You’ve Bought Radio Advertising Before? Oh No.

You’ve advertised on the radio before. So, you know what you want. Ok. But is “what you want”…the best thing for you?

Image courtesy of "Salvatore Vuono" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Salvatore Vuono” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sioux Falls has a ton of advertising options. You may have already “tried” a bunch of those options. You may have “tried” a bunch of different radio advertising schedules. You may even feel you’ve met nearly every advertising sales rep in the city! Wow, I hope not. That would make ME want to sell everything and move to the mountains!

Do you feel that advertising is a necessary evil? You say, “Well…let’s try another stint on the radio. Can’t hurt, right?” Then, you call up a radio station (maybe me) and ask about the rates.

Now, here’s me. I don’t know much about your business yet. And the number of radio advertising options are pretty high. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing (if you actually plan on making your radio advertising work). Rates don’t really mean much if you’re not buying into the right plan. Or the right IDEA.

My first thought is… “Do we know what to SAY in the radio ads yet?” No. We don’t. Do I know your competitive landscape? Do I know why your customers buy from you and not the other guy down the street? No.

Image courtesy of "Master isolated images" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Master isolated images” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Questions. I need to ask questions to offer the best solution. Not just give you a “package” that won’t work. I need to know more before I can recommend a plan for you. Would you like to draw a one-time crowd? Or would you like to become a household name in Sioux Falls? What would you like your advertising to accomplish? Why do you think you’re a big deal? Do your customers feel you’re a big deal? Would you like more of those happy customers? If I asked your customers about you…what would they tell me?

I love to work with Sioux Falls small business owners who want to make a mark. Those who want to serve their customers better than anyone else could, and those who have a goal and want to know how to reach that goal. I don’t really ever feel comfortable being an order taker. I almost always find a major flaw in someone else’s advertising plan. Those flaws could be any number of things that can sabotage a local marketing and advertising campaign. Such as the length of the ads, the competitive strategy, the message in the ads, the number of ads scheduled to air, etc.

If you’ve bought radio advertising before…I want you to forget what you’ve done before. Because if you were doing it right, you wouldn’t have stopped. You wouldn’t have called someone else. So, try your best to erase from your memory what some other advertising person has told you in the past. If you truly want to get it right this time and stop being unsure, skeptical, confused, or frustrated with your local advertising, then, we’re going to start from scratch. We’re going to have a bunch of conversations before I let you spend any money on advertising. We’ll get it right, first. We’ll have a plan. A plan that will carry the potential for good things to happen. Growth. Good word of mouth. Buzz. Increased profits.

When you’re ready, just call.

Thanks. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

I’m kind of a big advertising nerd. And I’m confident in the power of radio when it’s done right. The spoken word is impressive when you choose words wisely. You can arrange them in a way that can be subtly persuasive, aggressively entertaining, or peacefully comforting. Let’s find the right words to use for your small business. I am a salesperson, ad writer, and marketing guy for Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I started there in 1998 (while still a punk) answering phones and scheduling radio commercials on an old DOS program (green and black screen). Yikes. I’ve learned a heck of a lot since then.

I even published a small business advertising book in July of 2012. You can check it out here if you want >>> Take A Bigger Slice (on Amazon)

Ph: 605-940-7984

Email: duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Web: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

 

 

Dough Can Only Be Stretched So Thin

A business owner in Sioux Falls asked me for some advice the other day. It was about the ad they place in one of the free local magazines every month. He said a quarter page ad cost him $400 that he’s never seen any response from…and he wondered what he could get on the radio for $400.

I asked him if he was spending his ad budget in any other places. He said yes. So, all-in-all, his budget is about $2000 a

Image courtesy of “David Castillo Dominici” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

month for advertising right now…spread over about 5 different advertising mediums. And all in print.

I asked him what he was trying to accomplish with his advertising. He said “I just want more people to know about our business and to consider buying from us instead of someone else.” I said, “So, you’re trying to use your $2000 to reach as many people as possible in the most effective manner to help attract new customers and increase your sales?” And he said, “Absolutely!”

