radio marketing

It’s easy to conclude that modern marketing is all about social media and guerilla marketing. Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Radio marketing might have been around for almost 100 years, but that doesn’t mean its days are over. There are several reasons why any marketer should definitely include radio as part of their marketing strategy.

Let’s take a closer look at why it’s relevant, and how to crush it in this field.

The Massive Reach of Radio

According to the latest research by the Pew Research Center, 83% of Americans over 12 listen to radio on a given week. Online radio is also big, with 62% of adults surveyed listening in the last week.

Why Radio Reaches People

Terrestrial radio, broadcast to a local area using an AM or FM signal, still reaches people for several reasons.

The first is the daily commute. Millions of Americans spend time going to and from work listening to the radio each day. Many have it on when picking the kids up from school and running errands. 

There are also people who have the radio on the whole day while working. All this means that potentially millions of people hear the ad, and they don’t just hear it once. The longer they listen, the more times they hear it, and the greater the impact.

Many stations also broadcast over the internet, allowing them to reach wider audiences on the go. Listeners can download podcasts that include advertising content.

Radio Ads Reach the Target Audience

Radio is a highly segmented market. For example, in Cincinnati alone, people can access well over 50 different radio stations. 

These cover interests as wide-ranging as hip-hop, classic country, and adult contemporary. This might seem overwhelming, but it actually gives marketers an opportunity.

No marketer targets everyone with their product or message. This pre-segmented marketplace gives the marketer an advantage.

It allows the team to create custom radio advertising to reach the target audience. They can also target the ads at different times of the day to reach different people.

Reach All Sectors of Society

Radio listeners are made up of a nearly 50/50 split between men and women. Teens also tune in, with contemporary hit radio their most popular choice.

Radio remains popular across different ethnic groups. 98% of Black and Hispanic people listen to the radio each month.

This data goes to show that whatever demographic marketers are trying to reach, there’s a radio station out there serving them.

Reach Those Not Online

We may think everyone and his dog is online these days. But actually, 7% of Americans do not use the internet. This is pretty evenly balanced across men and women, and different ethnic groups.

The fact is, if a company’s advertising is online-only, they’re not reaching those people. They’re keeping up to date somehow, and many of them are probably accessing that info through radio.

Radio Ads Reach People Naturally

Everyone knows that radio includes advertisements. We’re used to them, and they blend naturally with the content. The fact that they sit naturally within the context of the medium gives marketers an opportunity.

A visual ad online is just begging to be fast-forwarded. Most people’s fingers are hovering over the skip ads button. Unless it’s amazing, they count every second until they can click ‘skip ad’.

With radio advertising, marketers have the upper hand. Spots are typically very brief, and the listener can’t fast forward them. They also sit naturally within the broadcast and are accepted.

They also sit alongside content that the audience enjoys. That might be the talk radio style of a particular DJ. For most listeners, it’s their preferred type of music, with Country music stations the most popular across the US.

This relaxed audience is perfect for marketers. They have a good idea of the demographic that is listening. Get the spot right and people will call or look up the website as soon as it ends.

Leverage DJ Relationship with Audience

Before the term influencer was a thing, there were radio DJs. Now marketers understand the power of a recommendation from a ‘trusted friend’ such as a celebrity. A popular radio DJ could be a powerful ally in a marketing campaign. 

They frequently drive conversation and are able to bring people around to their way of thinking. If they come on board as a celebrity endorser, they can give the brand a shot in the arm.

This is because word of mouth remains the most successful form of advertising out there. Although they may really be strangers to their audience, successful jocks make them feel they are their close friends. The messages they communicate have a real influence on their listeners.

Reaches the Online Market

The online radio segment gives marketers an opportunity. Listeners access online radio while actively engaging with a device. Whether this is a tablet, phone, or computer, they have a way of immediately responding by visiting a website or social media account.

Internet radio can also provide insights into the audience that traditional radio cannot.

Radio Works Alongside Other Media

Radio gives marketers an opportunity to consolidate the message they’re putting out on other platforms.

The company may have invested heavily in a TV or social media ad campaign. Could they complement this with a radio ad? Brands that harness this power of radio find a higher level of brand awareness.

Radio Marketing Offers Value for Money

Bang for buck matters to marketers. Radio advertising may not be the most expensive form, but it’s also not cheap. There are production costs to consider, and additionally the cost of airing the spot time and time again. 

Nielsen research again highlights the value for money radio provides. Store visits increased by 20% in those who heard radio ads and visits to the retailer’s website also shot up by 75%. 

This highlights the power of radio in bringing business to both traditional and online businesses. 

Return on Ad Spend

Return on ad spend shows how hard those marketing dollars are working for businesses. 

Here, the power of radio really shines through.

For fast food retailers, the return on ad spend was $3 for every $1. For department stores, it was £17 for every $1 spent, and for the home improvement sector, it was $9 for every $1 spent.

How to Make a Radio Ad

The expression ‘theatre of the mind’ is often used in connection with radio advertising. This represents the radio advertiser’s goal. To put together an advert that is so successful, the listener’s mind is fully engaged.

The mind is so entranced that the listener creates an imaginary scene in their mind. This then connects with their emotions and makes them much more likely to follow through. 

Script is King

In a radio ad, the marketer has between 30 and 60 seconds to connect with your audience. To make the impact they want, not a word of the script can be wasted. To make it stand out from the crowd, they need to deliver something memorable.

Their script gives them an opportunity to deliver their message in a crisp and clear way. Also, because of the highly segmented nature of radio, it also gives them a chance to target a very specific audience.

Humor can be effective, as long as it’s easy to understand and is not offensive. Whatever style they choose, make sure at the end there is no doubt what they are advertising and what they need to do next.

Consider a Jingle

This might sound corny but stay with us. 

A jingle can be highly effective because they stick in the mind. The more they’re repeated, the greater the impact. There’s a reason people still hum jingles from the nineties – because they work. 

If they get them right, they ensure that their ad is not just white noise that people filter out. Make it catchy, and people are happy to hear it.

Getting Production Right

Once the script is ready, the advertiser needs to work with a production team to nail the production. It’s about more than hiring an actor to read the script and adding a few bells and whistles.

A production team will help take the spot or jingle and set it apart from the crowd. If you skimp on this, the audience will be able to tell. 

Don’t stand out from the crowd by sounding amateurish. Stand out for the right reasons by making a spot that grabs their interest and holds it for the full time. 

Radio Marketing: It’s the Future

Radio marketing may have been around for 99 years, but it’s far from a thing of the past. Radio continues to engage consumers – from teens to seniors. Marketers ignore it at their peril – it’s a serious tool for every marketer out there.

Are you ready to make a radio ad? Make sure you’re working with the best.

Killerspots is the industry leader in radio ad production. We’ve created award-winning spots for an array of clients, and are ready and waiting to create your ad!

Click here to learn more about what we can do for your business.

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