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

I’m Seeing This Mistake – A Lot!

Digital Advertising

“You HAVE to advertise on the Internet.”

We spend a lot of time online.  We also ignore the crap out of 99.9% of ads we see on the internet.  Tell me I’m wrong.

I’m assuming you might be told that “You have to TARGET TARGET TARGET the right person.  You need to figure out who your best customers are and then target those same demographics and behaviors with a laser-scoped rifle.”

I’m talking about “Display Advertising” online.  The images with text on them.  How many do you ignore in a day?  How many do you EVER click on?

How about Pay Per Click advertising?  Like Google Adwords? (which is changing to just “Google Ads” I guess).  I actually think there is some value with Google PPC ads for the right type of product or service.  It’s easy to test, too, without spending a fortune.  Then, when you find something that works, you can increase your budget a bit or your territory.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they bomb. But it’s all about the product or service you’re advertising and the wording you use in the ad.  If you have questions about using Google Ads… give me a shout and we can discuss.

Ok, the same is probably true for display advertising… but there are local businesses spending thousands upon thousands each month on display advertising.  Personally, I bet their ROI doesn’t even pay for the ads.  Sure, they see that they’re getting ad impressions or clicks… but most aren’t measuring things correctly to know if it’s actually bringing them new business. Because that’s what matters, right?

Bottom line… you’re spending too much on display advertising.

Guess what?  I actually SELL display advertising once in a while.  Townsquare Media is really good at it.  Like REALLY good.  So, if I find the right client with the right product / service / offer… then I might recommend it… because I know that Townsquare will give them more bang for their buck than any other digital ad agency that I know about.

BUT BUT BUT… if I have the choice of adding $1500 to $2500 per month onto either 1) more radio stations or 2) display ads………………….. I’m picking the extra radio station(s) every time.  EVERY. TIME.

WHY, you say?  Because given the choice of playing an engaging and entertaining radio commercial to 100,000 people per week versus flashing an internet display ad to 100,000 people, which one do you think has more impact?  Which one do you think is more memorable?  And if you’re not thinking about the same kind of radio ads that I’m thinking about, then click HERE to play a few samples.

The HUGE NET you cast with a great radio marketing campaign will target 3 groups of people: 

  1. The teeny-tiny group that needs your product or service now (which is what most online, print, and “sale” advertising ONLY targets)
  2. The considerably bigger group who doesn’t need you now, but will need your product or service within 1 to 12 months. And you can start telling them why you frickin’ rock, and how you’ll be the best damn choice for them when they DO need you (while most of your competitors are only advertising to the teeny-tiny group of low-hanging fruit).
  3. The much much bigger group of people who have no intention or inkling of using your product or service within the next year or two or three.  Your engaging and entertaining radio campaign will start forming a relationship with these people. They’ll feel like they know you before they even meet you! They’ll come to TRUST you before they even meet you (if the ads are done right)!  And what happens then? When they actually NEED the product or service you sell… who do you think they THINK OF FIRST?  Yup.  You.

Recent Radio Advertising Client Story

I have a radio client that’s been on the radio for 1 year and about 4 months with me.  The phase of RESULTS (or ROI) he’s knee-deep into right now from his Results Radio campaign… is impressive.  He went from doing NO RADIO, to radio ads on 2 big radio stations, 4 weeks each month… and his business is kind of exploding.  He went from ONE front desk / administrative professionals to THREE in this short time.  And I don’t know how many other service employees he has hired.  ANYWAY… here’s what happened…

He recently asked me to put his radio ads on hold… so they can CATCH UP!

He is also in a category that nobody had ever tried to lay claim as “the leader” in Sioux Falls.  Meaning, the competitors in his category didn’t advertise much…. or very effectively anyway.  That makes it prime pickins’ for snagging a huge share of market.  But that only comes when you snag a huge share of the minds within that market.  If you’re one of those categories where nobody is really “running away with it”… and you’d like to make your mark… give me a holler!

If you’re wondering who the client or the category is, just shoot me an email, and I will happily share some of the details of the campaign, and why I feel it’s working so well.

I did tell him, “I’ll pull the ads for a bit, but I don’t think you’ll slow down much because you’ve ‘duct-taped’ your brand onto the brains of a big chunk of the public.”