I told him that spreading his budget around to different places wasn’t doing him much good. It was too thin. A very few number of people are exposed to his different print ads. He admitted that he thought that’s how he was supposed to advertise. I explained to him that people are people. It doesn’t matter really WHERE you advertise…just as long as you’re making an impact on a decent-sized group of people with your advertisements. He also admitted that his ads didn’t seem to be making any impact at all.

So, here is my recommendation to him. Take that $2000 per month and put it towards a long-term ad schedule on a large radio station. The listeners are there. Tens of thousands tuning in every day. And you’d be able to run many ads every week ensuring that people heard the ad. So, you have the “reaching people” part covered.

Then, we get to work on creating ads that are dang near impossible to be ignored. It’s easy to miss a print ad. But if you have an engaging, creative, smart ad airing week-in and week-out…your message WILL be getting into the EARS of a heck of a lot of people.

I said we also have to think of our ad strategy. What makes his business better? How does he treat customers better? What kind of experience does he provide that his competition would find it tough to match? You have to look at the whole competitive picture. And you have to always focus on what a prospect would like to hear…not necessarily what YOU would like to tell them.

We want people to think of his business FIRST when they need what he offers. And a good, focused radio campaign can achieve what he had hoped was possible, but he just hadn’t found the solution yet.

I’m excited for him. He got it. He called to cancel some of the little advertising expenditures he was doing in other places around town. When he added them all up, he came to about $2000 per month…which can now be invested in a more planned and strategic manner. AND start seeing an actual response and return from his investment.

So, if you’re stretching your dough too thin, and not seeing a lot from it…I have a better way to help you start growing consistently. Year after year.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day! I’d love to help you out when you’re ready.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Local Advertising Book with no “sugar coating”

This blog post is about a book… and also about your local business… and what you could do to make something really spectacular happen to your revenues. And stuff.

So, I wrote a local advertising book. It’s my first one. And of course I feel that I should have said some things differently in it. And I missed that one type-o. But the best advice for some people (like me) is to just “put it out there”. Because if we wait for things to be perfect, we’ll never “put anything out there”.

Here’s the link to the book, if you’d like to plop down 6 or 7 bucks to learn about getting more out of your local advertising dollars. http://nonfatadvertising.com/brand-new-book-take-a-bigger-slice/

Hey, I’ve read a LOT of marketing books. And some of them left me wondering why they felt the need to use such fluff and industry jargon throughout the whole thing. I write like I talk. I don’t sugar coat many things. And if you don’t get any “eye openers” from reading the book… or any “golden nuggets” from it, I’ll give you your money back.

I think it’s better than 50% of the local advertising books out there. Maybe you’ll think it’s the best one out there. Most of the local advertising books I’ve read, try to tell you WHERE you should advertise. But I don’t do that. I don’t care where you advertise. You might like a particular method or advertising medium. My book will just help you get even BETTER results.

But other people might think, “Oh, great. You’ve given me a lot of tools to help me not waste my advertising dollar… but I really have no idea what to do next!” That’s when you call me. Radio isn’t right for everyone…but it might be totally frickin’ awesome for YOU. Do you want your business to be famous? I could help you out with that.

You’re thinking, “Really? Famous? I’m so sure.” But when you’re branded intelligently in your area, you ARE famous. Just not in the traditional sense of the word. If you’re wondering what it would be like to be BRANDED, just ask a few of my radio clients. If you want some of their phone numbers – I’ll give them to you. They’re happy to tell you what Radio and Duane Christensen has helped them do.

But of course, my radio clients tend to be pretty smart too. They run a good business internally, and they have me develop an advertising campaign in which Radio listeners actually like and REMEMBER.

If you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to pull the trigger on an advertising campaign, in an attempt to reach a specific “champagne-popping goal” then you should first read my book. But if you ARE ready, why not just have a talk with me some day – and I’ll just bring the book to you for free. ; )

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Look for someone who has a passion for helping local businesses get ahead. Your first clue: Do they have a blog? Do they have two blogs? Let’s have a conversation soon.

