Radio Advertising Questions and Answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s answer those questions up top first though

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading. Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

What Makes People Do The Things They Do?

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

What makes people do the things they do?

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

There are some obvious ones…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where Should I Advertise?” is the WRONG QUESTION

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

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

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

When you want to finally make your advertising work… let‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúI need a fat and instant ROI with every ad investment I make‚ÄĚ …then you will be disappointed and forever chasing something that really doesn‚Äôt 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‚Äôre advertising to that extremely LARGE group of people who may not need you now, but most of them will in the future. When you ‚Äúbrand‚ÄĚ your business properly, those people will remember you when they need you. They‚Äôll 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‚Äôll 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‚Äôre just hoping and praying that people choose you based on luck… or price. Sounds like a bad bet to me.

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

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

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

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

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media ‚Äď Sioux Falls

Email: duane.christensen@townsquaremedia.com

Call or text: 605-940-7984

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

What Successful Radio Advertisers Have To Say About Digital Advertising…

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

Some specific comments to me have been:

“Do you think we need it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

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

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

First Lesson:

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

For all your ______ needs.

Make your dreams a reality.

Second to none.

Best quality.

Your __________ headquarters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know if you’d like help.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

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

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

Too Many Advertising Choices

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

Photos taken by Jason Davis of Starhaven Films.

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

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

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

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

That’s what good radio does. 

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

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

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

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

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

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I Really Suck at Advertising and Marketing, Please Help!

I was trying to think of what you might Google if you wanted to learn how to improve your local marketing efforts.

  • “Better advertising”
  • “Where should I advertise?”
  • “Should I Advertise Online?”
  • “I really suck at marketing please help”
  • “Advertising salespeople are annoying can I do it myself?”
  • “I’m so much better than my competition why are people so stupid?”

But it’s kind of hard to know what your situation is. Maybe you already advertise on the radio. Maybe you’re already boosting a few Facebook posts here and there.

Let’s talk about advertising choices. There are too many of them. You can’t do everything. Don’t even try.

Here’s the truth about choosing an advertising medium or direction…

Most people (but not you, of course), are NOT fascinated by what actually WORKS… they’re fascinated by what is NEW. Right? Don’t you have this feeling that you’re missing out on something if you don’t give the new, shiny thing a shot?

I’ve said this before…

When you buy advertising, all you’re doing is renting an audience to “reach”. ¬†Different ways to reach people change all the time. But what HASN’T changed is PEOPLE. Making advertising WORK, is all about PEOPLE, not about the new ways to reach them.

In order to be successful, all advertising must do 3 things:

  1. Impact (with people)
  2. Communicate (with people)
  3. Persuade (people)

Bill Bernbach impact communicate persuade

Let’s tackle the “Impact” part of that. The great marketing dude, Bill Bernbach says, “90% of ads do not get noticed.”¬†What?!!! Are you crazy?!!! How is that possible?!!!

Actually, I would agree with that estimate. That statistic comes from a LACK OF IMPACT. Do you want a “Plain Jane” ad that only talks about boring facts of what you sell or what you do?

It will be ignored. You’ll be part of that 90%.¬†Just by standing out (yet still relevant), you’re far ahead of your competition.

Stop being afraid to stand out. You won’t get warts. Your house won’t get egged.¬†

You won’t die.

What do you think happens when your ads get noticed and they’re part of that 10% group?

Hey, I get it. You’re afraid of offending people. There are certain things that I hold back from sharing on social media because I don’t want people to think I’m a flippin’ weirdo or something.

But hey… I’m weird sometimes. My wife loves it. My daughter loves it. If it’s not good enough for anyone else, maybe I shouldn’t care. I do and I don’t. It’s kind of sad that I’m 41 years old, and I don’t think I’ve totally come out of my shell.

I’m working on that though! And so should you!

Especially with your advertising. Stop insisting on blending in. It’s costing you a lot of money – and not making you any.

If you really suck at advertising and marketing your business, then we need to talk. The first thing to do is not make it so difficult and intimidating. All you’re trying to do is become friends with new potential customers. Get them to like and trust you. That starts with authenticity. There are people just like you who would love to buy your product or service. Let them know who you are, what you’re all about, and why you do the things you do. They’ll love you for it. And the best way to do that is through stories, humor, and transparency.

Don’t try to disguise bullshit in advertising with long words or extra words that aren’t needed. We have built-in bullshit detectors in our brains. All of us. So, don’t attempt to get us to love the smell of yours.

Be authentic and create ads with IMPACT! Remember… you won’t die.

Are you ready to advertise though? Is everything up to par within your business? How’s your customer service? How’s your product? Are your current customers happy with you? Here’s another quote from Bill Bernbach…

A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it’s bad.

