Advertising on the Radio

Is advertising on the radio right for you?

In my experience, advertising on the radio can work wonders.  Radio can make local businesses famous.

I get calls like,

“I’m wondering what kind of ad package I can get on your stations.”

OR… they’ll ask if we have any “specials”.advertising on the radio

So, here’s what I say.  I tell them, if you’re looking for an ad package, you must already have a good strategy and the first few months of a radio campaign hammered out.  Pause.  More pause.  “Well…..I’m just looking to see what kind of rates I can get.  Because I can get some cable ads for real cheap.”  Oh, so you don’t even care if the ads work or not.  More pausing.

No…I don’t actually say things like this on the phone or in-person… I’m a little nicer or more subtle. But allow me to continue my pretend phone call…

So, after a few more questions from me, I tell the caller you can always find cheap rates…but not always find results.  If they’re interested in hearing more…I set an appointment.  If they’re not.  Then, I’ll send them to someone who’s willing to just sell cheap rates and ads that don’t work.

Is advertising on the radio right for your business?  It probably is.  Do some research on how many people listen to the radio…and how many hours a week.  I could tell you, but you won’t believe me.  The bottom line is that MOST people listen to the radio.  There’s something about free entertainment that people seem to love.  And free entertainment will never die.

Are you reaching enough people by advertising on the radio?

Ok, I’ll share some numbers with you.  Around 90% of people 13+ listen to AM/FM radio.  And that’s about 4 and a half times MORE than all other online radio options combined.  So, yes, AM/FM radio is still one of the greatest places to be with your advertising.

Now you know that radio has listeners.  A lot of them. Enough listeners to grow your business nicely.  But there’s a catch.  You can’t just throw any old twaddle onto the airwaves.  (I just learned a new word.  Twaddle.  I like it.)  The key to making your radio work is the message you communicate to the listeners.  Do they care about YOU and your business?  No.  Do they care about how you can help them?  Yes.  That’s the first thing to learn.

Oh…I forgot to tell you something.  Forget everything you’ve ever heard, seen, or read about advertising.  I’d be willing to bet what you think you know about advertising…will help put you out of business because of squandered ad budgets.

There are old rules that were once followed.  Like these…

1) Make sure your business name is mentioned at least 5 times in the ad

2) Put your phone number in the ad multiple times

3) Add your EXACT address to the ad (such as 2753 W. Doofus Blvd.)

4) Get a professional voice to make your ad sound like an ad

5) Always put music behind the voice

6) Make sure the ad sounds like a national ad

I’m sure there are a ton more…but they’re all equally ridiculous.  There is no formula for writing a radio spot.  If you want a formula, try this.  Try to make your ad NOT sound like an ad.  Why?  Because we’ve been pounded with twaddle 🙂  for years and years and decades and decades.  There are so many horrible ads hurtling towards us every day…our brain tells us to PLEASE not remember them.  Because they’re all soooo dumb and of no benefit to you.  Seriously.  Our brains are pretty smart.  It has the best built-in “crap” filters that you could never imagine.

The CHALLENGE to make your radio ads work to their FULL and OUTRAGEOUSLY ENORMOUS POTENTIAL is to fake out the brain.  You have to say things in your ads that your prospect’s brain won’t expect.  What I mean is that it can’t be predictable.  PREDICTABILITY in your radio ads will KILL your results.  That’s probably the most important thing to remember.

The problem is…you don’t know which words to use.  And you can’t begin to know which words to use until you form a smart advertising/marketing strategy.  And forming a smart strategy begins with your competition.  You have to stand apart from your competition.  Be something different.  Find a strength of yours that is not their strength (or at least they don’t advertise it) and THAT might be a superstar ad strategy for you.  Strategy formulation also trickles down into knowing WHO your customer REALLY is…and what they actually care about.  Or what they perceive to care about.

It’s tough for a business owner.  Or for an employee of a company that is “tasked” with the side duties of handling the marketing.  It’s tough because advertising and marketing isn’t what you KNOW.  You’re an entrepreneur.  I’d suggest finding an advertising guy or gal like myself (which is someone who tells you like it is – not some ad rep/order taker) and start spilling your guts to them so they can start creating a profitable strategy and advertising campaign for you.  This person must be a writer and a thinker.

Anyway…what was the question?  Sorry, I’m a smidge passionate about this stuff.

Is advertising on the radio right for a business like yours?

The answer is YES.  Advertising on the radio is good for you as long as you have something good to say.  Radio can work wonders for good businesses.  I’m a real life witness of that every day.  And radio can work all on its own.  The people are THERE.  They’re listening.  When you find the right thing to say to them…great things will happen.

And don’t be spreading your ad budget around to a bunch of different places! “Sprinkling” doesn’t work. You need to “douse” audiences. The “MEDIA MIX” talk is all B.S. You don’t have to advertise in 6 different places all around town. Start with a popular radio station (or two) …and “own” it. Make it impossible for people to have NOT heard your ad at least 3 times in 7 nights sleep! (That’s a technical / neurological thing with roots in the “Pavlov’s Dogs story” that ensures you’re doing that BRANDING thing right – but I’m not explaining all of that right now)

There are a bunch of local Sioux Falls advertisers who have put at least 85% of their total advertising budget into Radio…at Results Radio Townsquare Media. Who are they? I know you’ve heard their ads. And there’s a reason why they’re “Top Of Mind” in Sioux Falls and the surrounding 60 or 70-mile radius.

Ready? Let’s get to work!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Advertisements