Talk Radio – KSOO AM 1140 – Yup, it’s a great place to advertise!

If you don’t listen to talk radio, you find it hard to believe that ANYONE listens. But if you are one of the many who listen to KSOO 1140 in Sioux Falls…you’re kind of addicted to it, right?

Why KSOO? Because the people who listen tend to be a bit older. 40+ mostly. And who controls most of the wealth in this country? No, it’s not Mark Zuckerberg…it’s the Baby Boomers.

People spend the first 40 or 50 years of their lives accumulating wealth and then sometimes they inherit a house or even more wealth. This is just the way it is. So, when I hear of a furniture store owner, plumbing company, mattress store, glass replacement company, remodeler, cabinet company, electrician, auto dealer, etc. say they wouldn’t EVER advertise on AM talk radio…I know they are missing out on a very profitable group of people.

And talk radio listeners are “active” listeners. Meaning they are listening intently to their favorite programs. It’s not like a music station where sometimes you just have it on for background noise. So, you don’t have to air quite as many ads each week like you do on a music station. Maybe 75% as many.

Whether you’re looking to add another station to your radio campaign…or you’re looking for a FIRST station to dominate…KSOO AM 1140 is known to boost a company’s number of new faces in their doors. And you don’t just get some new faces. You get more new faces that tend to have more money to spend. And there are less of them just looking for the “best deal” or the lowest price. Finding a quality product or service is important to them. They’d rather not price shop for hours and hours. So, why not communicate to these people every day?

KSOO has a great line-up…both live and local, and also popular syndicated programs such as Dave Ramsey and Glenn Beck. And it doesn’t matter if you like both of those guys or not. They have huge followings.

If you’d like to see what a radio schedule on KSOO would look like, just let me know. And one thing you get with me also… is a radio ad writer who makes absolute certain your ad stands out, gets heard, and gives people a reason to do business with YOU instead of your competition.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

KSOO AM 1140 (one of our 8 radio stations here in Sioux Falls, SD)

http://ksoo.com/

Plant the seed – nurture – time – GROW

I discuss a lot of “advertising stuff” with people on LinkedIn. Not just with other advertising people, but small business owners, too. Mostly across the U.S., but even all over the world (isn’t the Internet great!?). Most have never experienced the power of good radio. They can’t even comprehend what the possibilities are.

Radio advertising around the U.S. is used mainly as a place to throw a few ads out, have a live broadcast remote, and attract a crowd for a special event. Or a business owner says, “I want to test radio. I’ll give you x number of dollars for 2 weeks. Let’s see what it can do.” And then the radio ad rep says dumbly, “Ok.” And then never call the business owner back after the ad schedule has run its course, because they knew it had no chance in hell of working.

Results Radio in Sioux Falls is one of the most out of the ordinary, effective radio groups in the country. Let me share a few reasons why…

It’s because we’ve learned how to create radio ads that impact listeners so deeply, they store that business in a tiny compartment in their brain. And then when they need that particular product or service the advertiser sells, that advertiser is among the top of the list of businesses they remember.

It’s also because you can’t have a group of ad sales reps working for you who fail to care whether your advertising works or doesn’t work. When I CARE about the precious money you invest…when I CARE that your advertising plan works…then and only then can I begin to create radio that will “move the needle”. Because if I didn’t care about your business succeeding, how much time and effort do you think I would put into the writing and creation of your ad campaign?

Another reason is because if I ever sold you something that didn’t work…I would mourn. I would lose sleep. I would be sick to my stomach.

So, how do we do this? How do we make radio work for our local business customers? What’s the magic bullet? What’s the secret?

The SEEDS are your message. The ads themselves. The content. WHAT YOU SAY in your ads. It’s all about saying things to people in your ads that they’ll listen to…and that they care about. Hint: They don’t care about YOU. They care about solving a problem they have. They care about how you can make their lives or their family’s lives better. They care about not making a stupid purchase. They care about finding a company to buy from that they know “has their back”. Knowing this, how would you write a radio ad? By saying the same boring, cliché things about yourself that everybody else does? Or by standing out from the crowd with ads that don’t follow the “rules” and saying something someone might actually listen to?

