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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls
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.
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!
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.
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…
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)
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:
The teeny-tiny group that needs your product or service now (which is what most online, print, and “sale” advertising ONLY targets)
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).
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. : )
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
Here 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.
Results Radio Townsquare Media - Sioux Falls
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.