4 Common Ways to Do Radio Advertising THE WRONG WAY

radio advertisingHere are some great ways to make sure your radio advertising does NOT work for you…

1.  “Let’s try it for a couple of weeks and see if it works.”  

If you’re going to do this, it better be a Help Wanted or a Sale ad and you better have about 8 to 10 ads running a day. Radio’s big strength is constant, consistent brand building. And be prepared not to be completely Wowed for 2 to 6 months. And then… plan to be elated at the end of Year 1.

BUT… that’s ONLY if we take a tedious, creative, and intelligent approach to the message we’re putting out to the public. My specialty is figuring out what we need to say in your ads so your radio advertising works… and you grow because of it.

2.  “We just want a straightforward Radio Ad with the facts.”  

I heard this one the other day. He’s a fairly new HR guy. They’re doing some Help Wanted advertising. This local company has been using radio for recruitment advertising with me for about 8 years now. And it’s worked for them because we’re bold and creative in their radio ads. But the new guy just wants something “straightforward”. And we’re changing the ads from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. Ok, I’ll give him a break. He’s new. He doesn’t know that we went through this trial and error phase 8 years ago. The fact is… people like to be entertained. Especially, when they’re listening to the Radio… because that’s why they turned it on in the first place. So, if we weave a persuasive message into an entertaining and Non-Ignorable radio spot, it’s a win. It gets heard more often. It gets remembered more often. Radio listeners get weary of radio ads aimed only at their logic. When you add emotion and entertainment, that’s when the real results show themselves.

3.  Not taking your competition into account.  

If you create a radio campaign without “strategy” in mind, your ads won’t work as hard as they could for you. So, you have to think about how you compare with your competition. Where are they strong? Where are you strong, where they are not? We need to “open a wedge” where you stand above your competitors. We need to highlight the points where you shine. And those points need to be things that people really care about.

For example, I have a banking client who’s on a consistent yearly radio plan. They’re a smaller bank with multiple locations that 1) answers the phone when you call, 2) is small enough where the employees know who you are, and 3) cares more for the individual. Our strategy is to highlight the shortcomings of the big banks – like customer service and always having to wrestle with automated phone systems… and then explain why you’ll be happier at a smaller bank. We’re using humor and also reminding people of how it used to be and that they can have that level of service again. We’re also going to possibly incorporate some good testimonial ads into that mix of humorous ads very soon. At least, that’s my vision. Getting customer testimonials isn’t always easy.

If we just gave a laundry list of services and cliché lines about customer service and a knowledgeable staff, the ads would never get any attention. They would be ignored. And the radio advertising wouldn’t work.  No matter where you advertise, it’s ALL about the message and the strategy within your ads. And radio advertising is one of the best places to create messages that have a huge impact with listeners.  Why?  Because of the massive range of creative angles, “theatre of the mind”, the power of sound, and versatility.

4.  Getting too technical about demographics and the radio stations you choose.

Most radio stations would work for a good, local branding campaign. Yes, some might have a few more listeners that seem to be in your “wheelhouse” of the demographics you’re looking for… but barely. Don’t try splitting hairs.

Consider a demographic range for many radio stations… 18 to 35… 25 to 45… 35 to 60+. That’s a pretty big range. You know why? Because you can never tell what kind of music someone enjoys. Or whether they prefer Talk Radio over a station that plays music. And most people have 2 to 4 favorite radio stations. There’s not one radio station, TV station, newspaper, magazine, website, or social media channel that OWNS an audience. People are people. All you have to do is make sure you’re saying something in your ads that people might actually care about. THAT is when your advertising will start working. It’s not about WHERE you advertise. It’s about what you SAY in your ads. I don’t mean to be a broken record about that (well maybe I do), but it’s the most important thing that business owners and “marketing people” need to understand. Your advertising results depend on it.

Radio just happens to be one of the best mediums in order to place your well-crafted, entertaining, and engaging advertising message.  Why?  Because it’s a “friend”.  It’s a place we turn to for information and entertainment.  Every day.  And 90+% of people listen every single week.

YES… I could keep going with reasons to do radio wrong… these just happen to come up a lot in my many years of experience in the local advertising arena.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media - Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

 

 

Working Fast

Quick story. I’m having the exterior of my house painted. They’re on Day 2. And they should finish up today. BUT… it’s gonna be HOT. Hot hot. So, when they got here this morning, I opened up the window of my office and said, “I bet you’re gonna work fast so you can be done before it gets too hot.”

And I wasn’t trying to imply to them that they should bust their ass, so my house could be finished. I was just kind of feeling bad that they were going to be stuck outside on such a wicked hot day.

But the owner, Dana, said to me…

“I hear ya, but it’s hard to work fast.”

I stopped and thought about that.

He’s a painter. He’s working on the trim today. There’s some delicate work. If he rushes… then the quality suffers.

There’s “hustle” and then there’s “rushing”. There’s a difference. If I rush through any process of creating great ads for my clients… or skip parts of the sales process… then, the end result suffers. So, yes, sometimes it’s hard to work fast… especially when you’re in the good habit of doing the best work for your customers that you can. Which ensures that some day you’ll get a referral from that happy customer.