Oh, and guess what.  He doesn’t do digital advertising. Or much social media at all. Or pay per click. Just a little bit of TV on ESPN I believe.  And he’s killing it – with his long-term, 4 weeks per month, radio advertising.  And that makes me really happy.  : )

Duane Christensen
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
605-940-7984
duane.christensen@results-radio.com

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

 

 

How and Where to Schedule Your Radio Advertising | Stop! You are Doing It Wrong!

 

how to schedule radio ads

You want control.  You want the best bang for your buck.  And you think that radio listeners have the same habits that you do, or that more people listen to the radio at 7:45 AM than they do at 3:17 PM.  Because of that belief, you may think that you want your radio ads placed in specific times throughout the day.  And I’m here to tell you it’s a waste of money.  You’re going to be paying a lot more for those “specific time frames” when scheduling radio advertising… and it won’t put your ads in front of more people.  Possibly less.  

Don’t confuse how to place ads on television with how to place ads on radio.  It’s not the same. Don’t believe that everyone has the same radio listening habits. They’re listening all throughout the day when their unique schedule allows because they want to be entertained and feel good.

Radio listeners are habitual with their listening in most cases. Meaning, they tend to listen during the same times each day based on their work / life schedules.  But everybody’s daily lives are different.

Some people listen for 15 minutes on the way to work, 15 minutes on the way home, and any other time they’re in their car.  Others listen for 3 hours each morning to their favorite morning show… then, might switch to another station or two or three for the rest of the day.  Some are in LOVE with their radio station and would never change the dial – and listen for 6+ hours a day.  Some listen to satellite, pandora, music on their phone, spotify, AND local Radio.  Some listen to our stations online.

(But guess what? 90+% of adults listen to local radio every week.)

You can’t predict when someone is listening.  Just like you can’t predict what day someone is more likely to be ready to buy your product or service.  Sure, there may be some hours that might get a few more listeners here and there.  But we’re not talking about huge swings throughout the day.

If you want to advertise during specific times of the day, you’re only reaching those who habitually listen at THAT time of day.  You’re missing the others, who can’t tune in at that specific time.  A lot of others.  So, you’re shrinking your audience.

The same goes for the question, “Which days should I advertise?”

You may want to place your ads on Thursdays and Saturdays because those 2 days are your highest sales days.  Sure, if you’re a convenience store and have a sale on milk on those days.  But not if you’re selling something with a longer purchase cycle.

Usually, only a couple percent of people are in the market to buy what you sell at any given moment.  So, your best use of advertising is to advertise to those who will need you months from now.  It’s a MUCH bigger group of people.

The goal is to win people’s hearts long before they’re in the need for what you sell.  Then, when they NEED what you sell, they automatically make YOU one of their top choices because you made them feel good about your company.  Because you gave them confidence that their money will be well spent.

And that didn’t happen because of the Radio Ad you placed between the Noon and 1pm hour on Friday.  It’s because of the ads they heard at all times of the day for the past 3 to 6 months!

I don’t care if they came to your store and said I heard your latest radio ad.  They also heard the last 5 or 6 ads you aired that led them to this moment of choosing YOU.  You won their hearts and trust with multiple ads and stories.  Not just ONE.

They may have also seen an online ad, newspaper ad, or Facebook post, and told you THAT is why they came in your store.  But they didn’t tell you about the dozen radio ads that were subtly telling them why YOU would treat them right and be their friend in the business.

They may have decided to even Google your business name because they heard about you and wanted to know more.  So, they went to your website and saw that you were legit and seemed like a worthy local business they could trust.  And when you asked them how they heard about you, they say they “Googled you” or “visited your website”. But they didn’t tell you about your Radio Ads they had been consciously or subconsciously hearing for the past 17 weeks.

Don’t try to predict when someone will be listening to the radio or when they will be ready to buy.  Just place your ads all throughout the day, every day, every week, and they will remember you when they need you. That is IF… if if if if… you’ve been telling them about yourself in ways that invoke trust and a good feeling about your business – not just a laundry list of what you do or by telling them you have the best products and service.

Your ads need to entertain and persuade at the same time.  It’s not easy to do.  But when you DO… good things happen.

The SECRET SAUCE is in the ADS themselves.  Not the times that you place your ad.  You want an ad schedule that reaches people all throughout the day at all different times.  THEN… you’re reaching the entire audience – not just a little sliver.  THEN… you can worry about more important things… like making sure your advertising message doesn’t go in one ear and out the other without making an impact with that listener.