Now, you have to NURTURE your seeds. You have to keep telling your story in different ways. You change your ads after they’ve run their course (maybe 3 weeks, maybe 6 weeks depending on how many ads you’re airing). You have to stay on top of what the competition is doing. You have to research. You have to constantly talk to your customers and record their feedback about why they love what you offer…or why they love your business (What your customers tell you are like little gold nuggets. Nuggets you can use in your radio ads. Nuggets you can use to improve your quality of service and your customer’s overall experience. So, get your customers talking – just remember to listen). All these nuggets should be used when your ads are being “brainstormed” or written.

TIME. The farmer doesn’t plant the seed today and harvest tomorrow. All great things in nature take time. And so does your “break free from the ordinary” advertising plan. Who is in the market for what you offer right now? Not many. What’s your product purchase cycle? 3 months? 6? 4 years? 10? Are you trying to sell me a new couch today?…don’t bother because I bought one two years ago – I’m good. See what I mean? Or do you run a service company, like a plumber? You can’t predict when I’m going to need you…so why not plant the seeds in my mind, nurture them, and just be ready for my call when my need arises. Make me want to do business with you long before I need you.

When you plant seeds with great potential, nurture them, and are patient with them…you will be rewarded with a great harvest. You will GROW. Your radio campaign will talk to the people that need you now, and more importantly it will talk to the people who don’t need you now (the much larger group of people), but won’t have a choice of not knowing who you are. Those people who NEED what you offer will not be able to ignore you as a contender in this free market…because you’ve planted your “seeds” deep within their conscious and subconscious. You will be toward the top of their list of who they can trustingly buy from…and feel comfortable with that decision.

Have you ever needed something, but didn’t know where to get it or who to buy it from? You won’t give radio listeners a chance to have that problem. When you advertise in the manner that I’m trying to describe, you can be the one that people feel deeply about. The one that’s remembered. The one that’s trusted. The one that is contacted.

I guess it all comes down to caring about our clients. About me caring about my advertising customers. Yes, I’m getting a little sappy on you. But that’s what it takes. It’s not about me showing you a bunch of statistics and pie charts. It’s not about me telling you we have the tallest radio towers and the best listeners with the fattest wallets. It’s all about caring enough to figure out the right things to say to people…so you can grow. So you can attract profitable customers at a faster rate than if you weren’t advertising at all. So you can worry about doing the things that matter most to you personally, and what matters most in your business – taking care of your own customers. Why should you have to spend 25 to 35% of your time worrying about what you’re going to do next to “bring in some new faces”?

Advertising works when it’s done right. And for local business, Radio advertising works better than most of the other options I’ve ever seen…when it’s used properly. I’ve been working at Results Radio since 1998…if I thought some other form of advertising could give most of the local businesses in Sioux Falls a better return over the long haul, I’d go work for them. If you’ve got a growth goal that needs a nice “boost” to help get you there, I’m pretty sure Results Radio Cumulus Media is where you want to start. And I’m confident that I know someone in particular that you should work with. 😉

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio

BEING THE ONE

OneAre you the one?

The one who people think of when someone mentions your particular product or service?

If not…maybe you’re the second or third business that people think of. Hey, that’s not so bad, right? But what if people don’t think of you at all when they need what you offer? What if they think of someone else. A competitor of yours. Then, you’ve got a marketing problem. A branding problem.

When I say “branding”, it’s not about just sticking your name out there as often as possible. That’s not branding. You are BRANDED when:

1) Someone mentions your company’s name and they immediately know what you stand for and what they should expect when they do business with you.

2) Someone mentions a product or service that you sell…and they immediately think of you or your business.

3) Someone mentions frogs and they think of the last time they drank too much. (Budweiser)  🙂

So…to be the ONE people think about first, you need to brand yourself. It’s easier for the small, local business to brand itself and see the results than for huge corporations to see the results from their branding efforts.

How will we brand you?