Here’s another quote – I think I heard it in the movie “Shooter”…

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”

Slow doesn’t have to mean turtle-slow or sloth-slow. It can also mean “smooth-slow”. And isn’t “Smooth” something you’d like to be?

There are many times that I need to hustle. And that just means putting a little extra giddyup in my step and staying focused on my task at hand… and when that’s done, starting my next task. And the next. But I don’t rush something that shouldn’t be rushed. Because then the work suffers. When you can see the bigger picture, “smooth” and “hustle” will always bring you greater success in the long run versus just working fast just to get something off your plate.

Maybe you have employees and you wish them to work a little faster. It might not be “fast” that you want out of them. They might just need to quit with excessive “Lolly-gagging”. Or maybe they need more focus and direction. Don’t assume that faster work means more money for the company. Because if work suffers from too much “fast”… then, your customers will “smoothly” never be repeat customers.

We’ve hired our painter multiple times and referred him to others. And we’ll keep hiring him when we need his unique kind of “smoothness”.

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

Image by Robert Balog from Pixabay

Radio Advertising Questions and Answers

I was emailed these questions about radio advertising the other day the other day…

  • Do you write the promotions?
  • Do you research the reach? Or, have suggestions on where we could push our product?
  • How many ads is good to have in rotation?
  • How many people can we reach?
  • What time of the day is best to run our ads?
  • Cost/per ad during the week?
  • How many times will this run throughout the week and/or on weekends?

All great questions. And usually the answers to those questions are the core materials in any media rep’s presentation. Which is why their ad campaigns will probably fail. At Results Radio, our “presentations” are a bit different. We focus on figuring out how we’re going to make your advertising actually work.

So, let’s add a couple questions to that list above that are more important…

  1. How will we make it work? (what’s our strategy?)
  2. How will we measure success?

These are more important because the other questions above won’t matter, if we’re not going into this campaign with the expectations of making it work… and knowing that it’s working. Right?

Let’s answer those questions up top first though

Do you write the promotions? Yes we do. At Results Radio, that’s what we train on most heavily. The words that are written and then spoken that go into people’s ears are what makes or breaks an ad campaign. And that is why we spend so much time figuring out what to say in your ads. Because that’s the core of making your ads work for you.

Do you research the reach or have suggestions on where to push our product? I’ll have to clarify this question with the business, but I think they’re asking something about demographics. Yes, we suggest the stations that will work best based on the people you’re looking for. But you need to understand that particular stations don’t own an audience. Meaning, most people listen to an average of 2.5 stations. For example, if you’re looking for “car parts type of people”, aka motorheads or “truck people”… can you imagine the different types of radio stations they could be listening to? Sports, Classic Rock, Modern Rock, Top 40, 80s, 90s, Modern Country, Classic Country, Talk Radio, etc., etc., etc.!

So, you pick a couple that seem like a good fit, and you start there. Or whatever works with your budget. And if you can’t afford to buy enough ads to run each month on the biggest of the stations, then you pick a station with a smaller audience that you can afford to talk to month-in and month-out. You’re trying to win a group of people over, one station at a time. Once you start seeing growth, then you can afford to add another radio station to your mix.

How many ads is good to have in rotation? You can air multiple ads that rotate at whatever percentage you wish. Most businesses don’t need to rotate different ads at the same time, but if you have a few different products to push… maybe you rotate 2 or 3 at once. But you also have to make sure you have enough ads airing each week in order for everyone to hear each of those ads enough times.

How many people can we reach? You can reach about 90% of the adults in the radio stations’ coverage areas if you’re advertising on enough stations. But that doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them. Remember when I said the average listener listens to 2.5 radio stations? Well, that means if you advertise on 2 radio stations, you’re theoretically advertising on about 5 stations. Cool, right? When it comes to actual numbers… there are some ratings out there on most stations. But the thing is… the number of people that are surveyed for radio station ratings is very low. Like, grossly low. So, the level of accuracy is low. So, one year a station can be listed as the #2 rock station, and the next it’s #8. How does that work when nothing else changed in the radio market in the last year? Radio rankings are hit or miss. There’s a disclaimer on those rankings that mentions something like, “use these ratings at your own risk”.

How many people are we reaching? It all depends on the popularity of the station. It could be anywhere between 5000 people to 40 or 50,000 people depending on the station… and the time frames in which you’re running those ads. If you’re only running ads during a morning “drive time”… you’re only reaching a fraction of that total audience.

What time of the day is best to run our ads? You want to reach the entire audience if you can afford it. And it costs less per ad to run ads all throughout the day. You can never predict when someone is listening. We all have different habits when it comes to radio listening. Some listen from 6 to 7:30 every morning. And then not again until 2pm or 5pm. Others listen periodically throughout the day, some all day long at work. Others only when in their cars. That’s why it’s a fool’s errand to only want to run ads during certain times of the day. You’ll pay more for the ads, and you’re hitting a smaller audience in the end.

Cost per ad during the week? This depends on the popularity of the radio station, the length of the ad, and the time frame they are airing. We’ll have a discussion about actual prices face-to-face.

But let me drop this little nugget on you… It doesn’t matter how much an ad costs if it doesn’t work. Even the cheapest ads are still expensive if you don’t see any results.

How many times will this run throughout the week and/or on weekends? My recommendation for “ad frequency” depends on your competition and your “share of marketing voice” within your industry. If you’re placing ads all throughout the day (let’s say 6am to 8pm), then you’ll need anywhere from 19 to 25 ads per week… at least 3 weeks per month if we’re trying to brand your business (make you the business people think of first in your category). But if your business category has a lot of competition advertising, then you need to adjust your ad load a bit higher to make sure your “share of voice” is high enough to make an impact on the radio listeners. You don’t want to be “drowned out” by your competitor’s ads.

So, those are my basic answers to those questions… but they aren’t comprehensive by any means. The questions asked in a face-to-face meeting and extra research on how much local marketing their competition is doing, gives much more insight into the radio scheduling tactics that would need to be implemented.

But you must know… the actual MESSAGE that we put into the ears of the radio listeners is what will ultimately determine the success of a radio advertising campaign. If the radio script that is written is just an afterthought… your radio marketing plan will fail. No doubt about it. But if enough time, research, and thought is put into the writing… “mountains” can be moved.

And… I’ll address those two questions I added to the list…… next time. 🙂

Thanks for reading. Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

What Makes People Do The Things They Do?

Why do people act a certain way? Why do they say things they don’t mean? Why do they buy the things they buy? Why do they call one business for service instead of someone else?

What makes people do the things they do?

It’s the question that MARKETERS have been asking for centuries.

There are some obvious ones…

Keep up with the “Jones’s. To impress others. It’s what everyone else is doing. To look like you have a big bank account. And then some.

But as far as really knowing… all I can talk about is myself and my habits. And for the sake of keeping this a marketing article, let’s talk about my own BUYING habits for a second.

They’ve changed over the years. I’m soon to be 45 years old.

When I was younger, I mostly cared about how much something cost because I didn’t have much to spend.

But now, I want good products that perform and last. I want good service even if I have to pay a bit more.

Here’s the thing though… how do I know for sure if a local company is going to treat me right? How would anyone know?

They wouldn’t… unless they knew you… and trusted you.

Which is exactly what a good radio campaign can do. Cause people to like and trust you before they even meet you.

For example…

If I need a plumber, but I haven’t ever found one that I’ve fallen in love with… then I’m going to shop around. If there’s no one that comes to my mind, then I’ll do a google search for “plumbers in Sioux Falls” or something. The results I get will either jog my memory and one will look familiar… or it’s going to be a complete eenie meenie miney moe type of decision on who I call.

If one looked familiar, it’s probably because I’ve seen a lot of their service vehicles around or I’ve been exposed to some of their advertising. But I still really don’t know much about them, and I’m still reluctant.

But what’s the best case scenario for a business owner to get my business?

It’s when I’ve been exposed to their radio campaign for a while… and I’ve gotten to know them through those ads. They’ve talked about things in the ads that make me trust them. They’ve entertained me. They’ve given me some helpful information. So, now, when I need a plumber… boom… I automatically think of that business. And do I google “plumbers in sioux falls”? Heck no. I google the business name. And I either go to their website, or I click the Call button from their Google Business listing. Done. No competitors even came into the picture.

And as a side bonus, do you know that google rewards businesses with better ranking when more people type your business name directly into google. It shows them that you’re a good, reputable, popular, trustworthy business. So, being searched for by name on google not only gets you a direct call or click, bypassing your competition, it also helps you rank higher on google.

What makes people do the things they do? Well… a lot of times it’s EMOTIONS. The emotion of wanting to do business with an easy-going, trustworthy, and friendly company is POWERFUL. So, that’s what you need to convey throughout your Radio campaign. That’s the secret.

But the problem is… most marketers, ad reps, and ad agencies don’t know HOW to create Ad campaigns that does what I’m talking about. Sure, some might be creative, but there’s no tie-in to the business. Some might be full of lots of fluffy “we’re the best” type of stuff, but nobody believes them.

WHAT CAUSES SOMEONE TO CHOOSE YOU AND BUY FROM YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME?

They feel like they know you, they already trust you a little bit, and they like what you stand for. And those things can be conveyed to people in a couple different ways – such as their friends told them about you, or your advertising told them about you through a series of ads over time.

Do you see now why your advertising can’t just be about “awareness”? Awareness isn’t enough. There needs to be something else. Some secret sauce. There needs to be some kind of message that causes people to feel like you’re going to treat them well and deliver what they’re paying for. And then some.

Did you know that 90+% of people still listen to local Radio? Yup.

Sure there are lots of other ways people are consuming entertainment. But that doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned radio. We just have more options. It doesn’t mean we’re not listening. Do young people use radio as much as adults over 25? No. But I don’t really recommend you use radio if you’re trying to target kids either.

Your advertising strategy and the words you use in your ads… are SO IMPORTANT. The MOST important. They either make you or break you. They can either make you hate advertising or almost like it. Like “Like-like” it. A few of my clients actually LOVE it. They know it’s the biggest driver of new customers for them.