Radio is the ultimate social media.  People listen to learn about what’s going on in their community and be entertained.  So, do the same in your radio ads (teach them and entertain them), and they won’t even feel like “ads” to the listeners.  THAT is when you WIN.

Give me a call and let’s discuss how to finally make your advertising budget start working for you.  Can’t wait to meet you and learn about your business.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio-Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising - Duane ChristensenRadio stations in sioux falls

Local Marketing When You Have Ample Competition

advertising and marketing sioux falls

It’s the week that two more Sioux Falls restaurants are closing.  It’s possibly some evidence that they could have used a good radio advertising campaign, eh?  I never heard one from either of them.  Actually, they needed a good marketing consultant.  Someone who could be trusted to give them the honest truth – good or bad.  The truth that their customer service or their menus needed a bit of improving.  They needed someone to consistently be their 2nd set of eyes.  Every business needs that. 

First of all, there are about 17 billion restaurants in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  You almost need an act of God to make it last.  But I don’t want this blog post to be specifically about restaurants.  It’s about those who have a pack of wild dog competitors… all fighting over the same pie.  

ANY BUSINESS with ample competition, could benefit greatly from a long-term, consistent radio campaign.

I think of the dentist that I’m working with to eventually get them advertising on the Radio.  (There are almost as many dentists as restaurants, I think.)  As I was gathering some information and doing my research, I noticed this dentist had about 10 Google reviews.  4 of those reviews were terrible. Like BAD BAD.  I brought it up to them.  I advised that they fixed whatever issue was going on, and start burying those bad reviews with good reviews before they started their radio advertising.  I didn’t want people who heard the radio ads to then find their phone number and location on Google, and have their poor “review star average” sabotage the radio campaign right from the start. 

When you have a lot of competition, everything needs to be pumping on all cylinders, otherwise you’ll fall hard and fast.  If we had started their radio ads too soon, it would have only brought more eyeballs to their bad reviews, helping them to eventually go out of business.

Let’s pretend you have all your ducks in a row, and are ready to get going with a better marketing plan…

The easy part is to set your budget annually for your radio campaign.  Radio’s superpower is unleashed when you schedule your ads 36 to 52 weeks per year.  We’re BRANDING here.  We want to stamp your business name onto the brains of consumers.  When they need what you sell… we want them to think of YOU.

I can make this work for you.  Period.  If you’ll give me the time to do some digging and get to the bottom of what you do best, how you do it best, and how your best customers feel about you… I can help you make the next year and beyond… better than you’ve ever experienced.  Especially, if you’re frustrated with marketing and advertising.  There are so many choices out there!  And they all try to make you believe that you MUST buy advertising on their medium.  It’s not true.  You can’t do it all.  You can’t afford it.  Especially, when most of it doesn’t work.

When you focus your advertising efforts on just a couple of things (instead of dozens), then you give yourself a chance to succeed.  When you run a business that sells products or services to the masses… then, mass media is where you should put the big part of your budget.  And when Radio reaches 90%+ of people, doesn’t that sound like a great place to start?

I mentioned the easy part was setting your ad budget annually, and starting a 36 to 52-week radio campaign (depending on the competitive landscape).  The harder part of your “advertising success equation” is the creation of Ads that actually work.  It’s the harder part because it’s the most important part.

Your ads can’t sound like every other ad.  Your ads can’t sound like a newspaper ad read into a microphone.  There are a bunch of ways to do advertising the wrong way, but only a few ways to do it the RIGHT WAY.  Radio is for entertainment.  So, your ads need to have an “entertainment factor” included in them.  They also need to hit the emotional hot buttons of your potential new customers.  If you remember that your ads are NOT ABOUT YOU, but about your customers… that’s one of the most valuable lessons you can learn about marketing.

Whether you’re a restaurant, a plumber, a mattress store, an auto dealer, a roofer, a medical center, etc., you need to talk to the needs of your potential new customer.  Make them feel something.  Make them feel comfortable with you before they even meet you.  Increase their trust in you.  Decrease their risk of doing business with you.  Make them feel at ease.  Cause them to LIKE you.  Cause their eyebrows to raise a bit by something you share with them.  All you’re trying to do is make friends with new people.  And one of the best ways to do that in your radio ads, is to tell them stories, be vulnerable, be transparent, be funny, be honest, and talk to them about the things they care about.  Most importantly, be human.  Don’t be an annoying salesperson in your ads.

