure and optimize your audio advertising and marketing strategies, tactics, and creative. Know the ROI of your advertising campaigns and which specific ads are working to drive actions and conversions.

Contact us to learn more, request a demo, and get started today.


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