First, what do you want to stand for? (besides quality, integrity, honesty, etc.) Make it something that your competitors can’t claim, they’re not advertising, or it’s not one of their strengths. But you also have to make sure that what you stand for is important to your prospects.

THEN, once we figure that out, we can begin decide what kind of ads will deliver your “brand” most effectively. It’s not about saying who you are, where you are, and what you are…it’s about painting a picture for people about WHY they should do business with you and not your competition. The goal is to make people feel really good about your business before they’ve even met you.

Then, comes the easy part. Buying radio spots so you can share your messages, stories, and unique offerings to the listening audience. There are formulas for buying radio schedules. It’s possible to buy too many radio spots…and too few radio spots. Let’s air just the right amount so that the average radio listener hears your ad an average of 3 to 4 times each week.

You must also decide HOW WILL YOU MEASURE SUCCESS. It’s not about asking people where they heard about you. Your radio campaign will be so good…they will also affect those that don’t even hear your ads. Meaning that your ads will make such an impact with your audience, that they’ll talk about you with their friend that is wondering where to buy. They’ll tell their spouse that they should check you out. It’s all about creating a message that has meaning and impact. Your radio campaign is a process of intelligent and subtle seduction.

So, I’ll ask you, “How will you measure success?”

Don’t do it with a survey to your customers. Do it with your revenues, foot traffic, phone calls, requests for free estimates, or whatever matters most to you. If you normally get 4 phone calls per day, then 4 months after your radio campaign has started, you’re getting 11 calls per day, would you call that a success?

If you’d like to BE THE ONE, it takes more than just an advertising salesperson selling you an “ad package” who you never see again. There’s no one-size-fits-all radio ad schedule, radio ad strategy, or branding strategy. I understand you might think this is complicated. But it’s not when you talk to the right person that knows how to advertise and/or brand a local business. 😉

Peace out.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising

Results Radio Cumulus Media

How Fast Can Radio Work?

It’s a question that’s asked quite a bit. “How fast will my radio advertising start working?”

I will answer the “how fast” question with more questions for you. Some of these questions tend to be greatly overlooked…

How often does someone need or desire what you sell? 1 time per year? 10 times? 1 time in 10 years? The longer the time period between their need…the longer it will take for ANY kind of branding advertising to work. And by branding, I mean, sticking in someone’s head so when they need you they’ll feel most comfortable buying from YOU versus your competitors. Which is the most profitable form of advertising in my opinion.

How much emotional voltage does what you sell carry? What I mean by that is, how do people feel about what you sell? Is it a “cold” purchase like a water heater…or is it a “warm and fuzzy” kind of purchase like a gift for a child that will light up their face? A “cold” purchase is something of necessity that people don’t get too excited about. A “warm” purchase is something that makes us really happy to buy. So, if you’re advertising a “cold” product or service, expect your advertising to take longer to work. If it’s “warm”…then you can hit emotional hot buttons easier and heavier.

How many ads will you be airing? This one is probably widely debatable. But I like to schedule ads all day long, about 24 to 30 per week. That gives the average radio listener a chance to hear your ad about 3 to 4 times each week. If you can’t afford an entire station then pick a 4-hour time frame throughout the day and cut the number of ads in half. That will allow the people listening during that time frame to get familiar with your business quickly. But it’s a smaller group of people versus advertising to the entire listening audience. As soon, as your budget can afford it…start advertising all day long, even into the evenings. And if you can, advertise at least 3 weeks out of every month. Optimum scheduling would be 52 weeks if you’re not a seasonal business.

But maybe you want things to happen faster. Maybe you want to start “sticking” in people’s brains a bit quicker. Then, pump up your number of ads for a few months. And update your ads every 2 to 3 weeks versus 4 to 6 weeks. It’s all about getting the listener familiar with your business and starting to trust you before they’ve even met you or contacted you. You’ve got lots of stories to share with listeners. Start doing it. They want to know WHY they should trust you. You’ll want to say, “You can trust us” or something cliché. But I want you to PROVE it to them in your ads.

How GOOD are your radio ads? Here’s the biggie. It’s so much more important than what most believe. How good are your radio ads means how much punch do they pack? No matter where you advertise, it’s tough to get people’s attention. People aren’t just sitting around waiting to be advertised to. And when they realize they’re watching or listening to an advertisement, their guard goes up. So, what are you going to do about that?

The best thing to do is try your hardest to create ads that don’t sound like ads. Ads that sound like ads are filled with platitudes. What’s a platitude? A platitude is a trite, meaningless, biased, common, or boring statement, often presented as if it were significant and original. Platitudes in advertising are the things that people don’t really care about. Or things that go in one ear and out the other.

To create ads that don’t sound like ads, you usually need to tell a story. Or you have a character telling a story. Or your radio can be as if you’re eavesdropping on a conversation. Or maybe bringing inanimate objects to life and giving them voices. The sky is the limit with radio.

You can have also have ads that are detected as an ad easier by the listener, but they still listen. These are ads that provide information that’s interesting. And the information is given in such a way that keeps you hanging on to every word. Words and arrangements of words that aren’t expected. You have about 2 seconds to grab a listener’s attention. And once you’ve done that, then you have to say something that will keep their attention for the next 4 seconds. And so on, and so on. But never start talking about what YOU care about as a business owner without making sure that your “targets” care about it as well. That’s the only thing that matters. What would people be interested in hearing?…and how do you connect that to your business? How can you make them feel 10x more comfortable doing business with you instead of a competitor?

I feel that radio is one of the best advertising mediums because of its unlimited possibilities. You can get people to go places with you in their minds that is impossible to do with TV, print, or anything else for that matter. The power of sound all by itself is incredible. I can have you close your eyes and take you on a journey. A journey to a different place in the world…or I can help you experience owning a product that you haven’t purchased yet. Oh, sure, you can see a TV ad with actors demonstrating a product of service. But a radio ad can help you envision YOU, yourself owning a product or experiencing the benefits of a particular service. An advertisement has much more impact on someone, when THEY are in the “movie”. Radio does that. Radio creates a movie in people’s minds…and THEY are the star. Not some actor…or a picture of someone they’ve never met.

What was that original question again? How fast will your radio advertising start to work? Ummm…you’ve got quite a few variables. Please don’t condemn ANY kind of advertising, until you know exactly how it can work to your advantage. Know its strengths and its weaknesses. Radio works best for the branding game. The game where your business name is “stamped” onto the brains of the public. When YOU are one of the first places they think of when they need your product or service…you will never have the problem of wondering where your next new customer will come from. I’m thinking radio is best compared to the Energizer bunny – the best choice for the long haul – the best choice to keep delivering what you really want out of your advertising.

Have a beautiful day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio team member since 1998.

Can a weather sponsorship on the radio work?

Image courtesy of "digitalart" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “digitalart” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have customers who advertise in many different ways. Most do 60-second or 30-second radio ads. And the rest are weather sponsors. So, what does that mean? Well, a weather sponsor’s ads start out like this, “This (station) weather break is brought to you by (business name)…” Then, there’s 12 more seconds of whatever we want to say to the public. I never propose a weather sponsor if it’s not a good fit. Or if it doesn’t have a chance to work.

If you’ve thought about doing radio, but you didn’t think you had the budget…being a weather sponsor may be an option for you. But it’s not for everyone.

A weather sponsorship can work for people who just need to start somewhere. Yes, you’re looking for the magic bullet to propel your business into stardom. But there isn’t one. You must be smart and patient. You’ll most likely be overpromised and underdelivered to by a lot of advertising companies. And you probably have the notion that you have to advertise everywhere…but that’s a recipe for failure. Trying to “reach” everyone is not a good strategy. You’ll fail. You’ll spend a lot of money and get little to nothing in return. You need to reach an audience over and over. You’re trying to convince people to buy from YOU instead of somewhere else. And you won’t do much convincing with only one or two ads sprinkled around here and there. You need to “douse” your audience. And starting on one or two radio stations with a weather sponsorship will “reach” a lot of people – enough people to be able to make a significant impact on the number of new customers you see.

