5 Things to Know About Radio Ads

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.

Why Voiceovers Work: 4 Powerful Reasons to Add VO to Commercials and Videos

Voiceovers in Commercials

The power of video, audio, and voiceovers are unmistakable in advertising. With commercials, explainer videos, and social media shorts, audiovisual content is everywhere. And it’s effective, too. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers say video is an important part of their marketing strategy. 81% of the same survey respondents report video has a direct, positive impact on sales, and 94% agree videos help increase user understanding of their product or service. Those are some powerful statistics!

This means video content is king for advertising, but what about the audio to go along with the video? Audio is an equally powerful tool, and many content creators turn to voiceovers to enhance their video content. A professional voiceover adds several important qualities to your videos that can increase engagement and ROI. Keep reading to learn more about the top 4 reasons why you should invest in voiceovers for your videos and television commercials. 

1. Target the Audience

Adding an effective voiceover to your video content starts with choosing the right voiceover artist for the job. The specific actor and their line delivery can capture the intended audience instantly and make them pay attention. The voice actor’s gender, age, accent, vocal quality, and tone are factors that contribute to targeting your audience.

Let’s say, for example, that your company sells infant car seats. A voiceover delivered by a young woman will grab the attention of your target audience: mothers of young children, or people who know mothers of young children. Conversely, if your company sells car accessories, an energetic male voiceover will target your ideal audience of young to middle-aged men. If you’re advertising walking canes, your voiceover actor should sound like a senior citizen.

Accents and regional dialects are also important to consider with voiceovers. Depending on where your target audience is located, you’ll want a voiceover that matches the regional dialect, accent, or language. Choosing the correct voice lets the audience know you understand them and their needs. It tells them your company is local and you’re one of them. All these qualities are important to building trust with your audience. If they don’t trust you or your product, then they’ll tune out or buy elsewhere.

2. Provide the Correct Tone or Mood

A professional voiceover actor will also provide the correct tone and mood for your video. They are specifically trained to deliver lines with a particular quality or energy. Your product or service will come alive, and your audience will grasp the message more easily thanks to the voiceover actor’s performance.

Think about the overall mood of your video project. Are you producing an explainer video? An energetic, upbeat, and instructive voiceover will inspire your viewers and teach them something. Or perhaps you’re creating an ad for a child’s toy. You’d want a bubbly, youthful voiceover to go with it. A professional actor will be able to determine the right tone to use for the recording, and your audience will respond to it.

Tone also contributes to how trustworthy the narrator sounds, and how trustworthy your product or service is overall. An authoritative, confident voiceover convinces your audience that you are an authority on your product or service. It inspires them to keep watching and to heed your call to action.

3. Play to Emotions

Like tone and mood, the right voiceover can also play to the emotions of your viewers. Sound and audio have a powerful effect on the mood of the listener. Vocals are particularly effective in producing emotional responses in our brains. Have you ever been moved to tears by a talented public speaker? Or inspired to achieve a goal? A trained voiceover artist delivering your script with a particular emotional weight can influence your audience in several different ways.

Perhaps your video is an advertisement seeking donations for a nonprofit. An impassioned voiceover pleading with the audience to act will easily tug on the heartstrings and convince them to donate. Or maybe you’re selling an online course to help entrepreneurs succeed. An energetic voiceover with a can-do attitude will inspire your audience to sign up, as the voiceover will have made them believe in themselves. Professional voice talent knows what lines to emphasize and how to deliver them for maximum emotional impact.

4. Hold Audience Interest

Finally, voiceovers lend incredible power to your videos because they hold the audience’s attention. A simple video with only background music and text may be easy to scroll past. Professional voice actors are skilled at grabbing attention in the first few seconds of their delivery. Combined with visuals, a warm, inviting voiceover will convince the audience to stay and watch the entire video, because they want to know what the narrator has to say. It keeps the audience engaged, and in a world of declining attention spans, this is incredibly important for your product or service.

The right voice talent will know how to deliver your script to keep the audience hanging on their every word. Combine that delivery with onscreen text, and you have a winning recipe for retention and engagement.

Killerspots Professional Voice Overs

So, you’ve decided  you need to add a voiceover to your next television commercial or video project. If you’re not confident in your own voice acting abilities, you don’t have to worry. Killerspots works with hundreds of professional voice actors from all over the world, and we can help you find the perfect voiceover for your project. Old or young, male or female, character voice or straight narration, our library of voiceover artists is unmatched in the industry. Take a listen for yourself to our top talent then contact us with your script idea and we can get to work! Together we’ll create engaging, creative videos with the perfect voiceover for your product.