Even if I wasn’t working for a radio group… or I was running a marketing company… I would still recommend using radio. As long as the strategy and the message is relevant and engaging… there’s not a more versatile way to convey a message to the masses that can stir people’s emotions and get them to like you before they’ve ever done business with you (and the repetition of your radio ads are a huge part of why it’s one of the best ways to get you stuck in people’s heads – in a good way).

Of course, Radio isn’t right for every business. I’ve turned down business before because I knew it wasn’t the right fit. Maybe their profit margins weren’t good enough to make it pay… or they were still fairly new and didn’t have the budget yet to run enough ads to give it a chance to start sticking into people’s heads. There are variables.

Yes, you have a lot of advertising choices. It can get confusing. I can help you navigate all of it. If you have questions about some other forms of advertising and marketing, I’ll give my advice. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you… or we’ll talk through it with each other.

Sorry for being so long-winded today! Making advertising work can get complicated… unless you know the right person. 😉

I hope you have a great rest of the month, quarter, and year!

The Amazing Cake Lady – SF Radio Advertising Archives

I’m not going to ramble… you just have to listen to these. These three radio spots were produced in 2010. The Cake Lady didn’t have a big budget… but they had “Gramma Nanna”.

She had passion. And we captured that. Enjoy…

The Cake Lady – Peanut Brittle

The Cake Lady – Christmas Candy

The Cake Lady – Pumpkin Tort

Radio Ads shouldn’t sound like Radio Ads.


Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

Is This The #1 Force Behind Business Success?

You can try to fool yourself into thinking that your success is all because of the products you sell or the services you offer. Yes, of course, what you sell is important. You need to offer something to consumers that is needed or desired. That’s a given.

business success

But in my humble opinion, the #1 reason for continued long-term success is your people. You need good people who know how to create, build, and service. And you, their leader, needs to instill in those people your passion and your mission. (Your passion stems from more than just making money, right?)

Now, let’s dig a little deeper. All employees need to be good… BUT… THE MOST INTEGRAL PARTS OF YOUR TEAM, THAT MOST DIRECTLY EFFECTS YOUR SUCCESS OR FAILURE, are the people who deal with your customers and your potential customers ONE-ON-ONE. They’re the ones who make the customer experience a great one. They provide a better customer experience than anyone could get from your competitors.

There are companies past and present who have great products and offer much needed services, but they’ve either gone away or are constantly struggling because the customer experience is… or was… horrible.

When a consumer is uncomfortable during an interaction, sales pitch, or service call – it will all fall apart. If not immediately, it will eventually.

Do not kid yourself. If you run a company that depends on multiple employees… one person does not make a successful company. You may be a great leader, but you also need to identify and mold good talent. And you need to know when someone does not fit the mold. Not everyone is trainable at this very moment in time or sometimes ever. And if you need help identifying “the right stuff” in people when you’re hiring them… then get some second and third opinions on your potential new hires. You have to uncover who people really are in your interviews. You have to get them talking. It’s more than just a sheet of questions asking about their skills and where they see themselves in 5 years. It’s about making them feel comfortable enough in an interview to open up and be honest with you.

But again… not everyone is trainable. You know what I’m talking about.

Think about a time you had a great customer experience when you purchased something. Usually, the big, fat, juicy main reason for that great experience was because of one person. Or a string of people who were on-point with how to interact with you.

It’s how they talked to you. They were pleasant, skilled, positive, and they were REAL.

But have you ever been in a buying situation where a person went into a canned sales pitch, and you just wanted to tell them to stop the bullshit and level with you? It’s like your lizard-brain is telling you to run away. Or have you ever got a grumpy service person, and you vowed right then and there never to hire that company again? Ever talk to a rude front office person who gave you a bad taste in your mouth? Yup. All of them. Me too.

Anyone within your company who deals with your customers (or prospective customers) one-on-one… in-person, on the phone, or even through email… are your main reasons for your success or your failure.

People have more choices than ever before to buy the goods and services they want or need. So, when that one employee gives a customer an easy interaction, and creates an environment of calmness and trust, that customer will stay with that person no matter what. Even if that person goes to work for a competitor of yours, that customer will most likely follow that person. Because we all like to do business with PEOPLE… not corporations.

This blog post was inspired by a buying experience I had recently with a salesperson. We’ve done a lot of business with this person, over many years. And this person always treats my wife and I like we’re human beings. They “get it”. This person is almost the complete opposite of what you usually find. They’re a gem that makes us feel COMFORTABLE. If this person ever changed companies, we’d follow.

The one-on-one human interactions are where your battles are won or lost.

It’s not your social media.  It’s not whether you have great products or services.  It’s not because you just “know” that you’re better.  

