Plant the seed – nurture – time – GROW

I discuss a lot of “advertising stuff” with people on LinkedIn. Not just with other advertising people, but small business owners, too. Mostly across the U.S., but even all over the world (isn’t the Internet great!?). Most have never experienced the power of good radio. They can’t even comprehend what the possibilities are.

Radio advertising around the U.S. is used mainly as a place to throw a few ads out, have a live broadcast remote, and attract a crowd for a special event. Or a business owner says, “I want to test radio. I’ll give you x number of dollars for 2 weeks. Let’s see what it can do.” And then the radio ad rep says dumbly, “Ok.” And then never call the business owner back after the ad schedule has run its course, because they knew it had no chance in hell of working.

Results Radio in Sioux Falls is one of the most out of the ordinary, effective radio groups in the country. Let me share a few reasons why…

It’s because we’ve learned how to create radio ads that impact listeners so deeply, they store that business in a tiny compartment in their brain. And then when they need that particular product or service the advertiser sells, that advertiser is among the top of the list of businesses they remember.

It’s also because you can’t have a group of ad sales reps working for you who fail to care whether your advertising works or doesn’t work. When I CARE about the precious money you invest…when I CARE that your advertising plan works…then and only then can I begin to create radio that will “move the needle”. Because if I didn’t care about your business succeeding, how much time and effort do you think I would put into the writing and creation of your ad campaign?

Another reason is because if I ever sold you something that didn’t work…I would mourn. I would lose sleep. I would be sick to my stomach.

So, how do we do this? How do we make radio work for our local business customers? What’s the magic bullet? What’s the secret?

The SEEDS are your message. The ads themselves. The content. WHAT YOU SAY in your ads. It’s all about saying things to people in your ads that they’ll listen to…and that they care about. Hint: They don’t care about YOU. They care about solving a problem they have. They care about how you can make their lives or their family’s lives better. They care about not making a stupid purchase. They care about finding a company to buy from that they know “has their back”. Knowing this, how would you write a radio ad? By saying the same boring, cliché things about yourself that everybody else does? Or by standing out from the crowd with ads that don’t follow the “rules” and saying something someone might actually listen to?

Now, you have to NURTURE your seeds. You have to keep telling your story in different ways. You change your ads after they’ve run their course (maybe 3 weeks, maybe 6 weeks depending on how many ads you’re airing). You have to stay on top of what the competition is doing. You have to research. You have to constantly talk to your customers and record their feedback about why they love what you offer…or why they love your business (What your customers tell you are like little gold nuggets. Nuggets you can use in your radio ads. Nuggets you can use to improve your quality of service and your customer’s overall experience. So, get your customers talking – just remember to listen). All these nuggets should be used when your ads are being “brainstormed” or written.

TIME. The farmer doesn’t plant the seed today and harvest tomorrow. All great things in nature take time. And so does your “break free from the ordinary” advertising plan. Who is in the market for what you offer right now? Not many. What’s your product purchase cycle? 3 months? 6? 4 years? 10? Are you trying to sell me a new couch today?…don’t bother because I bought one two years ago – I’m good. See what I mean? Or do you run a service company, like a plumber? You can’t predict when I’m going to need you…so why not plant the seeds in my mind, nurture them, and just be ready for my call when my need arises. Make me want to do business with you long before I need you.

When you plant seeds with great potential, nurture them, and are patient with them…you will be rewarded with a great harvest. You will GROW. Your radio campaign will talk to the people that need you now, and more importantly it will talk to the people who don’t need you now (the much larger group of people), but won’t have a choice of not knowing who you are. Those people who NEED what you offer will not be able to ignore you as a contender in this free market…because you’ve planted your “seeds” deep within their conscious and subconscious. You will be toward the top of their list of who they can trustingly buy from…and feel comfortable with that decision.

Have you ever needed something, but didn’t know where to get it or who to buy it from? You won’t give radio listeners a chance to have that problem. When you advertise in the manner that I’m trying to describe, you can be the one that people feel deeply about. The one that’s remembered. The one that’s trusted. The one that is contacted.

I guess it all comes down to caring about our clients. About me caring about my advertising customers. Yes, I’m getting a little sappy on you. But that’s what it takes. It’s not about me showing you a bunch of statistics and pie charts. It’s not about me telling you we have the tallest radio towers and the best listeners with the fattest wallets. It’s all about caring enough to figure out the right things to say to people…so you can grow. So you can attract profitable customers at a faster rate than if you weren’t advertising at all. So you can worry about doing the things that matter most to you personally, and what matters most in your business – taking care of your own customers. Why should you have to spend 25 to 35% of your time worrying about what you’re going to do next to “bring in some new faces”?

Advertising works when it’s done right. And for local business, Radio advertising works better than most of the other options I’ve ever seen…when it’s used properly. I’ve been working at Results Radio since 1998…if I thought some other form of advertising could give most of the local businesses in Sioux Falls a better return over the long haul, I’d go work for them. If you’ve got a growth goal that needs a nice “boost” to help get you there, I’m pretty sure Results Radio Cumulus Media is where you want to start. And I’m confident that I know someone in particular that you should work with. 😉

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio