Working Fast

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

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

But the owner, Dana, said to me…

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

I stopped and thought about that.

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

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

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

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”

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

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

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

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

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

Image by Robert Balog from Pixabay

Radio Advertising Questions and Answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s answer those questions up top first though

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading. Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

What Makes People Do The Things They Do?

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

What makes people do the things they do?

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

There are some obvious ones…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where Should I Advertise?” is the WRONG QUESTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

Email: duane.christensen@townsquaremedia.com

Call or text: 605-940-7984

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

What Successful Radio Advertisers Have To Say About Digital Advertising…

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

Some specific comments to me have been:

“Do you think we need it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

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

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’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

 

 

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