Things to know about radio ads

Radio ads tend to be one of the more underrated outlets chosen as a form of marketing for new or smaller businesses. In reality, radio has the greatest reach across every age group in American culture. Radio can reach over 243 million American listeners in just one week. Compared to other media outlets, radio tends to have the most consistent listeners. Most people get in their cars in the morning and choose to listen to something, whether it be music, podcasts, etc. on their drive to work. Some people choose Apple Music, Spotify, or even regular AM/FM radio. Regardless of the platform users choose to stream, each of those platforms respectively has advertisements they choose and/or get paid to stream.

If you’re looking to increase exposure to your brand, advertising on the radio is a worthwhile outlet to learn more about. Below are 5 things you should know about radio ads before starting on your radio advertising journey:

1. Audience

Before you draft scripts for your radio ads, you will need to know who your audience is. The product or service you’re advertising will largely determine your target audience. These demographic factors are some of the ones you’ll want to account for:

  • Sex (Males or Females)
  • Age (Kids/Teens, Young Adults, Middle-Aged Adults, or Seniors)
  • Urban, Suburban, or Rural
  • Geographical Location (East, West, South, Midwest, or Other Countries)
  • Income Level
  • Education Level
  • Occupation
  • Family Status

Create a couple of profiles of your ideal customers based on the list above. Once your profiles are complete, then you can start drafting bullet points for a script your target audience would respond to.

2. Platform

With your audience in mind, you should then determine the platform your radio ads will play on. As we already said, AM/FM radio reaches millions of listeners every week. But there are other audio platforms that also run “radio” ads. You can choose to run ads on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, or Amazon Music.

What will your ideal audience listen to the most? Age, income, and occupation will likely be the most important factors. If your product is geared towards rural retirees, you would want to stick to AM/FM radio. However, if your ad is targeting middle-class millennials or Gen Z, you would want to run your radio ads on music streaming platforms. You can also do both for maximum exposure, but as we’ll cover later, the cost will largely be the determining factor for this decision.

3. Stations

If you choose AM/FM radio ads, you also will need to determine the stations on which your ads will play. Large, national stations will have the largest audience, but they will also cost more to run ads, and they may not target your ideal audience. You may want to select a local or independent station to run your ads if your target audience is rural, or if you have a local product/service you’re trying to promote. The number of listeners may be less, but the quality of your leads will be greater if they’re more likely to have a use for your product.

4. Frequency and Timing

The next thing you need to consider is when your ads will be played and how frequently. Your target audience will be actively listening at different times during the day, so it’s important to go back to your audience profile to make this decision. If you’re targeting white-collar workers, the morning commute hour would be prime time for multiple airings and the same with the afternoon or evening commute. If your target audience is stay-at-home mothers, mid-afternoon or evening would be the best time to catch their attention.

Unless your audience is overnight workers or night owls, chances are you won’t have much luck airing in the middle of the night. But look closely at your audience profile, and the optimal times to reach them could surprise you!

5. Cost

Finally, you’ll need to take into consideration your budget and the cost of radio ads. Radio tends to be of much greater value than television and print. Even so, knowing what you’re spending your money on is imperative. To get the most bang for your buck, making sure that you’re informed on the ins and outs of radio advertising before heading into a business will prove to be highly beneficial.

The cost of your advertisements will vary greatly depending on a few factors. Radio advertising can range roughly anywhere from $200 – $5,000 per week depending on your location. There is a significant difference in costs for advertising in a smaller regional marketing station, as opposed to a larger city metro station. Radio ads are priced through the evaluation and consideration of factors such as frequency of play, reach, and cost-per-point. Cost-per-point is what it may cost to reach 1% of your ideal audience.

If you’re going the streaming service route, the costs will be different. Spotify has a minimum of $250 to advertise on their platform, with each individual ad play costing fractions of a cent. Pandora charges between $8-12 CPM for audio ads, which means that for every thousand people Pandora shows your ad, you’ll be charged that amount. They also have a $250 minimum spend.

You’ll need to do your research and determine what your budget is for radio ad spending. Ask around, get quotes from different stations and different platforms. Using the factors above and your audience profile, you’ll be able to determine which station or platform will be the most lucrative, and how frequently your ads should run to reach your target demographic.

Killer Radio Ad Production from Killerspots

With all this in mind, you may be wondering how you can draft radio ads that will grab your audience’s attention. Killerspots has been producing radio ads for our clients since 1999, with many awards under our belt. When it comes to radio—we can do it all: script writing, voiceovers, producing, jingles, media buying, and ad placement. We do all this while delivering the best ads with the most value for your budget. Get in touch with us today for a quote, and in no time at all, you’ll be hearing your business all over the airwaves.

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