Make sure you have a team of diamonds dealing with your customers. If they need more training on how to deal with people… give it to them. And then, continue with that training weekly… forever. If you need to hire more diamonds, go find them. They may be hiding in a rough… but they are out there. And if you have trouble KEEPING those gems, then, figure out what you can fix.

marketing consultant

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

http://www.SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

Photo credit:
Image by sw_reg_03 on Pixabay

“Where Should I Advertise?” is the WRONG QUESTION

If you’re finally ready to shake up the world and make big things happen with your advertising… BUT… your first question is “Where should I advertise?”… then, you’re asking the wrong question. You’ve just skipped about 6 steps.

You should be asking yourself, “What can I SAY to people that will cause them to want to do business with me?” Only then… should you ask the question of where to advertise.

People don’t care about what you have to say in your ads until you’re saying something that’s relevant to THEM or something that entertains them. And what usually entertains people is Humor or a good Story. We all love a good story.

When you want to finally make your advertising work… let’s sit down and discuss your situation. I’ll help you understand the most important factors that make advertising work, plus all the little variables in the formula that can make or break an advertising campaign.

But beware… because I will talk to you about the mighty benefits of branding your business. If you only have the marketing mentality of “I need a fat and instant ROI with every ad investment I make” …then you will be disappointed and forever chasing something that really doesn’t exist. Not profitably anyway.

Of course, there are exceptions – but I’m writing to all those local businesses who have tried just about every kind of advertising and nothing has ever worked worth a crap. You’re frustrated, fed-up, and ready to flick the next Media Salesperson you talk to right in the brain.

Advertising that always brings instant results is the kind that only plucks the low-hanging fruit. Meaning, it’s just the tiny group of people who only need you at this very moment. And most of your competition is advertising TO THAT VERY SAME TINY GROUP…. giving you an even tinier slice of that low-hanging fruit.

But when you advertise consistently with a relationship-building message that engages emotions and causes people to like and trust you, then you’re advertising to that extremely LARGE group of people who may not need you now, but most of them will in the future. When you “brand” your business properly, those people will remember you when they need you. They’ll be more confident in doing business with YOU… even when your competitors try grabbing them as low-hanging fruit with their intermittent advertising.

When you BOND with people in your relationship-building ads, they’ll remember you because of how you made them feel. Because you spoke to them about THEIR NEEDS… not yours.

If you only “shoot from the hip” or “roll the dice” periodically with your “Act Now!” type of advertising, you’re just hoping and praying that people choose you based on luck… or price. Sounds like a bad bet to me.

So, I said that you need to figure out your message and your strategy FIRST. But you might not know how to do that. That’s ok. But neither do most other media people. Most of them know how to place a media buy and that’s it. And those salespeople hand off some client notes to a “creative” person, and they come up with a pile of garbage that doesn’t work.

I’ll help you with your advertising strategy. Your message. Your plan.

“Trying this… and trying that”… is getting a little old, isn’t it?

We’re not right for everyone, but for those that fit… we do some pretty amazing things for their bottom line.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

Email: duane.christensen@townsquaremedia.com

Call or text: 605-940-7984

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

What Successful Radio Advertisers Have To Say About Digital Advertising…

Oh, it warms my heart! Sometimes when I bring up our Digital Advertising options to clients, they say something like… “why would we do that? we love what radio does for us.”

Some specific comments to me have been:

“Do you think we need it?”

Where I will say, “I just wanted to make you aware of our capabilities, just in case YOU thought you needed it. When it’s time to add to your budget and continue with your growth, I would add another radio station before I added digital. And they said, “We love our radio.”

“Every time we start a new ad, I know about it the first day it airs, because someone mentions it to me. I don’t think digital advertising is where it’s at.”

I asked if I could give them a hug after hearing that one.

“I don’t remember one digital ad I’ve seen recently. But I could name at least a dozen different businesses who I’ve heard on the radio in the past week.”

I said, “That’s interesting because it’s so much easier to brand a business with sound than with sight only. There’s a whole lot of neurological mumbo jumbo proving it. I’ll send you a short, but interesting article on the power of sound.”

“Online ads are just in the way when I’m trying to read an article. It’s annoying.”

I told them that I agreed that online ads can be annoying, but we could do digital ads that would complement their radio and they would allow us to “touch” people in another way, and also link to their website. Which they replied, “We want people to call us, we don’t even care if they go to our website.” And I said, “Exactly. I’ll shut up now. I just wanted to see how you felt about it.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m ok with digital advertising, as long as we have a solid enough radio campaign to go along with it. The best kind of advertising for a local business is the kind the brands you in the brains of the people. So, when they have a need for what you do or sell, they think of YOU first.

For example, if someone needs their carpets cleaned, but they don’t have a regular carpet cleaner they trust… do you want them to type “carpet cleaners in Sioux Falls” into Google to see all of your competition? Even if you are ranking #1 on the first page… or even buying Google Ads… you’re still right there with a whole list of competitors. OR… would you rather they immediately think of YOU when they need their carpets cleaned and they simply type YOUR BUSINESS NAME into Google and contact you directly?

The power of good branding is so much more beneficial than obsessing about ranking the highest on Google.

BUT… a good SEO plan and website is also beneficial. What if a person didn’t quite think of your business immediately, and they typed “carpet cleaning” into Google? Do you think they’ll choose someone they’ve never heard of? Or will they see your name, remember the radio ads, and call you because they have a good feeling about you and they feel like they know what you’re about? Right. They’ll call the business they’ve heard of and they’re familiar with long before they call anyone they don’t recognize or know nothing about.