So, just make sure you’re ready for a great advertising campaign. When you are… let’s get together and discuss the possibilities!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

I work for Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls. Been pounding away here at Results Radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota since 1998. Love helping good, local businesses grow.

You Are Not Special – Or Are You?

You’re thinking, “Damn right we’re special. ¬†People love us!”

That’s awesome if you have customers who love you. You should work really hard to keep it that way! ¬†But what about Non-Customers? Do they love you? ¬†Nope. ¬†They couldn’t care less. ¬†Especially, if they barely know you exist. Especially, if they know nothing about you. Especially, if they are content doing business with your competition right now.

So, what’s the main goal in your advertising investment?

It’s to get RESULTS, right? ¬†Sure. ¬†But HOW do you get results?

Throw a bunch of money at different advertising packages and “deals”… and see what sticks! ¬†Wha? ¬†Nooooooo! ¬†Don’t do that. ¬†I want to help you get a phenomenal return on¬†your advertising. ¬†And that does NOT come by shooting from the hip…

Yosemite-Sam-Quotes-300x281

Looney Toons legend: Yosemite Sam

BOOM!  Die, Varmint!

You’ll be disappointed. And you’ll waste a lot of money.

Back to the question of the hour. HOW do you get advertising results?!!!!!

The answer is in the title.

You must prove to the public that you’re special. PROVE to them… that you’re SPECIAL. Easier said than done though, right?

You can’t just throw up all over people, saying that you’re special and that you’re the best, and you’re “quality”, and a bunch of other horseshit that YOU know is true… but that nobody else believes. They may believe you some day. But first you have to PROVE it to them that you’re special.

Proof.

It’s in the pudding.

Meaning, you need to help your customers “taste” what you have to offer that’s better than what they’re chewing on now. What’s so great about your competition? What’s the big deal that they’re talking about? Probably nothing. They’re most likely just holding up a sign and yelling about who, what, and where they are. That gives YOU an opportunity to POUNCE!

This is where the “strategy” part of your advertising plan comes in. (Want help with strategy? It’s my specialty.)

Take that SPECIAL thing about you in which your competition can’t claim or not talking about. Then, you shine a light on that special thing, so that when the public thinks about your product or service, they INSIST on getting that special thing that you offer. And when they think of it, you want them to think of YOU.

Good advertising is not something as simple as “branding”. Good advertising is making friends with your prospective customers. FRIENDS are much more likely to do business with you that someone who doesn’t know you. So, start your advertising with the idea that you’re trying to make a new friend. Think about that. It’s not branding. It’s more like bonding. It’s being helpful, vulnerable, sincere, and human. That’s what it is.

Take that “special thing” about your awesome local business and weave it throughout a story that you tell the public. The special thing about you is the LOGIC side of your advertising. And the “friendly” part of your advertising is all of the rest. It’s the STORY. It’s the humble and caring part of you. It’s the reason why you love what you do. It’s the passion. ¬†OR… is all of that a great big PART of what makes you SPECIAL? ¬†Hmmmm. ¬†I’d say that you may be on to something! ¬†: )

Need help writing that advertisement? That’s what I love to do. I love to sift through the good, bad, and what your future customer truly cares about (because it’s about them, right?) ¬†And then, we come up with a strategy and radio advertising plan that has immense potential. ¬†A plan that will put you at the forefront of¬†people’s minds. Not because you’re spending the most, but because you’re saying the right things in your ads. You’re proving to people how you will be their superstar.

Then, pretty soon… you have a bunch of new FRIENDS, who think you are SPECIAL, and are ready to be YOUR CUSTOMER. ¬†

And dang, that’s really cool when it all comes together. I have a healthy handful of clients in and around Sioux Falls who would love to tell you about their experience with me and Results Radio. I’d be happy to get you their contact info.

Let me know if you’d like to have a conversation about this sort of stuff.

Have a groovy day!

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Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

 

 

Emotionally Engaging Advertising

How emotionally engaging was the last digital ad you saw?

Everything Apple, iMac, iPhone, iPad, Macbook And Apple Watch

Photo by Stokpic

Not very, right?

I’m not saying digital ads have no benefit… I’m just saying they don’t have much on their own.

A good radio campaign will engage your prospect emotionally.

First, let’s understand why emotion in advertising is king. ¬†If we didn’t buy emotionally… every person would drive the ugliest, cheapest car that effectively got them from Point A to Point B. ¬†We would all wear the same generic shirts, pants, and shoes. ¬†We would never get excited about a new 60-inch TV, we would just say, “That’s overkill. ¬†It’s unnecessary.”

But you know that’s not who we are. ¬†Emotion is involved in almost every decision we make.

