How Fast Can Radio Work?

It’s a question that’s asked quite a bit. “How fast will my radio advertising start working?”

I will answer the “how fast” question with more questions for you. Some of these questions tend to be greatly overlooked…

How often does someone need or desire what you sell? 1 time per year? 10 times? 1 time in 10 years? The longer the time period between their need…the longer it will take for ANY kind of branding advertising to work. And by branding, I mean, sticking in someone’s head so when they need you they’ll feel most comfortable buying from YOU versus your competitors. Which is the most profitable form of advertising in my opinion.

How much emotional voltage does what you sell carry? What I mean by that is, how do people feel about what you sell? Is it a “cold” purchase like a water heater…or is it a “warm and fuzzy” kind of purchase like a gift for a child that will light up their face? A “cold” purchase is something of necessity that people don’t get too excited about. A “warm” purchase is something that makes us really happy to buy. So, if you’re advertising a “cold” product or service, expect your advertising to take longer to work. If it’s “warm”…then you can hit emotional hot buttons easier and heavier.

How many ads will you be airing? This one is probably widely debatable. But I like to schedule ads all day long, about 24 to 30 per week. That gives the average radio listener a chance to hear your ad about 3 to 4 times each week. If you can’t afford an entire station then pick a 4-hour time frame throughout the day and cut the number of ads in half. That will allow the people listening during that time frame to get familiar with your business quickly. But it’s a smaller group of people versus advertising to the entire listening audience. As soon, as your budget can afford it…start advertising all day long, even into the evenings. And if you can, advertise at least 3 weeks out of every month. Optimum scheduling would be 52 weeks if you’re not a seasonal business.

But maybe you want things to happen faster. Maybe you want to start “sticking” in people’s brains a bit quicker. Then, pump up your number of ads for a few months. And update your ads every 2 to 3 weeks versus 4 to 6 weeks. It’s all about getting the listener familiar with your business and starting to trust you before they’ve even met you or contacted you. You’ve got lots of stories to share with listeners. Start doing it. They want to know WHY they should trust you. You’ll want to say, “You can trust us” or something cliché. But I want you to PROVE it to them in your ads.

How GOOD are your radio ads? Here’s the biggie. It’s so much more important than what most believe. How good are your radio ads means how much punch do they pack? No matter where you advertise, it’s tough to get people’s attention. People aren’t just sitting around waiting to be advertised to. And when they realize they’re watching or listening to an advertisement, their guard goes up. So, what are you going to do about that?

The best thing to do is try your hardest to create ads that don’t sound like ads. Ads that sound like ads are filled with platitudes. What’s a platitude? A platitude is a trite, meaningless, biased, common, or boring statement, often presented as if it were significant and original. Platitudes in advertising are the things that people don’t really care about. Or things that go in one ear and out the other.

To create ads that don’t sound like ads, you usually need to tell a story. Or you have a character telling a story. Or your radio can be as if you’re eavesdropping on a conversation. Or maybe bringing inanimate objects to life and giving them voices. The sky is the limit with radio.

You can have also have ads that are detected as an ad easier by the listener, but they still listen. These are ads that provide information that’s interesting. And the information is given in such a way that keeps you hanging on to every word. Words and arrangements of words that aren’t expected. You have about 2 seconds to grab a listener’s attention. And once you’ve done that, then you have to say something that will keep their attention for the next 4 seconds. And so on, and so on. But never start talking about what YOU care about as a business owner without making sure that your “targets” care about it as well. That’s the only thing that matters. What would people be interested in hearing?…and how do you connect that to your business? How can you make them feel 10x more comfortable doing business with you instead of a competitor?

I feel that radio is one of the best advertising mediums because of its unlimited possibilities. You can get people to go places with you in their minds that is impossible to do with TV, print, or anything else for that matter. The power of sound all by itself is incredible. I can have you close your eyes and take you on a journey. A journey to a different place in the world…or I can help you experience owning a product that you haven’t purchased yet. Oh, sure, you can see a TV ad with actors demonstrating a product of service. But a radio ad can help you envision YOU, yourself owning a product or experiencing the benefits of a particular service. An advertisement has much more impact on someone, when THEY are in the “movie”. Radio does that. Radio creates a movie in people’s minds…and THEY are the star. Not some actor…or a picture of someone they’ve never met.

