Thanks to Youtube and other digital marketing platforms, video advertising is more accessible than ever for companies of all sizes. But with 86 percent of businesses now using video in their marketing, it’s also more difficult than ever to make your ads stand out.
So what do you do to gain an edge? How do you get your message to take up real estate in the viewer’s mind?
If you’re worried that you’ll have to rely on bigger budgets and fancier graphics, there’s usually a more elegant, and much cheaper, solution to try — putting music in ads.
Music is easy to get wrong, but when you use it well, it can give your business a significant boost.
Why Use Music in Your Ads?
Music has a unique ability to sit in our memories long after we’ve heard it, so adding it to your message can subsequently help with recall as well. Viewers feel more connected to a message in the moment with music, and it can help your video marketing’s effectiveness in several ways.
It Directs the Viewer’s Emotions
Studies on the effect of music on perception found that background music stimulates the frontal lobe, creating an emotional response in the listener. Researchers have also found that purchase intention increases when there is music in ads.
Visuals by themselves can only do so much to stir emotions. Even with the most impressive graphics and production, an advertisement without music will fall flat in most cases.
Music disambiguates your message, injecting emotional direction into your ad and making the visuals more impactful. You can take the same image and make it feel whimsical, uplifting, frenetic, ominous, or sad all by changing the music.
When you elicit a strong emotion, you’ll make your message more meaningful, memorable, and actionable. It can help you get customers to take the next purchase step, boosting brand awareness and increasing your sales leads.
It Adds Depth to Your Message
Applying a layer of music does a lot to bolster a message. As mentioned, it helps create an emotional context for the visuals, making them easier to understand. Beyond that, it also serves as a highlighting feature that can emphasize your point.
Music takes up a new space in an advertisement, and its presence and absence suddenly become meaningful. Without music, there is no audio white space and silence has no value.
When you use music and then stop it suddenly, you add massive emphasis to whatever words or visuals accompany the silence. You could use the classic record scratch if you’re being playful, or you can use it in a more subtle way to draw attention.
If you use background filler music, people notice when it stops, even if they weren’t fully conscious of it playing in the first place. Think of when your refrigerator is running. You pay no attention to it while it’s whirring along, but you suddenly become aware of the sound when it stops.
On the other side of the musical spectrum, musical swells can also add emphasis and stir emotions to make your message more memorable. For example, at the end of your message, you might repeat your brand’s slogan or a punchy catchphrase for a product. Use an appropriate music clip to finish off the ad and you tie that phrase to powerful emotion, creating clarity and influencing perception around your message.
It Enriches Your Brand
It’s crucial to find the “feeling” of your brand, the emotions and attitudes you want to inspire when someone thinks of your business. With the emotional power of music, putting tunes into your ad is arguably the easiest way to do it.
Music has been shown to influence brand perception. It creates long-lasting associations, and with the right music, you can better express your values and direct your viewer’s attitudes.
If you have the budget, a famous song can do wonders. It can be the driver of your commercial, letting the audience connect their feelings about the song and the artist to your brand. They’ll think of you when they hear it on the radio, and you may even get it stuck in their head, making them recall your ad well after they saw it.
How to Use Music in Ads
Before you start licensing songs and throwing music in every commercial you make, remember that it’s as purposeful as any other element in your advertising. There are also times when no music is the best path. Use these tips to get the highest value out of your music use.
Decide on the Emotion and Mood
What is the buzzword for your brand? What’s your position among your competitors, and what sets you apart?
Answering questions like these before you write scripts or start storyboarding will help you create a cohesive mood and emotion for your ad. You need to develop the visuals with the music in mind, or else it might seem disjointed and conflicting with the other elements of the ad.
Think about the action you want your audience to take and the emotion that will get them to do it. If you’re selling security systems, for example, you can use music to make them feel concerned. If you’re selling greeting cards, use music to make them feel sentimental.
Create a Complement, Not a Battle
Music should accent and blend in seamlessly with your visuals. You must find the appropriate music to match the mood of the visuals, but also turn the volume up and down at the right times.
Even with the perfect song, you may end up making a worse ad if you focus too much on cramming the music in the viewer’s ear. It should complement the rest of your ad to maintain and increase engagement, taking over during dull moments and subsiding when the viewer needs to focus on someone talking.
Watch a TV drama and pay attention to the music they use. You don’t notice it, but there’s often subtle music playing behind people talking in a room. What would it be like if that music wasn’t there?
You don’t even notice it, but without that music, the scene would be dull and seem poorly produced. In that same drama, they may use louder, excitable music when there’s action on the screen. There’s no conflicting audio, so music can take over to supercharge the viewer’s emotion.
Such is the kind of complement you want with your music. You might want to use louder music during a scene transition to keep the user’s attention, but put it in the background or remove it entirely when you’re trying to get your point across.
Pay Attention to Licenses
Using a commercial song of any kind requires several licenses, with some being easier and cheaper to attain than others.
There isn’t much free music online. Don’t assume that song labels like “fair use” or “royalty-free” mean you can use them as you please. You’ll still need to purchase the content and the right to use it in a public video.
What Licenses Do You Need to Use Music in Online Ads?
You’ll need two licenses when you use a song:
- Sync license through the publisher, the person who owns the song content
- Master license through the record label, the people who own the particular song recording you want to use
You can find publisher information through performance rights organizations that facilitate music rights purchases.
Licensing a famous song can be labor-intensive and expensive. If you’re already on a budget, it may be unreasonable to spend that much money on a song, especially if you’re unsure how effective it will be with your audience.
The good news is, there are a few quicker and much more affordable ways to pump some much-needed audio into your ads.
Music in the public domain does not have any copyrights attached, so you can use the tunes as you see fit. However, a recorded public domain song will still involve rights for whoever produced the particular recording you use. You’ll need to obtain their permission or record the song yourself.
Licensing sites online are the easiest places to purchase rights to royalty-free music for your ads. You can get Youtube royalty-free music through their Audio Library, or use services like Soundstripe to buy music tracks. You won’t find popular artists or songs on these, but you can get some essential filler for less than $20, and you can add it to your library for unlimited use.
The Creative Commons is a hub for people to share and legally acquire music. Artists still have to permit each use, and there are often heavy restrictions on how you can use the song. In many cases, you can’t use them for your ads, so be sure to carefully review your agreements.
Create A Library
Create an organized music library, and it will be easier to pull appropriate music for ads. At the same time, you’ll develop consistency for your brand across different channels. For instance, the same music you use in a Youtube ad can go on a webpage to improve website engagement and connect your marketing efforts.
Boost Your Brand With Music
Music in ads can push your message to the front of the crowd and make your brand stand out among the noise. With the growing number of licensing resources online, it’s easy to start shaping your brand with the right tunes.
Are you looking for even more affordable ways to compete in your industry? Contact our team at Peak Marketing to learn how we can help you generate more sales leads and expand your brand today.