Because when your ads sound like “ads”… people ignore them.  They don’t even know they’re doing it.  Our brains do it for us.  Automatically.  

Another way to break down some barriers and increase the “trust factor” is to have someone from your business be the “voice” in your ads.  Either the business owner or manager, preferably.  Let me explain something first about how our brains interact with “ads”.  Your brain filters out things that you don’t need.  It scans your environment for relevant items.  It tells you to ignore irrelevant ones.  And advertising is usually in the irrelevant category.  But your advertising can sidestep a brain’s “gatekeeper” by not sounding like typical advertising. 

By voicing parts of your own radio ads, it provides a built-in level of trust that will speed up your radio advertising success.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Who would a consumer potentially trust more?  A “radio voiceover person” who has nothing to do with your business and is just reading the script that they were given… or someone from your business?

Are you thinking… who the heck is going to write my radio ads?!

I am.  It’s what I’m trained to do here at Results Radio. 

We’re constantly learning and training on how to make your advertising work.  And the #1 “making it work” factor is the writing of your radio scripts.  It’s what I love to do.  Once we have the strategy figured out… and the direction you’d like to go… then we grease up the wheels and hit the Start button.

It’s exciting.  And then, it’s not.  Because you want your advertising to be like a switch you flip On and Off.  But remember… you’re branding.  Radio’s superpower is getting people to remember you first when they need what you sell.  And getting your business name (and what you stand for) stamped onto consumers’ brains… takes some time.

You need to give your radio advertising campaign at least 3 to 6 months for the ball to start rolling a little easier (Depending on the purchase cycle time for your product or service).  Not that you won’t get some people acting right away because of the ads that they heard… but the majority of your new customers will come later.  Building trust takes time.  Making new friends takes some time.  You’re planting seeds.  And that seed needs a time to mature.  And then, once harvest time comes… it gets exciting again. 

When you do this right, your competition will know something is happening.  You’ll be taking a bigger slice of the pie.  Their slice.  And that’s good… because you’ll be treating your new customers better than anyone else could.  Right?  Right.  And when that happens, you’ll be on your way to some pretty eye-opening growth.  Growth that you’ve been seeking, but couldn’t find.  Until you discovered the power of sound in your advertising.  The power of good radio.

Ready?    

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Record Month!

Radio Advertising Success

No… not me.

Even better… it’s one of my clients who had a record month!

And the best part, they give credit to the Radio advertising they do with me.

But it wasn’t that way in the beginning.  I remember weekly conversations.  One week radio rocks.  The next week it sucks donkey.  Cancel.  No, double my schedule.

And all through their growing pains, I kept preaching, “This is going to take a little time. You’re on the right track, but be patient.  You’re in a long-term purchase cycle industry.  We just have to keep saying it better than your competitors do.  You’ll start earning trust with more and more people in time.  We need to let your strategy sink into people’s brains. Patience, grasshopper.  Give this ball a chance to start gaining momentum.”

This client also isn’t afraid to put a few dollars out there.  They had to.  They have a massive amount of competition in Sioux Falls.

Uff Da.  There were a lot of times it was stressful and frustrating for me.  They would threaten to cancel or reduce their radio schedules every other week.  But I had faith.  Faith in our radio stations and faith in the strategy and ads that we were sharing with a whole bunch of people every single day.  I knew it was just a matter of time until there was a tipping point.

So, how does this happen?  What kind of ads work?  Why radio?  How much should someone spend on advertising?

The owner was courageous.  He wanted to “say it different” in the ads.  He wanted to be bold and shock people a little bit.  Those are the best kinds of business owners when it comes to creating a radio campaign.  Too many want to “water down” their message and make sure it doesn’t offend anyone and make it sound just like every other ad.

The radio ads were sincere.  The owner voiced most of the ads.  Or parts of them.  The ads had headlines that make people stop what they’re doing… and listen.  This was retail, and we knew their business had a better product to offer consumers.  All we had to do was gain their trust.  But it took time because the industry was full of big national brands pushing their fluff all over every media outlet… for decades.