What was that original question again? How fast will your radio advertising start to work? Ummm…you’ve got quite a few variables. Please don’t condemn ANY kind of advertising, until you know exactly how it can work to your advantage. Know its strengths and its weaknesses. Radio works best for the branding game. The game where your business name is “stamped” onto the brains of the public. When YOU are one of the first places they think of when they need your product or service…you will never have the problem of wondering where your next new customer will come from. I’m thinking radio is best compared to the Energizer bunny – the best choice for the long haul – the best choice to keep delivering what you really want out of your advertising.

Have a beautiful day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio team member since 1998.

Snotty Noses & Green Boogies

Would you ever use a headline in your radio ad that used words such as “snotty noses and green boogies”? I suspect most would be leery of doing that. You might think that it’s not “professional” enough.

I shot a 2-minute video talking about the “snotty noses and green boogies” ad. Click HERE.

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio team member since 1998.

Can a weather sponsorship on the radio work?

Image courtesy of "digitalart" /

Image courtesy of “digitalart” /

I have customers who advertise in many different ways. Most do 60-second or 30-second radio ads. And the rest are weather sponsors. So, what does that mean? Well, a weather sponsor’s ads start out like this, “This (station) weather break is brought to you by (business name)…” Then, there’s 12 more seconds of whatever we want to say to the public. I never propose a weather sponsor if it’s not a good fit. Or if it doesn’t have a chance to work.

If you’ve thought about doing radio, but you didn’t think you had the budget…being a weather sponsor may be an option for you. But it’s not for everyone.

A weather sponsorship can work for people who just need to start somewhere. Yes, you’re looking for the magic bullet to propel your business into stardom. But there isn’t one. You must be smart and patient. You’ll most likely be overpromised and underdelivered to by a lot of advertising companies. And you probably have the notion that you have to advertise everywhere…but that’s a recipe for failure. Trying to “reach” everyone is not a good strategy. You’ll fail. You’ll spend a lot of money and get little to nothing in return. You need to reach an audience over and over. You’re trying to convince people to buy from YOU instead of somewhere else. And you won’t do much convincing with only one or two ads sprinkled around here and there. You need to “douse” your audience. And starting on one or two radio stations with a weather sponsorship will “reach” a lot of people – enough people to be able to make a significant impact on the number of new customers you see.

I would not recommend a weather sponsorship to a car dealer – too many competitors advertising heavily. I wouldn’t recommend it to a furniture store – same reason. But if you’ve got a business that’s easily understandable, you’re a specialist, you don’t have tons of competitors advertising heavily, or you don’t have to convey complex ideas to the public, then a weather sponsorship could possibly be a great option for you.

A good weather sponsorship message has to stand out though. I’ve heard way too many that just list the business name, throw in some “for all your _____ needs” clichés, a phone number, and that’s it. THAT kind of weather ad will not work. Just like a good 30 or 60-second ad, we have to use words and phrases that get people’s attention and can help people remember you when they need you.

Is it right for you? Can we make it work? I’m not sure yet. I need to ask you some questions first. Just because you get a lot more ads for a smaller investment, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. But maybe it’s the best possible use of your ad budget right now. Give me a call and let’s talk about it.

Heck, I’ve got some customers who ONLY do weather sponsorships. And when they grow…and their budget grows…they just add another radio station. It’s the perfect advertising solution for just the right business. Let’s see if you’re one of them.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Results Radio team member since 1998.

Ad writing / Ad strategies / Radio Sales / Digital Advertising options also

I’m a radio rep for Results Radio Townsquare Media. I write this blog on behalf of myself. Bottom line? I truly enjoy helping businesses get from their Point A to their Point B in an efficient manner. And Radio Advertising is just one of those ways that has worked wonderfully well for my radio clients. We have 8 radio stations within our group to help you reach the people you’re looking for.

Why Doesn’t My Advertising Work?

How do you feel about advertising that doesn’t work? Are you cussing yet?

Most often, the reason your advertising isn’t working is the same reason everyone else’s doesn’t either. Check out my short You Tube video on the subject. Click here Why Doesn’t My Advertising Work?

