Anyone running a small business or marketing department has more options now than ever when it comes to planning an advertising budget. Recently, we’ve been asked, “Is radio advertising still effective?” When compared to internet, print, television, and event-based advertising, radio advertising provides some unique advantages.
This article explores a few reasons why radio advertising is worth including in your marketing strategy.
Radio Advertising Targets Local Customers
It’s been said before, that when you purchase a radio advertisement, “You’re not buying an add, you’re buying an audience.” If you have a small business or franchise, such as a restaurant or home repair service, you know that your target customers are people who are living and working nearby. While word-of-mouth may have served your needs for a long time, local recognition through a well-known radio personality or organization may be the next best thing. If your radio ad is relevant to local events, familiar locations, and other place-specific characteristics, it will speak to potential customers in a meaningful way.
Both AM/FM stations and online streaming radio stations offer different opportunities for targeting. For example, a medium-sized city like Philadelphia provides a fantastic market for effective, local radio ads. Philadelphia, has a large number of people commuting in and out of the city every day via car. Your commercials will reach local audiences through familiar voices and community-oriented announcements. A great radio ad is memorable, entertaining, and provides a little boost to commuters trapped in the daily grind of highway traffic. These ads speak to people’s’ sense of pride for their city, and serve a desire for consumers looking to support local business. People listen to their local AM/FM stations on a daily basis: on the way to work, at the office, or while doing chores around the house.
Online Streaming Radio Ads are Perfect for Web-based Business
The rise in popularity of online, streaming radio has presented great opportunities for radio marketing. Ads on streaming radio are a great option for a businesses that are web-based, or that don’t rely on a pool local customers, like a restaurant or home-repair service do. Often times, an online radio ad is accompanied by a visual web banner that listeners can click on, taking them directly to your site. When online radio ads are combined with web-based display ads, this creates a strong, multi-channel campaign. Through the use of web analytics, this campaign can be highly-targeted to specific age groups, genders, and other audience data that is key to your current and potential customer base. Streaming radio ads can also be very cost effective, depending upon the frequency and length of your radio spot.
Radio Advertising Allows for Strength in Numbers
More than 90 percent of consumers listen to the radio at least once per week. This adds up to a huge audience. For example, in a city like Philadelphia, with a population of 1.5 million people, that’s roughly 1.3 million people per week! This level of exposure can provide a noticeable boost to inquiries and sales, especially for companies working with a smaller advertising budget.
Get a Great Return in Investment
One Clear Channel study shows an average of a $6 increase in profit for every $1 spent on radio advertising. That suggests that for every $1000 spent, a company may see up to $6000 in profits. That’s a pretty good return on investment (ROI) and can be competitive with the cost of running ads on Google Adwords or other social media channels.The cost of a radio advertisement is driven by it’s length, how frequently it’s played, which station it is played on, and most importantly, the time of day it’s heard. Starting rates may be as affordable as $10 to $50 per commercial. However, it’s wise to know that these costs can vary greatly, and it’s worth it to pay extra in order to ensure that your ad is served to the correct audience. Online radio stations usually also offer a targeting feature for your ads, helping boost ROI by ensuring your ad is heard by your intended demographic.
Play to Consumers’ Daily Habits
Radio ad sponsorships played during the morning broadcast are a great way to make the most out of your radio advertising budget. While this is one of the most expensive times to play your ad, it’s also one of the most listened to. People are often tuned in on their way to work, catching up on the latest news with their favorite host and music genre. Playing your ad during this spot provides both credibility and familiarity. When your commercial is served alongside daily local and national news, it may be greeted by more trustworthy ears. Conversely, evening ad spots can be excellent for industries like restaurants and home goods. Consumers may be looking for their next purchase, hungry for dinner, or in the mood to spend some of the day’s hard-earned income.
Have Fun and Get Creative with Radio Ads
Like any advertising campaign, creativity and repetition are key. Adding music and other elements can highlight your brand’s identity and creativity in ways that a print or word-based advertisements cannot. You can write your own copy, but it’s usually wise to seek help from a professional marketing company that can provide the insight and expertise to create an ad that’s simple and effective. This might be calling out a pain point that your service addresses, or spreading the word about a special offer that you’d like to promote across a large market. Most importantly, it must have repetition. Repeating the name of the company, and its unique selling points is key. Ensure that these two elements are repeated at least twice each during the ad spot. A catchy jingle can sometimes help, depending upon your goals.
Use Radio Advertising as a Way to Diversify Your Campaign
One of the keys to a comprehensive and successful advertising campaign is consistent visibility across a variety of mediums. This means that your campaign must include several different outlets, including web-based, print, television, radio, and in-person live events. You want to be everywhere your customers are. For example, imagine a campaign that you hear while heading to work in the AM, then see while browsing the web on your lunch break. This multi-channel campaign will have more clout and visibility than a single-channel effort.
While radio advertising is one of the more traditional mediums available, it should not be discounted. It is a viable, creative, and interactive way to reach current and potential customers. Local radio is particularly advantageous for reaching local customers, while online radio spots are a fantastic way to promote web-based businesses and services. Learn more about customizing your radio advertising campaign here.