What Is a Sound Logo? How Sonic Branding Can Help Your Business + 5 Top Examples

Sound Logo Netflix

If you own a small business, you already know branding is incredibly important. Branding is the process of creating a perception of a product, service, or company. More importantly, branding is what makes your business distinct in the minds of your consumers. A total brand image should tell your customers what your company does, what your values are, and how they should think about your company.

Branding is accomplished primarily through visual means. Logos, website design, and even the style of writing used in all written and web communications are what most people think of when they consider branding. However, branding can also be accomplished via audio. Most audio branding is accomplished by jingles or radio advertising. But there is another aspect of audio branding that many companies miss:

The sound logo or audio logo.

What is a Sound Logo?

Sound logos are part of an overall marketing strategy called sonic branding. Sonic branding uses sound instead of or combined with visuals to evoke a particular message for a brand. A sound logo is a short sound clip, no more than a few seconds long, that can accompany a visual cue or stand in the place of a visual logo. This strengthens the recognition between the visual and the product/company because the human brain is especially in tune with audio cues. In fact, the brain has a faster reaction time to auditory stimuli than it does to visual stimuli. So, a sound logo is a powerful tool companies can use to cement their brand image into their customers’ minds.

Audio logos are also especially powerful because humans are hard-wired to have emotional responses to sound. Music or other audio cues are processed in the emotional center of the brain. This emotional hub also is responsible for memory recall. For example, a listener can hear a piece of music that makes them feel happy or sad, and they immediately recall memories associated with those emotions.

The right sound logo can evoke powerful emotions in customers that a company can use to its advantage. An expert sound designer can craft an audio logo that triggers the right emotions so that your product or service is viewed favorably by your audience.

But how is this done? Well, consider the following five examples of audio logos. These top companies use these sound logos as part of their overall sonic branding strategy, to great success.

Top 5 Famous Examples

1. Netflix

The Netflix sound logo is one of the most recognizable sound logos of the streaming age. It’s also one of the shortest. At just two notes, the “ta-dum” sound that plays when the app loads on your device is a great example of the emotional power of sound. What do you feel when you load up Netflix and this sound plays? Are you excited about binge-watching? I know I am.

2. Intel

The Intel audio logo is one of the most well-known technology audio logos in history. And on its surface, it may sound simple. A five-note mnemonic, the logo lasts about three seconds. But it’s actually a multi-layered sound comprised of many instruments playing the catchy sequence of notes. You can probably hum it without playing the video above, it’s that pervasive.

3. THX

THX is focused on high-quality sound, so what better way to set audience expectations than with an exciting, engaging, and loud sound logo? A full orchestral suite glissando, the logo starts soft and transitions to a mind-bogglingly loud climax. The THX logo was a staple of many cinematic experiences of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. When you hear this logo, you know exciting things are going to happen.

4. T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s melody is instantly recognizable and iconic. The bright and catchy 5-note trill is an earworm that most people can hum by heart even if they aren’t a T-Mobile customer. Combined with the bright pink T-Mobile logo, the mood and brand image they convey are clear and target modern audiences.

5. Apple

Sound logos aren’t just used in advertising. Audio cues of all kinds are pervasive across Apple’s product lineup. The most recognizable are the Mac startup noises as outlined in the video above. Apple does sound design very well, bringing forth a nostalgic and trustworthy image as a power player of a tech company. You can even hear examples of their expert sound design in the actions you take every day on your iPhone. From the swoosh when you send an email, to the ding-ding of a text message. These sounds are unique to Apple and instantly bring forth their brand image when heard.

How Can My Business Use an Audio Logo?

Now that you’ve listened to these examples and you know the value of an audio logo, you may be wondering how you can create one. If you aren’t an experienced sound designer or if you don’t have a strong brand image in mind, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Killerspots’ sound design and graphic design team can work together hand in hand to help you create a sound logo that will plant your business on the map. First, we can sit down with you and go over your existing visual logo to talk about its message. What colors are you using for your business? What message and mood are you trying to convey? Is your brand punchy or is it warmer and welcoming? How do you want your customers to feel when they see your visual logo and hear your audio cue?

The answers to these questions will guide our branding experts through the design and development process of your audio logo. Once we have a clear idea of your message, then the magic can happen.

And it really is magic. Check out our audio logo and one we made for master entrepreneur and CEO, Storm Bennett:

We Can Hear Your Sound Logo Now

Combined with an overall brand strategy, utilizing an audio logo for your business can set you apart from your competitors. Partner it with a killer jingle or radio campaign, and you have the perfect recipe for a brand that sticks and eventually, a loyal customer base. Get in touch with Killerspots today to find out how we can create an audio logo for your brand that will become synonymous with your business image.