Have a less frustrated day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio team member since 1998.





Sometimes you wanna pull your hair out!

It’s getting tougher and tougher to advertise effectively. Why? Because we’re constantly bombarded with ads. Everywhere. And your results aren’t as stellar as they once were. And there are about a Gazillion different PLACES to advertise. You’ve got ad people calling you and knocking down your door…and you don’t even know what they’re talking about. Speak in English please. Not in that analytic, SEO, text mobile web platform, cost per point, weekly cume, something-or-other garbage.

Sometimes…you just want to pull your hair out!

So…how is advertising still rockin’ it for some businesses? Trust me, it’s not working for everyone. But it IS working for those that have some guts. And that are open to doing things a bit differently. And oh…they’re also the ones that know a good STORY can be the way to winning your next new customer’s heart.

Is the next new social media thingy the answer to all your marketing dreams? Or the mobile advertising stuff that says it’s the next big thing. And how ’bout even a new business magazine that you see on the shelves for free at the grocery store? Maybe one of the 500 TV channels?

Nope. It’s reaching an audience over and over with something good to say. Something different. Something that doesn’t sound like an ad. And when that audience starts to help you increase sales. Cool! Then you add another audience…and keep growing. And it’s really easy to grab a big chunk of the population with a good-sized radio station.

Did I mention that I work for Results Radio? Yeah. We’ve got 8 pretty dang cool radio stations. Let’s find a few that you could start on. Let’s tell some big audiences about the wicked-awesome stuff that you can help them with. What problems can you solve for them? How can you make their lives better? They’d like to know. Just as long as you’re not ramming your hard core sales tactics down their throats. Win them over. Seduce them. Tell them a story that makes them actually REMEMBER you and start adoring you before they even pick up the phone or walk in your door.

I like helping businesses say things in their ads that make people raise their eyebrows a little bit. Or ads that make people stop thinking about the 12,852 different places they have to take their kids in the next week…and pay attention to what you have to say. Let me know when I can help you out, too.

Have a fun and prosperous day! Stop pulling your hair out.

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio team member since 1998

Let Them Get to Know Ya!

I’ve had advertising clients share with me that total strangers will come up to them in public and tell them that they love their ads. If your advertising ever does that, it’s bound to be making an impact. But do you HAVE to hear, “We love your ads”? No. Most people won’t comment on your advertising. In fact, most people don’t remember where they’ve seen or heard your advertising anyway. Asking your customers where they heard about you is a highly inaccurate measure of advertising effectiveness. What’s a good measure? Your cash register ringing more often. But I got off track…

The clients of mine that voice their own ads, often will hear comments from their customers. It’s because we try to say things that Wow or Shock the public a little bit. We aim to “stand out” (strategically), not “blend in”. A client of mine will read a script that I’ve written for them. They’ll either say, “I love it, let’s record it, I don’t like it…or they’ll want a few changes made. It’s part of the process. The better I get to know them and understand their customers, the easier it is for me to write better ads. Ads that get attention and bring more new customers to them.

There is an advantage to being your own spokesperson on the radio. IT LET’S THEM GET TO KNOW YA! It lets them know that you have thoughts and feelings just like theirs. It lets them know you’re human. Voicing your own ads speeds up the “connecting” process with radio listeners. And “connecting” is crucial. It’s what drives your advertising effectiveness.

So…what do my clients SAY in their ads? To be very vague, everything and anything. They tell personal stories, they make fun of themselves, and they tell stories that help people understand who they are and what they stand for. And when you do that…you CONNECT!

Voicing your own ads isn’t for everyone. That’s ok. It’s just one way to create an ad campaign. It’s a tactic. There are several different ways to create radio ads.

One thing I do know…is that when radio ads are created with the intent of not sounding too much like a radio ad…it works! But the second you start “blending in” and saying things that your prospects don’t give a hoot about, your ads won’t work.

No matter who voices your ads…and no matter WHERE you advertise, the most important element is what you SAY in your advertising. It’s not the station that will make much of a difference, it’s not “drive times”…it’s what is being SAID in your ads. Always put the majority of your focus into your advertising message. THAT is what will make your advertising give you the return on investment you’re looking for…and then some.