There are many components that all work together in order to create a successful Radio Campaign. Everything from “the buy” (airtime, frequency, placement, etc), to producing memorable radio creative (the actual ads themselves), will all effect how successful (or unsuccessful) your radio campaign can be. Below are some helpful tips you should follow before launching your next radio advertising campaign.

Is Radio Advertising Still Effective?

Advertising on the radio can be one of the most powerful and affordable ways to get your message out to the mass public and here’s a few reasons why:

  • 95% of people who listen to radio listen on a weekly basis
  • Radio reaches more than 228 million people per week *Nielsen
  • 80% of adults listen to radio in their vehicles (focused attention)
  • More than 25% of the population listens to radio while at work (passive attention)
  • Morning and late night radio shows have large, and dedicated fan base
  • Radio is still the most intimate form of advertising available because people are typically alone when listening

It is a fact, people are still listening to the radio and it continues to be an ideal advertising avenue for small and medium sized businesses. It allows you to reach (additional) local and national audiences by advertising on it. There are however, a few things you should consider in order to run an effect radio campaign. Here are 5 tips to help ensure you make the most of your next campaign.

1. What Does Your Customer Look Like?

Every radio campaign must be developed with a clear understanding of what type of listener you are hoping to reach. You need to know who your target audience is before you do anything. In order to figure this out, here are a few things to consider. What is the age demographic of your typical customer? Is your product or service gender specific? Where do they live (geographically)? What is their average household income? The more of these types of questions you can answer and the more specific you can be, will all help you zero in on your target audience … and that is imperative.

2. Spend Time (And Money) On Great Creative.

It is so important to have top notch radio creative when advertising on radio. Business owners often overlook this point and jump right into when and how often they are going to be heard on the radio (the radio buy). They make the mistake of going straight to the media rep before they’ve even had a “creative” meeting. They spend all of their time focusing on things like frequency and placement (which is all very important) but not enough time on what their ads are actually going to sound like while on the air. Your creative direction is one of the most important elements to an effective radio campaign, which is why I have it so high on the list. Typically this isn’t something a business owner should be tackling themselves, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

3. Be Certain Your Radio Campaign Will Stand Out!

Most radio creative is … well … not very creative, (which is part of the reason why I co-founded creativeready.com. When your campaign starts airing on radio you are continually competing for people’s attention. You’ve paid good money for that opportunity so don’t waste it by making them listen to poorly written and produced ads. The fact is, they won’t listen and they’ll likely just tune you out and possibly even discredit your business.
You might want to try incorporating a jingle into your radio campaign. Radio jingles are one of the most effective tools available for radio advertising. Research shows that the memory retention of a radio commercial that incorporates a jingle is recalled 10 times faster than that of an ad that only uses spoken word and some generic music. Why is that? Take a minute and read this blog which helps explain why jingles are so effective.

4. Hire Professionals to Produce Your Radio Ads.

As I mentioned in point 2, it’s not generally a good idea to produce your own radio creative (if you’re the business owner). So be sure to budget some money for production! There are a fair amount of production houses out there that can produce you national sounding creative. Most times, it’s best to have the same team that wrote the concept and scripts be the team that produces the actual spots. They understand what you’re going for – it was their creative brainchild in the first place. Just don’t make the mistake of spending all of your budget on airtime and nothing on production. This happens more times than not and the end result is sub-par creative that’s just not effective.

5. Plan Out The Radio Buy.

So after you’ve properly researched your target audience and you’ve spent adequate time (and money) on award winning radio creative, your final tip is how to properly buy airtime. First, set a budget and stick to it. Radio advertising doesn’t have to be expense but it can be if you’re just aimless buying up “pockets of air.” Take the time needed with your sales rep and put together a strategy that works for you and your budget. Your rep can provide you with all sorts of information regarding their listenership and coverage, just ask them. Second, don’t be afraid to try and work a deal for your airtime. Radio stations aren’t typically known for discounting spots, but they might offer you bonus airtime (at no charge) if you are willing to buy in bulk. Ask for things like; “Buy-one-get-one-free” (during non-peak periods), match your daily schedule (at no charge) in the evenings and overnight, etc. At the end of the day, the radio station wants your business, so don’t be afraid to negotiate.

The above 5 tips obviously aren’t the only things needed to launch a successful campaign, but they are, at least in my opinion, the most important. Please leave comments below and feel free to ask any question you might have regarding radio advertising and the process surrounding it.

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