Accessible Web Design – 7 Tips to Get Started

Asian young blind woman with headphone using computer with refreshable braille display or braille terminal a technology device for persons with visual disabilities.

We live in an increasingly connected world; the internet has shaped every aspect of our lives, and is so pervasive it’s almost impossible to avoid doing anything online. Social media and web design are the easiest ways for a brand to connect with a wide audience. However, the web can be a difficult place to navigate for consumers with disabilities. Hearing or visually impaired users may find there are large swathes of content online that are inaccessible or difficult for them to use. Making sure your website is accessible is one of the most important ways you can avoid alienating potential customers. 

“Accessibility” is an umbrella term that is used to describe aspects which influence a person’s ability to function within an environment. In web design, this translates to how easily your site can be navigated by someone of differing ability.

It may be a legal requirement for your business’ website to be accessible. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses that fall under two different distinctions (Title I and Title III) must have accessible websites. 

Title I businesses are defined as businesses that have 15 or more employees and operate 20 or more weeks per year. Title III businesses are categorized as “public accommodations” such as banks, public transport, or hotels. 

The ADA does not have specific guidelines for web accessibility, but there are many ways you can ensure your website is accessible to all users. These 7 tips below will get you started:

1. Add Alt Text to Images

Images on your website help to visually break up text and add meaning to your content, but what about users who are visually impaired? Any important images or graphics used on your website should have alt text embedded into the code, so people who use screen reading software can have a meaningful description of the image. This is especially important for infographics; make sure your alt text includes not only a description of the visuals of the infographic, but a transcription of any words contained in the infographic, as well. 

If an image used is purely decorative, you can leave the alt text empty. This will allow a screen reader to ignore the image entirely.

2. Add Captions or Provide Transcripts with Video or Audio 

Any video or audio that appears on your site should contain text captions. Many online platforms offer the ability to generate captions automatically, but adding captions to your produced videos is the best way to display an accurate script for your audio. This ensures users with hearing impairments (or even people who prefer to watch video without sound) are able to understand your video content. If you cannot add captions or your content is audio-only, you can provide a transcript of the audio the user can download to understand the meaning of your content. 

3. Use Proper Headings for Organization

Screen readers can pick up on headings and subheadings to better organize website text. Marking sections with <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc is a simple way to ensure visually impaired users will be able to hear your content as intended. Don’t skip around in numerical order, however. Going from <h1> to <h3> might look nice visually, but it can confuse someone using a screen reader and make them think there is content missing. Keeping content in a logical sequence makes it easier for screen readers to follow; skipping numbered heading formats may be disorienting or confusing. 

4. Simplify Navigation

Organize your menu options to be the same on every page. This makes your site predictable and easier to navigate. Some users are not able to use a mouse due to movement difficulties. Including the ability to navigate your website by keyboard could make navigation easier for them. Users should be able to follow internal and external links with ease, and be able to go forwards and backwards through content without getting stuck. Test your web page by trying to navigate without using your mouse to check that navigation is intuitive and simple.

5. Be Mindful of Color

Using color to distinguish parts of your text may give your website a polished look, but solely using color can run you into trouble for accessibility. Approximately 8% of men and .4% of women around the world have some form of color blindness; red-green color blindness is the most common deficiency. Add other design elements, such as patterns or different fonts to better visually distinguish different parts of your content. You can also utilize borders or whitespace to separate out sections. And be sure to use enough contrast between the background of your page or image and your text; there are many tools available, like this color analyzer, that will test contrast levels to make sure they are within accessibility guidelines. 

6. Use Readable Font

Set your default font size to something reasonably large. Users can use their browser’s settings to increase or decrease as needed. However, your design should ensure that enlarging fonts won’t interfere with readability or functionality. Choose a typeface that is simple with distinct letters and wide enough space between letters. Users with dyslexia will have an easier time tracking text that is spaced further apart. Use plenty of space between paragraphs, as well. 

Avoid using images of text instead of text for headers or other text assets. Screen readers won’t be able to read them without a well-written caption, and it makes editing content more difficult.

What More Can I Do?

Many content management systems, such as WordPress, have accessibility settings built-in to themes and templates. This can help get you started, along with the previous tips above. In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has created a system of guidelines to better help developers with accessibility. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, are a detailed list of actions you can take within your web design to make your website fully accessible to users with disabilities. There is even a quick reference guide with examples you can use to get a better idea of the types of accommodations that can take your website to the next level of accessibility.

Of course, if you need assistance, you can always contact us for help! We can be there with you every step of the way while you build a website that is sure to wow and be accessible to everyone.