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A Simple Guide to Successful Radio Advertising

Radio commercial ads may sound like a bygone method of business advertising, however in reality Radio marketing remains a solid investment for businesses who want to reach a broad audience with their advertising. One of the great things about radio is that in half minute or one minute radio commercial ads, businesses can convey a lot of vital information. And although text-based ads have their place they may not hold peoples’ attention long enough to communicate the message. For certain demographics and for casting a wide net, radio still works well. And despite higher upfront costs, radio ads are often more affordable in the long run, especially in terms of CPM (cost per thousand impressions), than other voice-based or video advertising.

With all the new online marketing strategies, people are starting to wonder does radio advertising really work anymore? The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t work well for everyone. However, if your business has a high percentage target audience (you sell groceries, cars, hardware), you are nationally recognized (already have a known brand), or aim to be (are building your brand); radio can be a good option. In other words, if your business sells high-ticket, everyday consumer goods or services, or if your primary goal is to grow awareness for your newly launched business, radio commercial ads can be have a high ROI.

Keep It Simple – 5 Steps to Success!

1. Know Your Audience

Who are you selling to? Are they the kind of people who listen to Country Music? Talk Radio? Sports Radio? Classic Rock? HipHop? Know your audience before you identify your message, your radio station(s) or your time slot. Tailor radio commercial ads to the demographic you want to reach.  Know what kind of message will resonate with your audience before investing any advertising dollars. 

For businesses that reach across multiple demographic groups this will likely mean creating multiple ads that can best reach the specific audiences that listens to a variety of radio stations and programs. If you are wondering, how does radio advertising really work? It works best by directly targeting radio audiences with a message about your business that resonates with their priorities, their needs, their worldview and their wants.

 2. Know When to Run Your Ads 

Radio ads reach the widest audience at rush hour times, and therefore cost the most at those times. You will probably want to reach your audience during these times. The problem is that there is a price for these most coveted spots, so knowing things like how to make a radio ad, what’s the going rate and is there a possibility of being outbid for ideal spots is important. If your business produces sleep aids, mattresses or pillows, you might want to advertise in the overnight hours when ads are cheapest and the insomniacs might be listening to the radio. Or if you are a restaurant serving lunch specials you will want to catch the late morning and noon listeners. Steps 3 & 4 could be key to making this step work most effectively for your business.

3. Find a Trustworthy Radio Sales Representative

Business owners need to find a radio rep who they can trust will work for them. They are not easy to find but (hint), they are the ones who tell you the truth. Representatives who know their demographics, know their programming, know how to convey a story through advertising are gold in radio advertising. Finding a rep like this requires a significant time commitment to building relationships and identifying trustworthy people. Pick their brains, discover if they really know what they are talking about or if they just want to make the sale. Or it might be worth your time to add this job to what you do in step 4. 

4. Hire a Professional Ad Agency to Create and Place Your Ads

Professional ad agencies already work with radio sales reps and often have established relationships. They will not only do much of your work for you, but they will often work to get you extras in the process. And because Radio Stations and Ad Agencies work together frequently and efficiently, businesses who work with agencies often save money in ad placement.

Although there are a lot of moving parts to work with in radio, when it’s done right, the results can be amazing. The #1 thing businesses wonder about their radio commercial ads is, “How to make a radio ad that’s fantastic”. What you say in your ads is of the utmost importance. It is also vital to have an overall strategy that guides all of your ads in a campaign. 

Since radio advertising works well for long-term branding of your business in the minds of listeners, the message you produce, the story that you tell must be compelling. Most radio stations do not excel at the messaging part of advertising. However, professional ad agencies write and produce ads every day. They know how to make a radio ad. So, if you really want to get your listeners’ attention, if you really want to make listeners feel good about your business, hire a top notch ad agency to do your creative production. 

Your ad agency will also seek to understand your brand and help you tailor your message to different audiences. Most importantly they can develop an overall strategy that meets the needs of your business radio ad campaign and help you with step 5.

5. Make a Budget

Radio advertising isn’t the cheapest option out there so it is important to have the funds available to create and carry out your radio ad campaign successfully. If your business has not done a lot of work with radio advertising then it can be hard to keep track of the costs that will accrue over time. This is where a trustworthy representative is essential. Or, you can put the whole process into the hands of a full service marketing agency, give them your budget range and allow them to work with you to create a campaign that fits your budget. 

6. Track the Sales Generated by Your Ads

The final step of this simple guide is to keep track of how your radio advertising is impacting your sales. This is not as simple a process as online advertising where every click is trackable, but there are ways to find out how your ad campaign is affecting your sales. Here are some of your best options:

  • Vanity URLs: If you want to drive traffic to your site with radio ads, using a vanity URL, purchasable from a company like GoDaddy, will help you measure the ads performance with Google Analytics. The URL sends people to a specific landing page on your website that credits your radio ads.
  • Vanity number: Create a phone number that is different from your everyday number and use it in your radio ad. Whenever anyone calls your business using the vanity number from your radio ad, you know your radio ad is working.
  • Customer follow up: Ask any new clients where they heard about you. Or offer a coupon or discount if customers fill out an online survey in which you ask how they heard about your business. This increases the rate of participation.
  • Track sales: Did your sales increase during the period of time that you ran your radio ad? This may not be a one to one correlation but will be a general indicator.

Although a lot of people are asking does radio advertising really work anymore, the answer for those who are doing radio advertising smartly and strategically is a resounding – YES!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you can approach a full service marketing agency with your goals in mind, and work with them to meet a wide range of advertising needs. hone your brand, design an overall marketing plan that is tailored to your company, and let your marketing agency develop and grow your quality radio advertising strategy and message for your business. 

Here at zo agency we work to build long term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe! We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.  Visit us today at www.zo.agency

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