My client started focusing ad dollars where they knew it was making an impact.  Radio was at the top of the list.  So, now, instead of spreading marketing dollars across dozens of media choices, they put their dollars into what they knew was working.  And then, they weren’t overspending either.  Now, they just needed to be patient and let their ad message start sinking into more people’s brains.

The ads never say anything like, “for all your ________ needs.”  They never say anything cliché that goes in one ear and out the other.  Each line in their ads has the power to make people reconsider where they were going to make their next purchase.  There is no wasted ad time.  No fluff or filler, just to make sure the ad timed out correctly.  Stories were told, testimonials were included intermittently, and the same overall strategy was kept throughout the campaign.  And guess what… there’s no phone number or website address given in the ads.  Ever.

Because of deep competition, my client needed to have enough “share of voice” in the market.  Meaning, they had to have enough ads on each radio station, so they weren’t drowned out by their competition.  They couldn’t just trickle a few ads here and there to the radio audiences.  They needed to start “owning” mindshare.  And they needed to be in people’s ears frequently and consistently.

A 52-weeks per year radio schedule was crucial to making this record month come to fruition.  We needed enough radio ads getting attention and making a positive impact with people each and every week.  And we needed to keep the radio ads fresh.  The longest any ad has ever aired was 3 weeks.  Sometimes, an ad would run for a week and we’d get a better idea and freshen it up.  Sometimes an ad would be so impactful, we knew it wouldn’t have to run as long or would “burn out” with people fast.  If we let it run longer, it would start annoying listeners.  So, we switch it out with a different ad that came at listeners from a different angle of some sort.  We had to keep telling their story in different ways because not everyone responds the same way to every ad.

This is highly competitive retail.  So, the ad spend was upwards of 20% of revenues when they were spending the most.  But once they “dialed in” that Radio was the best generator of new customers, they scaled back spending to between 10 and 12% of revenues.

They have a lot of market share to continue to gain, so, I’m predicting many more record months coming for them over the next couple of years.  It’s going to be exciting to watch it all unfold.

If you want your advertising to make an impact, you have to be passionate about it.  You can’t just throw some dollars to the media wind, and hope something sticks.  You need to be active in your marketing efforts.  I know you wish you could just insert your ad dollars into a vending machine and automatically get a decent return on that investment.  Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.  And if you think it should… you’ll have a really frustrating and unfruitful journey in regards to trying to attract new customers.

If you’d like to discuss how this works in further detail, just give me a shout.  I love helping good, local businesses who love their customers!

Thank you.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio | Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

Radio Sales

 

 

How Much Do You Advertise?

How much do you advertise?  How much SHOULD you advertise?

How do you know if you’re investing too much or too little into some kind of advertising and marketing? Is there an easy formula?

Here’s the “simple” way to determine a general sense of “how much” you need to do….

How much COMPETITION do you have?  A little?  Then, you don’t have to advertise as much.  A lot?  Good luck.  You better have something to say that differentiates you from the competition or give people a reason to choose you instead of all the other businesses that seem exactly like you.

How much do you want to grow and how fast?  If it’s a lot… in a short period of time, then you better pony up some cash.

How complicated is your product or service?  Does “your target” easily understand what you’re offering?  Or are you going to have to really SELL them on it?  The more complicated the message (your advertising), then you’ll need a more complicated ad.  You’ll need a longer ad usually.  You’ll need to compare what you do to something else that is more easily understandable.  Compare what you do to something that almost everyone “gets”.  Or give us a scenario of why and when someone might need what you offer.  You could use a sentence in your advertising like, “It’s like _______, only faster.”   OR “Do you know how when you _______ and _______ and you’re thinking OMG I’m going to pull my hair out…well, we fix that.  We make that go away forever.”  (get my point?)

If you have a niche that nobody else is promoting, but is desirable to your target, then you don’t have to have a very complicated message.  Just get attention with a good headline and be crystal clear with your message.  Don’t overload your ad with things you don’t need.  Don’t force any humor into your ad if you don’t need to. BUT… a little humor in ads helps them get absorbed and listened to better. You just can’t force the humor if it doesn’t fit naturally.

Hey… if you don’t have much competition… congratulations!  Then, all you have to do is let enough people know that you’re open for business and then serve those customers extremely well so they tell others and so they come back again and again.