Did I just get way off track? Yes. But that’s the nature of marketing today. You have so many choices, and it’s confusing. Do you know what I think you need? I think you need a good marketing person in your corner that you can trust. Someone who will honestly answer the questions you have… and who has the “stuff” to actually make your advertising work.

Someone like that could quite possibly be priceless. Am I that person? Maybe I’m a good fit for you, maybe I’m not. But my goal is actually to BECOME PRICELESS to my clients. And that doesn’t happen by just slinging “Ad Packages” or cheap rates. It comes from being a good marketing resource, and it comes from making advertising work. Which is what I obsess about for my clients every day.

And it’s also why I have clients who say things like… “We love radio. I say we double-down on THAT.”

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

(image by: https://pixabay.com/)

What Should I Say In My Business Facebook Posts This Year? And What About Pictures and Video?

First Lesson:

Don’t use these cliché words or phrases down below for the rest of your life… and then for exactly 6 months after that.

For all your ______ needs.

Make your dreams a reality.

Second to none.

Best quality.

Your __________ headquarters.

They’re called clichés because the words hold no voltage. They’re “empty words”. I know you have something better to say than that.

A good Facebook post is anything that snaps and jolts your prospect out of their current trance. People have thousands of things going on each day. Kids to school, cranky boss at work, dinner tonight, car needs an oil change, house payment is due, lawn needs to be mowed, traffic, road construction, dropped their phone in the toilet, etc., etc., etc. So, it should be no surprise to you that your “target” on Facebook is not excitingly waiting for the next post from your business. They’re scrolling… and scrolling… and sorting and sifting through their Facebook feed. It’s a break for them. It’s entertainment. It’s “socializing”. And their time is valuable. So, your business FB post needs to NOT WASTE THEIR TIME.

What do people love to see on Facebook? Pictures and videos.

If you’re including a picture… make it one of your own. Not some stock photo. Personalize it! If you post just words without a picture, the engagement of that post will be much lower than if you had included a relevant image of some sort.

If you’re including a video… make sure that video is helpful. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. At the end of the video, do you truly feel that anyone who has watched is going to be glad they did? Or is it just another “post” because you heard you should post on Facebook 6x per week? If you don’t have anything good to post, then, skip it. Don’t bother. And you better keep your videos short. 90 seconds or less. 30 seconds or less would be even better for anything on social media. I’m not saying longer videos aren’t ever effective. The only thing that really matters is how long you can keep people engaged.

And if you’re one of those who are TRYING to make something go viral… you’re wasting your time. And probably embarrassing yourself and your business in the process. 99.99infinity% of viral videos were not planned. Have you ever watched a clip on America’s Funniest Videos and you KNOW it was staged? Yeah… those don’t win. They’re not funny. Your inner BS detector flushed it out and said, “I don’t think so.”

And most viral videos aren’t selling something like you’re trying to do. Viral videos are spontaneous, entertaining, shocking, tear-jerking, super-funny, jaw-dropping, etc. Stop trying to create viral videos.

Who’s seeing most of your business Facebook posts? Your current customers. Your fans. Facebook isn’t a great place to find new customers for most businesses. Especially most local service businesses. We don’t care about your plumbing company right now. We only care about you when we have a plumbing problem. (Side Note: Service businesses benefit incredibly with a good branding campaign on the Radio. A campaign that helps people get to know you, trust you, and like you before we even meet you.)

Should you have a Facebook presence? Sure. But throw some smiling pics of your employees in action on there once in a while. Maybe stir the pot a bit, and share something like, “Here’s why you’re paying more than you should to most plumbers.” (or whatever category you’re in) Or give some helpful tips (being helpful and “non-self-serving” increases trust).

I have a radio client who advertises only on the Radio. They rarely post on Facebook. They’re very successful. They treat their customers and employees better than most or all of their competitors. They’ve been advertising on the radio with me for almost 10 years. They grow every year. They’re happy with their radio because it brings them new customers consistently without them having to come up with some social media gimmick to attract someone new. And just like a good Facebook post, our ads are attention-getting, engaging, and entertaining. Week-in and week-out, they’re getting new customers. If you’re not getting a consistent flow of new customers every week, every month… then, you’re probably hurting.

Back to the Facebook stuff. Now, if you’re a retail business… I want to know about your products. I want to see pictures of your products and why I might want your product. I want to see any specials you have. I DON’T want to hear you spout off about how “you’re the best” and you have “the best quality”. PROVE IT TO ME.

And what about Facebook Ads? I think you’ll have to try some out for yourself and see if it’s worth it. For some, it is… for others, it’s not. And make sure you’re looking at your Facebook ad results with a questioning eye. Facebook has gotten known for grossly over-inflating their views and clicks. And what if you do get a ton of views or clicks on your ad? The only thing that matters is if it gave you the results you wanted. Did your sales increase? And isn’t that the only thing that matters?