I would not recommend a weather sponsorship to a car dealer – too many competitors advertising heavily. I wouldn’t recommend it to a furniture store – same reason. But if you’ve got a business that’s easily understandable, you’re a specialist, you don’t have tons of competitors advertising heavily, or you don’t have to convey complex ideas to the public, then a weather sponsorship could possibly be a great option for you.

A good weather sponsorship message has to stand out though. I’ve heard way too many that just list the business name, throw in some “for all your _____ needs” clichés, a phone number, and that’s it. THAT kind of weather ad will not work. Just like a good 30 or 60-second ad, we have to use words and phrases that get people’s attention and can help people remember you when they need you.

Is it right for you? Can we make it work? I’m not sure yet. I need to ask you some questions first. Just because you get a lot more ads for a smaller investment, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. But maybe it’s the best possible use of your ad budget right now. Give me a call and let’s talk about it.

Heck, I’ve got some customers who ONLY do weather sponsorships. And when they grow…and their budget grows…they just add another radio station. It’s the perfect advertising solution for just the right business. Let’s see if you’re one of them.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Results Radio team member since 1998.

Ad writing / Ad strategies / Radio Sales / Digital Advertising options also

I’m a radio rep for Results Radio Townsquare Media. I write this blog on behalf of myself. Bottom line? I truly enjoy helping businesses get from their Point A to their Point B in an efficient manner. And Radio Advertising is just one of those ways that has worked wonderfully well for my radio clients. We have 8 radio stations within our group to help you reach the people you’re looking for.

Ask nicely…and say Please

My wife Tara and I have taught my daughter that when she asks nicely for something and says Please, she’ll be much more likely to get what she wants.

Your advertising works the same way. When we figure out what to SAY in your ads, and radio listeners respond favorably to them, you get what YOU want – new customers and increased sales.

(A consistent radio campaign even helps remind your current customers to come see you more often AND it reminds them to refer others to you. Cool side effect of an ad campaign, eh? You don’t get that with short-term advertising and “Sale of the Century” advertising.)

The first question most people have though is “What are your ad rates?” Or…”How much is this going to cost?” Here’s the reality: Ads that don’t work (no matter how cheap) ARE expensive. When you get little to zero return on your cheap ad investment, you’re still losing money on that great deal. You’re still losing money on that “ad package” that was too good to pass up. You probably said, “What the heck, let’s try it.” That’s why you eventually get frustrated with all local advertising (you’re not doing it right – please allow me help you with that).

So…ads that bring you a consistent flow of new customers are not expensive. It’s like investing in stocks that can’t fail. But those ads that bring in the customers might actually cost more than the ones being pitched to you by sales reps that don’t know how to make advertising work. If your monthly sales were 20% more than the same month the previous year, and you’re advertising on the radio, and saying great things to the listeners, you’re still going to say “Advertising is too expensive” ????

Of course, you have to “run the numbers” and make sure that you can afford the right amount of ads on the particular radio station you’re interested in. If you can’t, look at a different radio station where the rate per spot is less. Because you need to have enough ads airing each week to make an impact. One here and one there isn’t going to cut it. But it’s OK if you start on a radio station with a smaller audience. As you grow because you caused some of that audience to do business with you…then you add another station – another audience. And so on…and so on.

Do you think the big advertisers started out with ads on all 8 of our radio stations? No. They started with one or two. And when their ads started working…sales grew. The next 6 months to a year, they saw enough increase to add another station. It’s OK if you start smaller. Stop trying to reach EVERYONE. Start smaller with the budget you have now. Be comfortable with that monthly investment. As you grow, so does your budget.

The thing that I never understand is when a business sees success from their radio campaign, and they say they’re going to try some TV now. What? You’ve just figured out what works, but now you’re trying TV? I think it’s because so many business owners think that if you’re on TV, then you’re “big time”. But that’s not how it works. All you should be trying to do is convince more people to do business with YOU instead of someone else.