BUT… I’m thinking you might have more competition than you think you do.  It’s just not “traditional” competition or someone that’s in your precise type of business.  For example, if there are no INDOOR go-cart tracks in your market, you may think you’ll have no competition if you open one.  (Great idea!  Especially, in a place where winters get stupidly cold.)  But during the summer, you’ll have some other competition – a few other tracks.  You’ll get all of the winter entertainment seekers though, right?  Not so fast.  That word “entertainment” is the key to focus on here…

We only have so much money we can spend on “entertainment”.  You might think it’s going to be a perfect weekend for everyone to come out and hand over their cash… but that weekend might just be the opening of the latest Marvel movie, stupid humor comedy, or the next Star Wars film.  You’re competing with every other “entertainment” type of business, not just go-cart tracks.  Movie theaters, trampoline places, sprint car tracks, local sporting events, ski bumps, etc.

And if you’re a restaurant that serves the same kind and caliber of food as 35 other restaurants in a 3-mile radius, good luck.  Then, you for SURE need to keep advertising consistently.  Part of advertising for restaurants is to remind us that you’re there and that you’re an option.  Because we’re getting bombarded with offers and coupons and half-price deals every day.  By the way… why not just advertise why you’re good and how you’re good and tell us a good story along the way so we remember you?  Like on the radio.  Then, you won’t have to give away all your profits with coupons.  Then, when you attract the new customers, you better be able to back up what you’re saying in your ads.

Are you a MATTRESS STORE?  Oh Mama.  Did you know that JCPenney sells mattresses?  And Menard’s? Dude.  If you’re a “middle man” mattress store or a furniture store that sells mattresses… you’re competing on price and you probably offer every crappy mattress out there. And maybe a couple decent ones, but you’re overcharging everyone grossly. Good luck.

I think the only chance you have is if you’re a mattress company that builds your own. Someone who has a proprietary “mattress formula”… and you actually care about your customers. You have to care that you’re producing a good product… and you have to NOT mark it up 1000%.  THEN, you’ll have a shot in this crazy Sioux Falls mattress market.

BECAUSE YOU HAVE SO MUCH COMPETITION… Your mattress advertising will have to push the limits.  Both your Ad Budget and your Ad Content has to push their limits. You’ll have to be consistent with your radio ad schedule and your ads will have to cut through the mattress advertising clutter and “puffery”.  They’ll have to demand attention.  But you’ll have to make a lot of friends with your ads.  Cause people to fall in love with your fresh approach to helping people sleep better.

Sorry for the long mattress scenario. But it’s the same if you’re in any other category with a lot of competition. Your advertising needs to be consistent and have some kind of element within it that will help people REMEMBER you. And that doesn’t happen by just inserting “the facts” about your business into your ads.

Assess your complete market situation before you decide to pump any money into something.  You could be spending more than you need to… or not nearly enough to make an impact.

Keep the “fat” out of your ads!  Don’t fill me full of clichés and fluff and B.S.  Give me some substance.  Entertain me a little.  Keep me listening.  Wow me.  Because I have plenty of other crap to do.  It won’t take much for me to ignore every ounce of your wimpy and gutless advertising.  There’s an imaginary line you shouldn’t cross with how “creative” or “weird” or “out there” your ads are.  But the best performing ads will go right up to that line and flirt with it for a bit.

The more “beefy” and full of flavor your ads are… means THEY WORK BETTER.  Which means you get more big bang for you buck than the average, crappy ad.

For a general “ballpark” local advertising budget, take a percentage of your revenues (or your next year’s revenue goal if you’re looking to grow even more), like 5 to 12% depending on your competition and your profit margins… and stick to it.  Adjust it annually based on how things are going overall.  Of course there are many factors to consider – let me know if you want to talk “budget” or “cost of exposure” in more detail.  Because maybe you’re a retail store that would benefit a lot more by moving to a higher-visibility area instead of putting the extra money into advertising.  Maybe you wouldn’t.

How much should you advertise?  Not too much.  Not too little.   Let’s find your sweet spot.  We can do that by assessing your competition, their advertising, their ad message, and their ad frequency… and then compare that to yours.

Ok, maybe there’s not anything “simple” to figuring out how much to advertise.  But guess what?  There is NO EASY BAKE FORMULA that lets you off the hook of actually learning a little bit about this (or finding the right person to HELP you think it through).  You WISH there was a formula!  You and every other business owner.  Sorry Charlie.  Hey… you can always talk to me.  I’m the guy who has your best interest at heart and who knows how to make advertising work.  And I’ll let you know what kinds of things to avoid overpaying for… or avoid completely.