I know a few businesses who are paying someone a few hundred dollars every month to post on Facebook for them. And I don’t think they even know if it’s giving them a positive return on their investment. Are they getting more views? You bet. More sales from it? Questionable.

My wife is a Realtor. And there are a TON of Realtors in Sioux Falls. So, do you think it would work for her to post things like, “Looking for a good Realtor? Contact me for all of your residential real estate needs.” Yuck. No. That won’t work. The best Facebook posts and “boosts” for my wife are new listings she has and Open Houses. On most of those, there is always one or more people who tag someone they know who is looking for a new home. And when you get shares or “tags”… that’s when you get a ton more people seeing your posts. She has discovered which kind of posts are worth “boosting” (throwing a few dollars at to expand the reach).

Social media for any business is a good way to stay in front of current customers. It’s a good way to help stay “top of mind” with them. But relying on it for a good source of finding new customers is going to give you ulcers. Just remember when you’re going to post to Facebook… if it feels forced… skip it. Make sure it contains VALUE for people. Such as entertainment value or helpful information. If you’re doing video, keep it SHORT. If you’re posting pics, make sure it adds to the power of the message you’re trying to convey.

One last thing… if you do your other advertising properly (like Radio Advertising), it will greatly improve your social media impact.

Let me know if you’d like help.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com 605-940-7984

When we figure out the right things to say in your radio ads, you’ll never have to wonder how to find new customers, and keep them coming. I’m an Account Executive, Ad Writer, and Marketing Strategist at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I’ve been with Results Radio since 1998. I’ve seen a lot of different trends in media and marketing over the years. But one thing has always held true – the things you SAY in your ads are what makes or breaks an advertising campaign. It doesn’t matter if you buy the cheapest ads in town… or negotiate for weeks to save a few bucks… if they don’t work, they’re all expensive. And this is worth repeating… When we figure out the right things to say in your radio ads, you’ll never have to wonder how to attract new customers, and keep them coming.

Too Many Advertising Choices

I was talking with a long-term, very successful radio client the other day.  He was feeling overwhelmed with all the advertising choices today.  From TV, Radio, and Print… to all the digital platforms, and so many others.  Hundreds.  He said he gets at least 2 calls a day from an advertising salesperson!  Talk about make you want to pull your hair out!

Photos taken by Jason Davis of Starhaven Films.

He asked me when I was going to start my own marketing company, so he could let me handle it all.  I said it wasn’t happening this year… or is it?  : )

His marketing budget isn’t big enough to justify using an advertising agency.  But it IS big enough to where he’s trying to juggle multiple different ad mediums.  

But because I’ve had a blog for years… I’ve built websites… and I also create digital advertising campaigns… I can talk about all of this stuff with him comfortably.  Not just about Radio.  I put his mind at ease a bit when we agreed that Hibbu was probably a big fat waste of money for him (and a few other minor marketing investments he was flirting with).  And we discussed his TV ads, and how he needs to update the TV ad about 4 times a year in order for it to be more effective (his current ad has been running for over 12 months and has lost the “oomph” that it once had).  Ya gotta keep it fresh.   

We also discussed his radio budget.  He was concerned about fewer radio listeners.  I said radio listenership hasn’t gone down.  It’s been steady for decades.  And actually seems to be rising a bit.  I said, “I have faith in radio… or else I’d go work for some other advertising medium.”  I actually have the MOST faith in RADIO than anything else out there.  It’s where I know how to consistently reach a large number of people.  But not just “reach” them… reach them effectively with ads that don’t sound like ads.  Ads that get attention, persuade, and entertain.  Ads that cause people to feel really good about a local business.  And when they trust a business and like what that business stands for… guess what?  There’s a pretty BIG chance they’ll eventually become a customer of that business.

That’s what good radio does. 

There are so many “professionals” around every corner and dark alley… telling you different things.  All they do is add to the confusion. 

The person that you should really find… is the one who has your best interest at heart.  The one where “the sale” doesn’t matter – your RESULTS do.  Your happiness does. 

We shook hands and I went back to my office and wrote 2 good radio scripts to get produced.  These are ads that will strengthen this client’s ad strategy and strengthen the bond between his good, local business and our listeners.  

After all, good radio advertising is just making new friends with people before they even meet you.

So, when you feel like advertising is an emotional roller coaster… Happy, Frustrated, Angry, Confused, and then back through those emotions and many more… over and over… please, contact me, and let’s discuss your local marketing.  If you’re tired of TOO MANY CHOICES… and don’t know where to turn, you’re not alone.  Let’s talk.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

How To Allocate Your Advertising Budget 💲💲💲

Here’s the screen shot of the exact text I received from a client…

sioux falls advertising options

You can’t afford it.  You can’t afford to advertise everywhere. I know you’d love to… but there only a few advertisers in the Sioux Falls area who can afford to advertise properly on a lot of different advertising mediums.“So, now what… DU-ANE… you’re saying I can’t afford to advertise?!”No, that’s not what I’m saying.  I’m saying you waste big wads of money if you advertise in too many places, too thinly.What’s the reason you’re looking to advertise right now?  Here are a few potential reasons…You just got to the point where you want to GROW.  It’s because you’re hungry and you want a bigger slice of the local market…

  • OR you have more and more competition moving in year after year…
  • OR you’re new, you have competition, and you know you have to advertise if you’re going to have a chance at sticking around.