Back to emotion in advertising…

Doesn’t it make sense that we create ads that are emotionally engaging, then? ¬†Of course it does. ¬†Yes, a picture can create emotion… but what happens when a voice tells us a story and engages us in something that we can relate to? ¬†What happens when you put the proper music to match the mood we’re trying to set? ¬†Theater. ¬†And that’s what good radio is… a theater of the mind.

Logic in ads can only go so far. ¬†Emotion is what will take it farther than you thought was possible. ¬†But what if you’re a pencil pushing, logical, type of business owner? ¬†About half of you are. ¬†Well, that just makes my job a little tougher is all. ¬†I have to convince you that people are emotional beings and that you’re going to get more bang for your buck if you choose advertising options that can deliver an emotional and engaging message.

How easy is it to dismiss a digital ad? ¬†Pretty easy. ¬†That’s why you have to put even more work into digital ad “creative”. ¬†And your digital ad should just be another memory anchor of your “sound” advertising. ¬†You know… the emotional kind. ¬†It should all work together.

Not satisfied with your digital advertising immediate results? ¬†Stop trying to make people buy now. ¬†Be yourself, be sincere, be emotional… and people will begin to remember you and eventually love you and do business with you. ¬†You can’t force success. ¬†It’s earned. ¬†It’s for sure not a magical “digital” formula.

Whenever you’re asked to buy any kind of online or offline advertising, just ask yourself: ¬†Is it emotionally engaging?

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media –¬†Sioux Falls, SD

P.S. ¬†I actually sell and create digital ads and campaigns (not just radio). ¬†But I’ve never sold them by themselves without an emotionally engaging radio advertising strategy¬†to be the primary driver of the complete marketing campaign.

Learning the Hard Way

We’ve all learned lessons the hard way, right? ¬†But we’re better people for it. ¬†It makes that lesson sink in just a little bit farther. ¬†Let me share a quick story about how it seemed like “back to school” for me recently.

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It was “back to school” for me recently. Image by “digitalart” / freedigitalphotos.net

I had a client who I began a “radio relationship” with late last year. ¬†Everything seemed to be going fine… and out of left field I get a call from them saying that they are canceling their radio advertising… and going with some “other” radio people just to try it out.

They weren’t firing me… it was just a temporary thing they said. ¬†They were curious. ¬†They also had multiple people trying to make marketing decisions, which didn’t help. ¬†But that’s not my point here.

My point is that I screwed up somewhere. ¬†Me. ¬†I didn’t blame anyone. ¬†I didn’t get upset. ¬†(please don’t get all mad and whiny if someone decides to not do business with you – if you do, you just guarantee that they’ll never ever come back to you – be the bigger person)

It had to be something that I could have avoided, right?

I dug a bit deeper. ¬†I waited a couple days and then called and asked, “So, what really was the reason you’re taking a detour from what you were doing?”

They told me that the “other radio people” presented them with a really creative and funny ad that they couldn’t pass up.

Oh, shit.  The other guys.  Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.

How did this happen?!

My lesson here is that I forgot to tell them that they were going to be called on by every advertising platform in town when they started advertising aggressively on the radio with me.

I forgot to tell them that they’re going to be swooned over and given the world because people will heavily desire their business.

No, let me re-phrase that, I should have told them that their phones would ring off the hook with desperate advertising people begging for their business, showering them with empty promises.

My lesson is that I didn’t get face-to-face with them enough. ¬†Why? ¬†Because they were busy. ¬†They are mile-a-minute type of people. ¬†So, I didn’t want to bug them too much. ¬†But I could have got around that. ¬†I could have tried harder. ¬†Heck, everyone has to eat, right? ¬†I should have bought them a few lunches here and there.

My other lesson is that I should have continued to educate them on what a good radio ad really consists of.  I was just assuming that they loved me enough to stick with me no matter what.  I assumed.  Whoops.  Dumbass.

But these lessons help me. ¬†They make me better all around. ¬†Hard lessons teach everyone (sometimes painfully) how to avoid similar situations in the future. ¬†So, don’t get down or feel beat up. ¬†Get back on your horse and do it better.

Now, I’m working harder to get the business back. ¬†I’m making it a challenge to get the business back. ¬†And when I do… I’ll make sure I don’t take it for granted.

Maybe you’ve neglected your own customers here and there without realizing it. ¬†It’s not that you want to. ¬†Sometimes we’re just so busy. ¬†Sometimes we have things going on in our lives in which the word “monkey wrench” isn’t even close to describing the chaos we’ve been through. ¬†It’s ok. ¬†Sometimes you just have to steer the ship back on course! ¬†: )

Have a groovy day!

-Duane

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984