Do you have a specific marketing question you’d like some clarification on? Just let me know. 🙂

Duane Christensen
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
duane.christensen@results-radio.com
605-940-7984

Slow Down And Do It Right

radio advertising sioux falls

 

When you decide to advertise… you want to see something happen FAST!

But I’m here to tell you to “Calm down, bro.”  When you “do advertising” the right way, your results will come slower than you want them to. And then in 12 months, you’ll be thinking, “Holy crap! This is pretty dang awesome!”

Since, I’m an amateur farmer who helps his old man out with the crops every Spring and Fall… let me put it to you in terms of farming. When you start advertising on the radio, your ad message is a seed.

You can have low-grade seeds that will yield very little, skip the fertilizer, ignore the weeds, and you won’t make any money. Especially, if you’re in a hurry and want to harvest after only having your seed in the ground for 3 weeks.  This is representative of not putting the right effort into your advertising messages and not giving your advertising plan enough time to mature in the minds of consumers.

The alternative is to have a high-yield potential seed, prepare your soil with the right nutrients, make sure the weeds stay away, and then harvest after the seed has grown and matured.  This is representative of a radio campaign that is developed properly. One that cares about the message that is created and one that allows enough time for those ad messages to really sink in to consumers’ minds.

The best things in life come with time.  Just like a good harvest.

Each radio ad is a seed that’s getting planted in a mind. Will someone drop what they’re doing and buy from you the first time they hear your ad?  Of course not.  But what if you keep saying really great things that they care about? Consistently. Again and again. What if you start getting people to trust you because of the stories, helpful information, and entertainment you keep sharing in your radio ads? Over and over. Consistently. Over time.  Hmmmm?

Those seeds begin to take root and grow.  Those ads start to do their job. They’re sinking in.  They’re sticking in brains.  Then what?

Then, over time… as radio listeners live their lives… they’ll eventually need what you sell. And who do you think they’ll think of when they need the product or service you sell? Who do you think that they’ll feel best about? Who do you feel they will have the most confidence in ? ? ? ? ?

YOU.  Your business.  Your people.  They’ve come to trust you before they’ve even met you because you were being patient with them. You were educating them slowly and effectively about why they should do business with you instead of someone else. But you didn’t ever “hard sell” them.  You went through the process of making friends with them through your radio ads that did NOT sound like typical radio ads.

Your seeds were the good ones.  And you watered and fertilized.  And nurtured those seeds.  You had patience.  You slowed down, gave your advertising campaign some real thought before you started it, then you let it go to work.  Nature ran its course and gave you a harvest that you never thought possible.

Slow down… and do advertising right.  It takes a lot of thought and planning at the beginning.  When you set a marketing budget… and focus that budget on a big group of people (a couple radio stations is a great start!), then that big group of people will start to be won over by your sincere advertising messages.

Warning: Don’t scatter your seeds to the wind.  Don’t glitter-blast them into the atmosphere and hope that the marketing gods catch them and turn them into Thousand-Dollar Bills.  That’s the “spray and pray” method.  It doesn’t work.  If you want the full-blown explanation of WHY that doesn’t work, give me a call.

RADIO is one of the most fertile soils you can find to plant your seeds. The power of sound is amazing when it comes to branding.  We can recite the lyrics to songs we never intended to remember.  We can remember tons of details when those details are wrapped into a good story.

Sound.  Radio.  Good soil.

Are you ready to plant some seeds for one heck of a nice harvest, year after year?

Let’s talk about that.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Radio Sales

Some New Radio Commercials / Spots

 

I just wanted to share that I uploaded 9 new radio ads on my “sample” page.

Click Here…   Sample Radio Ads / Commercials / Spots

On 3 of them, I recorded 3 guys (business partners) separately on different days (because they’re busy dudes) from the scripts I wrote, edited the audio, and put them together. A little tricky to do dialogue sometimes without it sounding too lame. Adding humor helps. They’ll definitely stand out. Another new one is a biz owner… and a testimonial. Some are from recording biz owner off the cuff, then editing down. Another is the use of the biz owner and sound effects.

My “warm and fuzzies” come from creating great ads that help good, local business owners help more people.

sample radio commercials ads spots