And if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.  So, you’re going to have to set a budget and figure out the best way to invest that budget.I’m assuming you’re already doing some social media. Or at least have a few accounts out there. The first thing that most will want to do is get their logo and contact info in front of a bunch of eyeballs.  So, spending some money on social media ads can get your business in front of some new people… but it’s very limited.  To make an impact, you’ll need mass media.So you say…“Let’s see how much billboards cost. Oooh, maybe those digital ones would be good.”“What about those free magazines?”“And postcards.”“Might as well find out how much TV ads cost, too.”“Let’s get some radio ads going.”“Online. Everyone’s online.”You get the point. You want to be EVERYWHERE. You want everyone to know about you.  But the thing with advertising is… if you spread your message to thinly in front of an audience… they won’t experience your ad often enough to get your message to sink into their brain.  So, you’re just sprinkling and dribbling your message here and there and everywhere, and most of the audience is probably not even seeing or hearing it.People aren’t just sitting around waiting to experience your ads… we’re busy doing things.  Your ads will hit some people and miss some people.  The next day, they’ll hit others and miss others.  Hopefully, the day after that, your ad hits the same people again.  Hit and Miss.  Happens all the time.  And when your spread your advertising around too thinly… it’s miss, miss, miss, hit, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, hit, miss, miss…..WHERE TO PUT THE HEFTY PORTION OF YOUR BUDGET“Yup. Here it comes, Duane.  This is where you say RADIO RADIO RADIO!”You’d be correct.  Or TV.  But TV has its challenges that radio doesn’t.  And vice-versa (for those who don’t know how to “do” radio advertising effectively).  But to be honest… I don’t see TV commercials very often at all because we TIVO the shows we like… and use a lot of Netflix.A good radio schedule takes care of the REPETITION part.  More “hits” when it’s done right.  To a big audience. Repetition is so important in this busy world. People aren’t sitting around waiting to experience your next ad. We’re busy. It’s easy to miss us. That’s why finding a big mass media like Radio… plus the repetition… 2 out of the 3 parts needed to persuade people to do business with you.You don’t have to be everywhere.  You can’t.  And if you try… you’ll be massively disappointed in your advertising efforts.  But most good radio stations HIT a lot of people.  What if you could talk to 20,000 people, week in and week out with whatever you wanted to talk to them about?  You don’t think that if you convinced even 10% of them to do business with you within the next 12 months… that wouldn’t impact your business in a good way?  What if you eventually convinced 30 or 40% of them to give you a shot?  Whoa.  But that only happens when you say good things to the same group of people over and over.  Not annoyingly… or too frequent… but consistently.  Consistently telling your story.  Consistently making friends with a big group of people.  There’s tremendous power in that!And what happens when you expand to another radio station or two?  Whoa… now you’re really reaching a LOT of people.  And you’re doing it with enough repetition.Great advertising campaigns throughout history all have the majority of their budget put into advertising that utilizes the sense of SOUND.  We remember things longer when sound is used versus only visual.  It’s how the brain is wired. Don’t get me wrong.  There are strengths and weaknesses for all media.  It’s just that “sound” advertising has a few more advantages over “sight only” media (online, billboard, bus bench, mags, etc.).  Here are a few of the best ones…It’s INTRUSIVE (you can’t close your ears)

  • It sticks in our memory longer (it’s science)
  • You can paint any picture you want with sound (set the stage with the spoken word, instead of being limited to props – the only limit is your imagination)
  • You can personalize an ad more with sound (if I show you a picture of any dog, it’s just a dog… if I say, “YOUR dog” in an ad, well… that’s emotional – and when emotion is injected into your ads, that’s when you’re getting close to a home run)
  • You can speak to people for 30 or 60 seconds!  Not many advertising mediums can do that.

With a consistent radio campaign week after week, you’ll hit the low-hanging fruit… but you’ll also start doing something far more beneficial.  If you have a good STRATEGY, you’ll start the branding process with those who don’t need you right now.  And when you “brand” your company well, people will remember you when they NEED YOU. And that’s when your advertising is kicked up into a gear that you did not know even existed.Cementing your company into the hearts of people is the goal.  And that’s what we do for our clients.  The time we put into planning your advertising campaign is mostly used on your ad strategy and writing your ads. Because if that’s not done right… it won’t matter where you advertise.Radio is alive and well.  93% listen every week.  I have a nice handful of wildly successful clients who put the majority of their ad budget into radio.  It’s their “go-to”.  So, let’s make it work for YOU, too! For example, here’s a text I received from a client who’s on a 48-week, annual radio plan…  radio advertising text from Sioux Falls client

It doesn’t hurt to meet, have a coffee, ask some questions, and talk about your business goals.  We’re not right for everyone… but we could just be exactly what you need.Duane Christensen  (Account Executive / Ad Writer / Marketing Helper)Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls605-940-7984duane.christensen@results-radio.com