People are people. It doesn’t matter where you advertise to them. Radio just happens to be the most affordable way to effectively do that for most local businesses. But only if we SAY the right things! Remember? Like when my daughter asks nicely…and says please – she gets a much better response from Mom and Dad.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

Budget For Advertising

If you don’t have an ad budget, you need to set one. Usually, anywhere between 3% and 12% of revenues. It depends on whether you’re a service biz or a retail biz, profit margin, location, and how aggressive you want to be (competitive landscape, speed of desired growth, etc.).

If you’re a retail business, then your “visibility” plays into it. When you’re in a high traffic area, your rent is most likely higher, but so is your exposure. So, you don’t need to advertise as much. If your location is low traffic (cheaper rent), you need to increase your exposure (increase ad budget). Your profit margins also play into your ad budget, obviously. You’re going to be able to spend more on attracting purchasers of your product when you’ve got a 50% markup…versus 15%. Service businesses generally budget between 7% and 15%.

You need to advertise because you always have a competitor gunning for more market share. And you may THINK people know about you…but the reality can be quite different. And people can “know” about you…but often FORGET about you when the time comes for them to need what you have to offer.

Once you SET your ad budget, you might feel the need to distribute your ad dollars among many different ad mediums. Stop! When you do that, you end up “sprinkling” a few people here and there. To make advertising work, you need to “soak” your audience. Why? Because everyone is busy. And when you spread ads thinly across multiple ad mediums (radio, print, TV, Cable, magazines, billboards, etc.), they don’t get heard or seen enough times to make a difference. Start with ONE ad medium. And dominate it. You don’t have to try to reach everyone. If you want multiple ad mediums to work well together, the way Budweiser and Apple do it, you better have a pretty big ad budget.

If all you have the budget for, is a tiny cable TV program, that has about 1500 viewers per week…that’s ok. You have to start somewhere. You have to start getting into the minds of an audience repeatedly. And most importantly, when you create an ad message and campaign that gets attention and hits your prospects’ hot buttons (my specialty-wink wink), you start to bring in new customers. As you grow, then you can increase your ad budget and increase the audience.

If you have that small of an ad budget though, I’d recommend putting your efforts into making something stand out about your business. Get some word of mouth going about how you’re turning your industry upside down. Or take the time to make every precious customer you have…love you. Not like you. Love you. OR BETTER YET – instead of spending $200 a month on a small cable TV audience, you’d have better luck if you gave 20-dollar bills to 10 random people a month and say, “Hi, I’m ____ with _________. You should give us a try when you need a _________!”  And then walk away saying, “Have a nice day!” (Seriously, it would work better than the majority of sad advertising I see today!)

A good place to start with an ad budget…is on the RADIO. Radio allows you to communicate your ad message to an audience many times during a week at a much lower cost than TV or newspaper. Of course, you might think I’m biased because I work for Results Radio. But I decided a long time ago that my passion is helping small to medium-sized businesses GROW – no matter where I’m working. I’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks to pretty much every advertising medium. Radio will always be my first recommendation to local businesses because of the power of sound (our memories prefer sound over sight only)…and the overall VALUE of it (you can air more ads, and I don’t charge you a nickel to make a new one).

There are lots of Radio commercial scheduling options. A good ad rep won’t bombard you with industry jargon and confuse the heck out of you.

You might get shown a $4500 per month ad schedule and think that it wouldn’t be too hard to pay for that with an extra few sales here and there. But you might also choke on your coffee if you saw a proposal of that amount. I’m not a fan of making up a schedule out of thin air with no budget to work with. The thing you need to know…is your AD BUDGET, remember? And not to “sprinkle” yourself out among multiple advertising mediums when you don’t have a lot of budget.

If you set the proper budget, have a great message to communicate to the public, and find a radio station or two to start out with…good things happen. New customers start finding you. New customers appear when you didn’t expect new customers to appear.

MY GOAL…is for my radio clients to grow and thrive and be as successful as they want to be. When that happens, I grow and thrive as well. See? Win-win.

Have a great week! Thank you for reading…and spreading the word about this cool radio guy you know.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.